You Can Read Your District's Curriculum

Sex Ed Draft Curriculum Analysis (Capistrano Unified School District)

After a thorough review, United Parents co-founders Skip Hellewell and Chalone Warman, created a detailed, easy-to-read analysis of Capistrano Unified School District’s working draft of their Sex Ed Curriculum. We hope this will be a helpful tool parents can use as they conduct their own review. In addition, we hope that all CUSD parents who agree with our position (that further changes are still needed to make the CUSD Sex Ed curriculum acceptable) will and sign our petition which will be sent out via email TOMORROW. 

You Can Talk to Your Own School's Administrators -- Discover Their Plan

Questions to Ask Your School District

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:

  1. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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?

  6. 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?

  7. 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?

  8. When/if the value of marriage is taught, how will children who live in single-parent homes be given emotional and other support?

  9. Are anal and oral sex going to be discussed in 7th grade?

  10. 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?

  11. With respect to HIV infection, what will be taught by way of prevention?

  12. I understand that many CSE curricula teach that gender is fluid. Is this what our curriculum is going to teach?

  13. 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?  

  14. Many CSE curricula include condom demonstrations.  I’m hoping that ours will not. Can you speak to that?

  15. I’ve heard that condoms are only 80% effective (when used 100% correctly 100% of the time). Is this something you teach the kids?

  16. Do you tell the kids that condoms are not approved by the FDA for anal sex?

  17. 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?

  18. 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?

  19. Does the new curriculum teach our kids about healthy relationships, including marriage? How much time will be spent on this?

  20. Why is the curriculum being taught over two years?  Could all of the Middle School curriculum be taught in 8th grade?

  21. Will Comprehensive Sex Ed be taught to my 3rd grader?  I understand that the new law allows this.

  22. 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?

  23. How are parents involved in this?  Will my child be required to discuss the lesson material with me after school?

  24. Will we be able to see all of the handouts and videos our children will be shown ahead of time?

  25. 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?

  26. 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.

  27. Are the dangers of pornography going to be discussed in this curriculum? And, how might parents be involved in this discussion?

Public Comment for the Revised DRAFT 2019 Health Education Framework

The first 60-day public comment and review period took place from April 2018 through June 2018, and the second 60-day public comment and review period is scheduled to take place from November 1, 2018, through January 11, 2019. The public review and comment period is an opportunity for any interested individuals or organizations to provide comments and suggested edits on the draft Health Education Framework to the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC).

This last Spring, United Parents joined with many other organizations throughout California to take advantage of this opportunity to have our voices heard. Many of us reviewed and agreed with the concerns shared by Eric Beuhrer (Gateways to Better Education) and simply cut-and-pasted his recommendations into our own documents to save time. Unfortunately, it appears that whenever identical language was identified, those submissions may have been lumped together as if sent by the same person, rather than from hundreds of individuals who agreed with Eric’s analysis.

If all you have is 30 minutes . . . give 30 minutes. Here’s what you do:

  1. Click on the chapter links (in green below) that concern you most and to search for certain words that may be concerning to you (words like: gender, sex, condom, oral, anal, etc.), use “CTRL-F” for PC or “Show Find & Replace” for Mac.

  2. Read the paragraph(s) where those words are found and determine if you would like to make a recommendation.

  3. Record your suggestions/objections onto the Word document titled: “Public Input Template” which you will need to download. Recommendations should be specific, and include suggestions for alternative wording (or deletion). Do not preach or complain.

  4. Fill out the Public Input Template document as a Microsoft Word file (.DOC or .DOCX), and submit it via email to

Hopefully, our voices will be heard this time around. Our goal is to enlist the help of 10,000 people. We hope you will join with us and SPEAK UP!


Make your voice heard -- SPEAK UP!

Although the CUSD staff has been directed by the Board of Trustees to craft a Sex Ed curriculum that is more in line with the wishes of parents in our district, that newly proposed curriculum will not be available for parent review until November 2018.  A lot can happen between now and then. So, please continue to reach out to the Trustees, sharing with them your concerns and thanks for choosing to take our district in this direction.  We all hope that the curriculum CUSD creates will be one other districts will want to emulate because of overwhelming parental support.

Click HERE for a list of the CUSD Trustees' email addresses.

And, click HERE to see a sample letter we like that is reasonable, cooperative in tone, and informed. The letter is part of a post titled: "Why We Aren't Fans of the OPT OUT". Letters do not need to be this long -- in fact, it's probably best that they be on the shorter side.  Use your own words. Speak your own mind. And, don't forget to thank the Board for taking time to listen and act on behalf of the people they represent.

Share what you know with others -- STEP UP!

Your voice is important, but it will be amplified when others speak with you. Please JOIN UP so you can receive weekly updates to content and other important information.  And, share our website with your friends so they can learn what you now know -- if many stand together we can make a difference.

How to Bring a Better Sex Ed Curriculum to Your District

The folks at Ascend have created a wonderful Parent Toolkit that clearly explains what a parent can do to affect positive change in their school district regarding sex education policy and curriculum.

If we WAKE UP (learn all we can about the issue), STEP UP (share what we know with our friends), and SPEAK UP (share our concerns and ideas for solutions to school board members), we WILL make a difference.