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Teach Your Children Well?

California approves controversial new sex education curriculum, spotlighting a central question:

Who decides what your children learn & when?

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  • States (elected or appointed Boards of Ed)A set curriculum standards & suggest framework on how to achieve these goals.
  • Districts will adopt state’s framework or develop their own.
  • Teachers create lesson plans & activities. EX: State sets reading standards; district requires 5th graders read ‘The Diary of Anne Frank‘; teacher assigns reading.
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  • Board of Education voted on 700-page framework for statewide health curriculum for the next 10 yrs. Topics incl. smoking, depression & sex education.
  • Sex ed. is controversial. Ex: guidance for teachers on how to talk about gender identity to kindergartners and a suggested book about sex for high-schoolers critics call “obscene.”
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aItas just scary what they are going to be teaching. Itas pornography.a

Patricia Reyes, mother to 6 children, is against the new curriculum. While the public had a chance to weigh-in on the proposal, the Board of Education, appointed by the governor, had the final vote. The framework passed but the Board suggested several books for removal from suggested curriculum, including one that apparently described sex to kindergarten - third graders.
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“Withholding medically accurate, scientific information from them actually causes more harm and does not actually protect innocence.a

Michele McNutt, a registered nurse, has two daughters in public schools and supports the new curriculum arguing specific, accurate information some may argue is "graphic" will help her children and other students make good choices.
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Important To Know:

  • State framework provides guidance to school districts on what to teach; it is not required.
  • Districts that don’t adopt framework can create their own sex ed. to meet state standards.
  • Students can opt-out of some lessons, but not ones on legal issues approved by state (ex: gender identity discrimination, same-sex marriage).
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Half of U.S. states require sex education in schools. All but seven states allow parents to opt-out on their child's behalf. What do you think about sex education in public schools? How much say should the public have over what is taught in public schools?

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