The Health and Welfare curriculum was upheld by trustees of the San Diego Unified School District Tuesday despite backlash from parents who called it “pornographic” and “misogynistic.”
The curriculum includes the districts “3R’s” program or “Rights, Respects, and Responsibility.”
The district’s sex education curriculum was approved last year but the debate over what is education and what is explicit sex did not end.
On Tuesday, the SDUSD Board of Education heard from parents on both sides of the issue.
“Significant portions of this pornographic, misogynistic sex program directly conflicts with sincerely held religious beliefs,” one parent said.
At the center of the debate seems to be cartoon illustrations found in a video clip on a website recommended to students.
Health and Welfare staffers say the message is that pornography isn't real relationships.
"This curriculum is highly regarded, implemented in hundreds of districts across the country,” Resource Teacher Rachel Miller said.
Concerned Parents of San Diego Unified came to the board meeting asking for a change.
"It is not medically accurate nor is it age appropriate and it is not values-free facts,” one parent said.
The school district says the curriculum teaches students about sexual orientation and tolerance and trustees unanimously voted to keep the program it considers to be reflective of the times.
One mother supported the decision, sharing that her son asked about sex when he was in the second grade.
"It is not too much too soon,” she told the board. “It is not enough and not early enough.”
The "3 R's" is taught in 6th, 8th and high school biology classes.
There was one change approved, the web site recommended along with the program will no longer be suggested to students.
A district spokesperson says educators are still using videos from the site but only in class.
The superintendent also directed staffers to make it clear to parents; their kids can opt out of the program.