Some parents say a new sex education curriculum in the San Diego Unified School District is too much, too soon. They are calling for the school board to suspend the curriculum until it is revised.
The new curriculum is called Rights, Respect, Responsibility, a sexual health curriculum for students in 6th and 8th grades and high school.
Rachel Miller, a resource teacher with the district’s Sex Health Education program told NBC 7, the change was made to comply with a new state law. The district began implementing the new curriculum in October, 2016.
“We have parents who feel there is too much information in the 6th grade. We have parents who feel it is fantastic and inclusive of all students in the district, and it’s available now,” said Miller.
Miller said the curriculum changes include a discussion of human trafficking and affirmative consent. It also includes affirmative recognition of all sexual orientations.
For example, she said, “We always discussed anal sex as a way of HIV and SDI (sexually transmitted infections). We always discussed puberty and reproductive anatomy. What's new in this curriculum is we need to affirmatively recognize all sexual orientations and explicitly use same sex couples when we give an example of couples.”
According to the petition the curriculum “far exceeds what the new law requires, undermines parents, has detailed, graphic descriptions of oral, anal, and vaginal sex and encourages behaviors including mutual masturbation to children as young as 11 and 12.”
“We use medically accurate language," Miller said. "We use academic language. We do not provide a how to, nor do we provide images of those activities.”
Miller added that parents can always opt out of the instruction, but the district has to comply with the law.
Parents leading the petition drive did not want to comment. They say they will comment Tuesday when they present the petition to the school board.
One parent did put the petition on the app NextDoor.
The responses were varied.
“This seems to be European approach which has proven very successful at reducing teen pregnancy and STDs,” wrote one person.
Another response read, “Parents need to be respected when dealing with their own children. There is less and less opportunity to opt out these days because the introduction of transgenderism is finding its way into every corner of the curriculum.”