Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is being approached from different angles in school districts all over the country. It is essential that district curriculum writers and School Boards understand that concerned parents and other advocates for children are aware of these issues, and are calling for curricula that reflect of the values shared by most parents and families in their districts. Many districts will hold informational sessions before adopting such a curriculum, although these sessions are frequently under-advertised and lightly attended. Here are some questions that parents in the Capistrano Unified School District are asking; perhaps they will help you get the answer you seek too:
I’m concerned about this curriculum being age-appropriate for 12 year old kids. For example in lesson #3, the idea of “friends with benefits” is included. Will you be removing content like this from the curriculum?
If the CUSD claims to teach a curriculum that is “values neutral” then how can you justify teaching our children that gender is fluid? The vast majority of scientific research demonstrates that gender is based on dna.
If the CUSD claims to teach a curriculum that is “values neutral” then how can you justify teaching our children that being LGBTQ is never a choice? Clearly, for many, it is.
Several lessons refer teachers and students to external websites. Even if the content on those sites is acceptable now, how can you be sure that their sponsors won’t change the content? And, are those sites also bound to be “value-neutral” as CUSD is now claiming to be? External websites should NOT be included in the curriculum. If students and teachers need add’l information they should be referred to your own Family Resource Center. Does the Capo USD sex ed curriculum clearly advocate waiting until at least adulthood before beginning the intimacy of sex? And, does the curriculum discuss the emotional affects of sex?
I understand that the curriculum you are proposing uses lessons from Teen Talk and another free curriculum called Rights, Respect, and Responsibilities. I was under the impression that you were not going to use Teen Talk at all. Would you please explain this?
Does the Capo USD sex ed curriculum clearly advocate waiting until at least adulthood before beginning the intimacy of sex? And, does the curriculum discuss the emotional affects of sex?
There is a success sequence often taught in sex ed curricula, that kids will do best in life if they a) get an education, b) have a job, c) marry, and d) bring children into the world. Does the Capo USD plan to teach this pattern as part of sex ed?
When/if the value of marriage is taught, how will children who live in single-parent homes be given emotional and other support?
Are anal and oral sex going to be discussed in 7th grade?
I understand that some CSE curricula teach that although sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are dangerous, they are very manageable with the right medications — even HIV. I’m concerned that our kids may not get the full picture about the devastating effects of these diseases. What approach will CUSD take regarding HIV and other STIs?
With respect to HIV infection, what will be taught by way of prevention?
I understand that many CSE curricula teach that gender is fluid. Is this what our curriculum is going to teach?
There is a rare birth defect known as “intersex” where a child has portions of both male and female characteristics. This tragic condition is difficult to treat and there is not a medical treatment consensus. The new law (CA Healthy Youth Act, CHYA or AB 329) does not require teaching intersex. Do you plan to include intersex in your sex ed curriculum?
Many CSE curricula include condom demonstrations. I’m hoping that ours will not. Can you speak to that?
I’ve heard that condoms are only 80% effective (when used 100% correctly 100% of the time). Is this something you teach the kids?
Do you tell the kids that condoms are not approved by the FDA for anal sex?
Do you explain the legal definition of consent? That a minor cannot legal consent to sex? And, if you do not explain this, why not?
What is the focus of the new curriculum? Does it focus on teaching kids how to reduce the risks associated with having sex? Or does it focus on teaching kids how/why to avoid the risky behaviors in the first place?
Does the new curriculum teach our kids about healthy relationships, including marriage? How much time will be spent on this?
Why is the curriculum being taught over two years? Could all of the Middle School curriculum be taught in 8th grade?
Will Comprehensive Sex Ed be taught to my 3rd grader? I understand that the new law allows this.
Will I be able to review this curriculum on-line so I can decide whether it’s something I want my child to participate in?
How are parents involved in this? Will my child be required to discuss the lesson material with me after school?
Will we be able to see all of the handouts and videos our children will be shown ahead of time?
What is the process to opt out if, after reviewing the curriculum, I still am uncomfortable with it? Will I receive adequate advance notice of the days on which the curriculum will be taught?
I’ve heard of an effective one-time program of teaching abstinence from the Beacon of Light group called “Great2Wait”. To meet the CHYA goal of promoting abstinence, would you consider adding a program like this to your sex ed curriculum plan? If not, why? I understand it can be free.
Are the dangers of pornography going to be discussed in this curriculum? And, how might parents be involved in this discussion?