Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

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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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45 Comments

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Ahchooo Sep 03, 2020 02:13 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

Actually, it’s when children don’t know what is happening and don’t have the words to describe it that they are at more danger from certain molesters. Fear of even mentioning their body parts can lead to bad secrets being kept.

ChillinGrillin Sep 03, 2020 11:03 AM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

Typical fear-mongering from the pearl-clutchers. Most of Europe already has universal sex education in schools yet only 18 states in the US have birth control in their sex education curriculum. Abstinence-only education or lack of sex ed entirely is directly correlated with higher STD and teen pregnancy rates. It's good that the school district is being forward-thinking on this issue. Society is changing and sex being confined to marriage is a fantasy and pretty much always has been.

a-1599156363 Sep 03, 2020 11:06 AM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

CHILLIN - thanks for pointing out, once again, how far behind the rest of the world this country is. The USA is worldwide joke now. I've never been more ashamed of our country. It's time to move into the future folks! We need to stop the conservative movement to keep us in the 1950s while the rest of the developed world is in 2020!

a-1599156210 Sep 03, 2020 11:03 AM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

First educate the parents if K-12 is truly interested in sex education, who in turn can then pass on what they think is appropriate for their own children. Otherwise, stay the heck away from this subject. Schools did not earn the right to teach this topic according to their own distorted standards by default. But by lack of imagination and working with the parents themselves. One more example of the nanny state gone wild and the incessent micromanaging of our lives and state indoctrination of our youth. Have a session with parents first and explain why the schools feel they should usurp this topic for the parents. Then offer the course to the parents to see what is at stake and how far this state instruction will go. Then if parents consent to topic and content, either the parent can educate their chidlren or they can allow the schools to do this for them.

Lucky 777 Sep 03, 2020 10:55 AM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

I agree with MINIBEAST that anyone who thinks their kids have not been exposed to WAY more than they were "back in the day" ought to look up the WAP video. If the schools want to counteract that constant barrage of sexualizing media with some conversation about disease and pregnancy prevention, that's good. And probably the kids with the more prudish parents who are unwilling to discuss sex need it most.

Ahchooo Sep 03, 2020 09:46 AM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

They don’t leave sex ed to the parents because so many parents simply don’t teach their children about sex. With so many diseases transmissible by sex, having knowledge is truly a matter of life and death. But I’m not saying the schools need to teach all the details—the parents and the community do need to weigh in on these decisions.

SBLetsGetAlong Sep 03, 2020 08:29 AM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

Is the school promoting sex by teaching about anal & oral?

“the material is only available in English. ”
Schools are going bilingual, yet important materials are English only? Seriously?
And how do you think the Hispanic community would feel if they knew their children are being taught about anal?
Is the school going to teach kids about pegging & Strap on dildos? That’s “safe sex”

Look at the demographics of teen pregnancy, yet the materials are not in Spanish?
Look at the culture that are happy when they’re teenagers are pregnant.
These issues are parenting issues. Some cultures like teenage girls having babies while others don’t.
Are we placing Caucasian European values on other cultures?

Any material taught in a PUBLIC school needs to be transparent. Any material taught to minor children needs to be transparent.
Tax payer monies are paying for this.

These are our children, not the districts children. Let me parent my child.

Lorax Sep 02, 2020 11:37 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

Our school board has failed us on too many issues. With reason, parents are wanting to be more involved and are questioning the choice of curriculum to be used.
To me this article makes good points .
1 concern over incorrect medical information
2. Lack of transparency , parent involvement and availability to review material.
3 The key issue is there should be an option to choose between the teen talk or the Heart Curriculum
4 The importance of sex education is clearly respected and validated as necessary

GrammaSB Sep 02, 2020 09:17 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

Of course it's best to try to stress abstinence but given the times we are in it's tough. So the next option is talking about safe sex. People need to realize it's not just about unplanned pregnancy it's about a potential life long disease. Parents and students should not be bullied into these classes nor shunned if opting out the same goes for people expressing a respectful opinion on a sensitive subject. Everyone involved in sexual activity that isn't sure of their future should take responsibility for their actions and practice safe sex with some form of condom/barrier. Remember your not just having sex with the current person you are also having sex with their prior partners. Aids is forever, herpes is forever, condyloma /hpv can lead to cancer. Hopefully the school board won't fail our parents and students. Good Luck!

a-1599105974 Sep 02, 2020 09:06 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

Maybe the last sentence of the editorial is the point? There are too many issues raised with no clarity. I do not grasp the thesis of this editorial.  
Opting in keeps too many people from participation, and has a huge labor component. What if every kid had to opt in to saying the Pledge of Allegiance? Pretty unwieldy.

a-1599105250 Sep 02, 2020 08:54 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

Some input from Planned Parenthood Education site (yes, I'm partisan toward education and I used to work at PP): ------------------------------------------
https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/for-educators/what-sex-education

"The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education was developed by a national task force of experts in the field of adolescent development, health care, and education. They provide a framework of the key concepts, topics, and messages that all sexuality education programs would ideally include.

The Future of Sex Education Initiative (FoSE) seeks to create a national dialogue about the future of sex education and to promote the institutionalization of comprehensive sexuality education in public schools. They have developed the first-ever National Sexuality Education Standards, National Teacher Preparation Standards and many additional toolkits and materials to strengthen comprehensive sexuality education implementation and professional development.

a-1599105354 Sep 02, 2020 08:55 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

Links from above: -------------------------------------------------------------------------
https://siecus.org/resources/the-guidelines/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
https://advocatesforyouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/josh-fose-standards-web.pdf

Minibeast Sep 02, 2020 06:02 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

Tune in to YouTube and listen to WAP by Cardi B. Better yet, watch the video version with lyrics. Forget what your generation learned or did. Kids age 11 and 12 were having sex parties back in the mid-80s. 40-odd years later, teens and pre-teens will have their own parameters when it comes to sex. It's a whole new world; more sexed up than ever. You better believe they're starting "early." Just before those hormones kick in, best and smartest thing to do is to educate them all to the pitfalls and most effective precautions when engaging in sex.

Seabird Sep 02, 2020 08:00 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

@AHCHOO, sorry to break it to you, but the educational system is probably the LAST place that young, innocent-minded kids are sexualized in today's society. Trust me, they are learning about it at a ridiculously young age from their classmates and the internet. At least let's give them some accurate and real information.

420722 Sep 02, 2020 07:14 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

Amen Ahchooo. I was a wild child, like really really bad, but in other areas, I was absolutely not having sex in 7th grade. Wasn’t ready or even thinking about it. If it’s not on their minds yet they really don’t need to know about getting their assholes licked just yet.

Ahchooo Sep 02, 2020 06:19 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

Yeah, some kids were having sex parties in the 80s, but a lot of younger kids were not thinking about sex at all. I am completely on board with sex ed being taught in school, but there’s got to be a way to allow the younger, innocent-minded kids from getting sexualized in the name of education.

a-1599090855 Sep 02, 2020 04:54 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

Ya'll are a bunch of prudes. The kids are doing it anyway. Studies show that sex education leads to lower STD transmission, lower pregnancy rates, and increased emotional maturity. The US is so scared of sex it's ridiculous. Many European countries teach it openly and are better off.

a-1599104539 Sep 02, 2020 08:42 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

I was about 14, had read "The Joy of Sex" and Masters & Johnson summary in a popular paperback. I had sex with an older male when I was 14. My two best girlfriends had both already had sex. Actually, all 3 of us had sex with men at least 19 or 20 years old.
I'm still okay with that fact. Glad the sex was good; glad I wasn't fumbling with another teen. 2 out of 3 were in relationships that lasted over a year, or two, maybe more.
Yes, it's happening out there. Education is good.
Sorry to not address the details of the editorial. Some of it was a bit unclear; I'm not certain what the author is objecting to.
(Young sex? The year was '74, I think. Two girls I knew hooked up with camp counselors from Rancho Oso. Sorry, but most parents are simply blind.)

sacjon Sep 02, 2020 05:23 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

As uncomfortable as it makes a lot of us parents to even consider their kids hearing this, it is important. Kids need to know how to be safe and I guarantee most parents are relieved they don't have to discuss some of these more "advanced" situations.

Shmonk Sep 02, 2020 05:01 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

Seriously. What is this 1975? It's best for the kids to learn about this stuff in school, in addition to what the parents choose to teach them at home. The teen pregnancy rates prove this

a-1599104231 Sep 02, 2020 08:37 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

Read closely: "...Protected oral sex on anus.”
There's your answer. You must know about dental dams! You were around during the AIDS crisis when this came into fashion, at least as sex ed, weren't you? -- said fondly.

Ahchooo Sep 02, 2020 06:15 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

Pitmix, there are things like female condoms, and sex versions of “dental dams” that are basically thin shields, made of nitrile or other rubbery substances, that are designed to serve as shields for various kind of physical contact. So maybe not technically condoms, but barriers.

sacjon Sep 02, 2020 04:50 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

AHCHOO - I agree, but what good is a condom going to do for "oral sex on anus?" I don't want to be graphic here, but a condom on your dinghy isn't going to matter if your mouth is doing something else....

a-1599088128 Sep 02, 2020 04:08 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

There's an election coming this November, with 8 candidates for three seats on the SBUSD School Board. Although there are two candidate forums for the Assembly and Senate, there is none for the very important School Board race. However, Jerry Roberts, newsmakerswithjr.com, has been interviewing candidates --- so far 5 have been interviewed and there are some very interesting non-incumbents participating. ...If you don't like how things are run, get into the fray and do something about it!

sbalice Sep 02, 2020 10:18 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

Agreed! NewsFlash: Coalition for Neighborhood Schools is hosting a Candidates' Forum for candidates running for Santa Barbara Unified School District. Thursday, September 17, 2020 7:00-8:30 on Zoom. To receive the Zoom link, learn more about CNS, or to submit a question to the candidates, kindly email cns4schools@aol.com. We look forward to your participation! Thank you! Alice Post, Membership Chair CNS

LFG Sep 02, 2020 03:37 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

The sex ed curriculum is not online for a reason. Teachers unions don't want you to know what they have decided to teach your kids and at what age. Dig into what they're teaching and some of it is stuff that unless you've watched pornography, you've not even thought of it yet but, these 'educators' will ensure our kids are thinking about it at 8,9,10, 11 years old. They are taking sex education out of the hands of parents and THEY decide WHEN AND WHAT your kids are going to learn about sex. Like most things in public education, it's all about politics and not education.

pstarSR Sep 02, 2020 03:37 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

So the problem is that they stated use a condom for anal sex, and the author is upset because condoms are not "rated" for anal sex? So, people are gona have anal sex, sorry to be the bearer of bad news. but it happens. So rather than tell them "dont use an unapproved condom", how bout airing on the side of caution and having them wear one anyways. better than nothing right?

sbdude Sep 02, 2020 03:36 PM
Sex Education Instruction Must be Accurate and Inclusive

The school district goes out of its way to keep any controversial curriculum hidden from public view. "Oh, it's copyrighted" is the response for things like this, Just Communities' materials, and anything they don't want the public to see.

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