The California Department of Education’s controversial Health Education Framework is creating more controversy than ever with its 2019 revision process. The Healthy Youth Act is the state’s sexual education program, which is being implemented over the next decade — and while parents who hold to traditional religious beliefs about gender and sexuality may not expect their beliefs be upheld in the public arena, neither do they expect to be driven out of the public arena for their deeply-held beliefs. Yet this is what they are experiencing. One News Now reports that “Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) tells OneNewsNow seventh and eighth graders would be taught to view religious boundaries om sexual activity as ‘spiritual abuse.'”
The California Family Council (CFC) noted to its supporters one way in which this spiritual abuse is biased against their beliefs:
The framework introduces high school kids to the dangers of “spiritual abuse” listed among other types of abuse (emotional, sexual, physical) teens must avoid. Examples of religious abuse include, “Forcing others to adhere to rigid gender roles… . Not allowing a partner to do things they enjoy.” Chapter 6: Grades Nine Through Twelve
While religious views are not going to be taught or upheld in a public school classroom, calling them abusive and teaching students that if they do not conform to their dating partner’s requests they are engaging in abuse can be construed as abusive in itself. CFC notes that the whole curriculum is problematic and biased:
The entire proposed K-12 health curriculum framework, you can read here, consists of nine chapters with several appendixes. It includes 842 mentions of the words “sex,” “sexual,” and “sexuality; 239 mention of “gender,” with “67” in the 4th -6th grade framework alone; and 2 mentions of “abstinence” in the entire 1,000-page health framework.
While clearly these are issues relevant to sexual education in 2019, whether schools should be discussing sexual organs with Kindergarteners is debatable, regardless of parents’ religious or moral beliefs. But the California proposed curriculum has a modification even for Transitional Kindergarten through Third grade:
Meanwhile, over in the middle school arena, the curriculum is equating the world-renowned medical facility, the Mayo Clinic, in the same vein with Planned Parenthood:
The curriculum then suggests inviting speakers from the nation’s largest abortion provider to local classrooms, as CFC reports:
The framework encouraged middle school teachers to invite abortion providers as class speakers. “Guest speakers from your local public health department sexual health clinic, or local nonprofit organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, may have well-informed sexual health educators and age-appropriate materials to support comprehensive sexual health education.” Chapter 5: Grades Seven and Eight
The entire proposed curricular framework for California sexual and health education can be accessed at this link, and includes the standards and guidelines for each grade. Some of the content is beneficial, such as understanding how to recognize sex trafficking, or how to prevent HIV, which are valid topics in high school grades; however, other content has been far more controversial. AB 329, the California Healthy Youth Act, took effect Jan. 1, 2016. Included in the act were controversial aspects such as the fact that “abstinence may not be discussed in isolation from other methods of preventing HIV, other sexually transmitted infections — or STIs — and pregnancy.”
Of course, the state’s curricular materials also have many references to Planned Parenthood and obviously include suggestions to invite the abortion corporation’s representatives to speak to classes — so from not allowing abstinence to be taught in isolation, to only mentioning it twice in the entire K-12 curriculum, to promoting Planned Parenthood, it would seem clear that the doors of California schools are being flung wide open to abortion providers at the same time they are being closed to those who have different ideologies.
Finally, if there were any doubt as to the priorities of the California Department of Education, one only needs to look at the Statewide & National Sexual Health Resources page to see the references the state offers for Californians. In the middle of the list is Planned Parenthood itself. With the way the curriculum and resources are currently set up, a student in a California public school would be hard-pressed to graduate without considering Planned Parenthood as a potential resource.
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