Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive
By Rosanne Crawford of Santa Barbara
Our Santa Barbara School district is considering Heart and Teen Talk curriculum to update this required health class for 7th grade students
There is community opposition and controversy over medical information.
Assembly Bill 329 (California Healthy Youth Act) requires information include all FDA-approved methods of reducing the risk of HIV.
Stated in Teen talk page 162: “Low risk in getting HIV — Protected oral sex on anus.”
Students are not being told medically accurate statistics regarding the effectiveness of condom use in anal sex according to an Orange County Pediatrician. They are not being told the truth that anal sex is the highest risk behavior for transmission of HIV and other STDs especially since condoms are not FDA approved for anal sex.
We want transparency and a voice in the choice of Sex Education Curriculum that is inclusive and approachable by English and Spanish speaking families in selection of this Jr High health class.
We needed more community input to comply with Education Code 60002. This Code states “Each district board... shall promote the involvement of parents in the selection of instructional materials"
Our Santa Barbara School district has failed to do this.
Teen talk is copyrighted and not available on the Internet for review which makes it difficult for parents to access to evaluate.
In this challenging time of Covid, an appointment must be made with the district to come into the office and no photos are allowed of any content.
If that isn't limiting enough, the material is only available in English.
The Heart Curriculum for sex education is an option that meets the standards of AB 329 and is available both in English and Spanish and can be accessed online.
It is important that Latino families have equal opportunity for access. This is the transparency the families of this district demand.
Zoom is not a platform in which transparent inclusive review is effective due the copyright on the materials. Parents are in the dark because of lack of access online or in printed material
Parents understand and value the need for this health education and want their children to have sex education that covers reproductive health, sexually transmitted diseases and gender discussion.
At minimum, the district needs to table this decision until we resume board meetings open again for workshops so that parents that want to participate can view both curriculum and have input and access to instructional materials.
"Opt" out as a choice is not acceptable. Opt out is to be "shut out"
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