SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Opponents of Assembly Bill 329 (AB-329) voiced their stance at the California Capitol on March 28. Senators, community leaders, and concerned parents alike from all over the state joined together to make a stance against what they described as sexual indoctrination.
AB-329 is described as “comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education,” according to the California Department of Education. It mandates sexual education for students from grades seven to 12. The bill was enacted on Jan. 1, 2016.
Signs and banners were held above the crowd reading “Repeal AB-329” and “Reject the Framework.” In this case, the word “framework” describes the newly planned curriculum for California health education.
In 2011, a bill was passed to teach homosexuality and transgender issues to children beginning in kindergarten. Senate Bill 48 (SB-48) was sponsored by Democratic Sen. Mark Leno and Rep. Tom Ammiano. The new bill expands on SB-48.
Parents can choose to opt their children out of certain aspects of sexual education. Some of the speakers at the rally said that the opt-out process was made to be complex, or even ignored by some educators.
After the rally, the group went to the final meeting of the Health Education Framework to protest its implementation. Starting May 2019, California schools will be mandated to teach content from the new bill.
Two of California’s Republican senators, Brian Jones and Mike Morrell, both representing districts in Southern California, voiced their opposition to the bill.
Jones cited his own family as his reasons for opposition. “The State Board of Education is attacking our liberty with its disgusting and unintellectual proposals,” Jones said. “The parent-child relationship is sacred and special to each family, and parents and guardians know what is best for their children.”
“I don’t like the government to dictate to my wife and I, how to raise our kids,” Jones said.
Morrell spoke of the moral issue of the bill and said that California often guides the United States in policy. “It is said, as California goes, so goes the nation,” Morrell said. “Ladies and gentlemen, California is the battleground for the soul of the United States of America.”
Morrell mentioned the moral side of this argument, loosely referencing George Washington’s Farewell Address in 1796. “Of all the habits and dispositions [sic] which lead to political prosperity, morality and religion [sic] are indispensable supports.”
Morrell said that some individuals in the Democratic Party no longer call themselves progressives, but instead socialists. In response to the bill, Morrell sponsored SB-673, which gives more power to parents to make decisions about a child’s sexual education.
Gheorghe Rosca, who is both a civil engineer and a pastor, spoke at the rally about his family who lived under the communist regime in Romania. “There’s plenty of people who have grown up in communist countries,” Rosca said, pointing to members of the audience. “We’re here to tell you, that we see where this is heading.”
“Communism will take away all of your liberties, and each one of these laws, which communist elites here in California are passing, are taking away our American freedoms,” Rosca said.
Rosca said “the collusion runs deep,” and the people who passed the bill are now in leadership positions in the state’s Department of Education. These individuals are also on the instructional quality commission, as well as the committee, which reviews new curriculum.
Democratic Rep. Shirley Weber authored AB-329, and is a member of the California Instructional Quality Commission. The commission’s responsibility is to advise the state board of education about “matters related to curriculum and instruction,” according to the California Department of Education website.
“They get to review their own curriculum, which they submit for review,” Rosca said. “Conflict of interest!”
Rochelle Conner, president of the Frederick Douglass Foundation of California, gave a similar warning. “This is socialist-communism, and they are trying to remove our first amendment rights, they are trying to remove the education of our Constitution, declaration, and bill of rights in our country.”
Conner said it is not up to the state to decide what is age-appropriate content for children’s sexual education, but rather parental rights.
Aileen Blachowski, co-founder of Informed Parents of California and rally organizer, said that the foundation of the nation is being changed with these laws. Like Morrell, she said California is the staging area for many changes in the United States. “They’re a model for what’s being rolled out around the country right now.”
Blachowski shared a sex-ed book in an interview, which illustrates what she described as inappropriate scenes of romance. “This is cartoon porn,” Blachowski said. She also described the previous bill SB-48 as indoctrination of kindergarten students, calling it “mental molestation” of children.
Stephanie Yates, fellow co-founder and organizer with Blachowski, spoke on a specific intention of the bill. “They want to teach children how to give and receive consent,” Yates said. “Our children are not legally allowed to give and receive consent.”
“If you teach children how to give and receive consent, then we don’t need consent laws,” Yates said, warning about predators taking advantage of children. “It’s state-sanctioned child sexual abuse.”
Marlo Tucker, California state director for Concerned Women For America, warned about the state of California’s education. “They are choosing sexual degradation over academics.”
“How many of you are proud that our great state of California ranks near the bottom of the nation with math and reading scores in public schools?” Tucker asked. According to U.S. News, California ranks 44th in the nation for pre-K to 12 education.
She said the bill “prioritizes hyper-sensitivity, and an ever-changing radical sexual agenda to distract our children from their studies.”
America Figueroa removed her child from public education because of the laws on sexual education in California. Her son, Samuel, stood by her side as she spoke at the rally. “Our kids are not being—are not getting the correct education, they’re getting an agenda [for] indoctrination,” Figueroa said.
“I refuse to let my kids be an experiment to the society or to the legislation,” Figueroa said. “Don’t be afraid to be politically incorrect.”
Samuel, now 10 years old and in the fifth grade, spoke after his mother. He said he was removed from school because the school didn’t honor his mother’s opt-out letter. The letter is to remove a child from participating in sex-ed classes.
“I’m a boy, why do schools need to question my identity?” Samuel said. He cited that surveys were given to students to question if they identify as male or female.
Kira Davis, a producer and political commentator, defended parents who opposed the legislation. “What has bothered me the most about this struggle, is how good, honest, hardworking, taxpaying parents have been painted as somehow hateful, as somehow on the fringe.”
“The conversation about sex and sexuality, beyond the biology of it, belongs in the home,” Davis said. “We are here for our children.”
This article has been updated to reflect that Morrell sponsored bill SB-673, not AB-329. The Epoch Times regrets this error.