The new guidelines, which encourage teachers to discuss gender identity and LGBT relationships with students as young as kindergarten—even amid significant protests from parents—have stirred controversy.
Instead of focusing on circulating myths about gender, or even informing teachers they should cover the gamut of sex-education possibilities, perhaps California should focus more on academic achievement.
Over the past three years, the California Department of Education compiled a 700-page document that includes current research about sexual health and education, particularly far-left progressive concepts about the so-called fluidity of gender. While teachers aren’t required to teach all of the guidelines, this blatant attempt at indoctrination follows suit with California’s progressive priorities. In 2015, the state became one of the first to address LGBT issues within its sex-education curriculum.
Parents and other protesters rallied outside the hearing held in Sacramento where the state’s Health Education Framework considered changes, but ultimately only made a few.
In a statement, the California Department of Education said, “Our priority is to make all children feel comfortable at school. Dispelling myths, breaking down stereotypes and linking students to resources can help prevent bullying, self-harm, feelings of hopelessness, and serious considerations of suicide.”
Some of the most controversial aspects of the guidelines that were recommended for removal included two book recommendations, “Changing You” and “S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties”—both books that recommend inappropriate material for children far too young.
“Changing You” is directed at young children, but includes illustrations of female and male genitalia and descriptions of sex. “S.E.X” includes descriptions of how to perform anal sex and bondage.
While it appears these books were removed from the guidelines, they are still listed as resources for parents on the state’s website.
It’s appalling that these books, neither of which seem age-appropriate for a school to be introducing to children, were suggested reading for teachers in a classroom.
It’s one thing to teach students, when it’s age-appropriate, about the basics of sex. It’s quite another to teach a student about bondage or gender fluidity. These are topics that parents can and should delve into, when they and their children are ready to address them. This isn’t the job of the state.
Some parts of the guidelines still suggest material inappropriate for teachers to present to students.
The Sacramento Bee reports, “Despite large protests, the department unanimously approved new guidelines for elementary school grades about sex trafficking, sexual orientation, and how to support transgender and non-conforming students in the classroom.”
California’s guidelines inform teachers that students in kindergarten can identify as transgender, includes tips for discussing masturbation with middle-schoolers, and creates “an environment that is inclusive and challenges binary concepts about gender.”
While California students can decline from participating in classes where sexual health is discussed, the state requires students to attend classes that present social issues as norms, such as gender identity and same-sex marriage.
Given the fact that U.S. students on average are struggling to keep up with their peers worldwide, in terms of academic performance—particularly math and science scores—perhaps the state of California might consider redoubling its efforts regarding academics.
Instead of spending the better part of the past three years compiling a manifesto about social issues such transgenderism and kinky sex acts, perhaps California’s Department of Education should stick to encouraging teachers to teach math, science, writing, and reading, so when these children graduate, they can compete with their peers on a global scale.
Not only is California inserting itself into the sex lives of children, teaching them things only parents should discuss, they’re also distracted from the real goal of education, which is a child’s academic success, not a robust sexuality or a progressive mindset.
Nicole Russell is a freelance writer and mother of four. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Politico, The Daily Beast, and the Federalist. Follow her on Twitter @russell_nm
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.