December 10, 2018
It was a rainy Thursday night in Desert Sands, California, but the real storm was inside -- at the district's school board meeting. That's where more than 200 parents packed into seats to protest the schools' radical new sex-ed curriculum. Sound familiar? It should.
Desert Sands is like a lot of other California school districts trying to come to grips with the state's mandate on sex education. Under the 2016 Healthy Youth Act, schools were ordered to make a lot of changes to their most sensitive subject -- including controversial discussions on premarital sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation. And so far, parents are beside themselves. At last week's meeting, administrators tried to calm down moms and dads, who were angry -- not only because the changes were being made, but because they didn't have access to them! Parents demanded to see the lessons, only to be told by administrators that they were "unable" to provide them.
One after another, parents protested the changes -- getting into several heated back-and-forths with district officials. "It should be up to the parents to teach kids about sex," said one mom, Michelle Hitt. And while families can opt their children out of some of the 13 components, the ones about gender and sexual orientation are required. "We go by what the Bible says, and there [are] only two genders," one parent shouted. Another dad insisted that this whole curriculum undermined what they were teaching at home. "I want sex to be taught to my child in the context of marriage. They teach marriage as a type of relationship. We teach marriage as the ultimate relationship."
Marcus Wood, who's in charge of Desert Sands's secondary curriculum, argued that parents should be more supportive of the state's goal to "validat[e] both traditional and non-traditional families." That didn't go over well either. To tamp down some of the frustration, Wood said his office would upload as many resources as it could to the website. By Friday, the Desert Sun's Joe Hong wrote, not one of them had been.
Unfortunately, this same scenario is playing out in different cities across America. If there is a silver lining, it's that more parents are not only paying attention to what their children are learning, they're standing up and saying something about it. This is exactly the kind of vigilance we need to practice in schools everywhere. It's easy to make a difference if we pay attention. To learn how you can get involved, don't miss this important conversation from a few months ago with Elizabeth Schultz and Karen England, who tell parents everything they need to know about how to fight back against this agenda.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.