Elementary school teachers in Alameda, Calif., will introduce lesson plans to their educational curriculum beginning next year that address gay and lesbian issues, KCBS News in San Francisco reports.
Kindergarten through grade 5 students throughout the county will be exposed to same-sex educational material aimed at promoting tolerance and inclusiveness.
The curriculum –– which will include lessons to introduce students to “LGBT” (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual) issues –– will be designed to discourage bullying and teasing based on gay and lesbian stereotypes. The plan will be implemented despite objections by parents who complain children are too young to be exposed to the material.
Many parents are condemning the lesson plan as sex education in disguise and are angered that they will not be allowed to exempt their children from the lessons. Opponents decry the curriculum plan as an effort to advance the gay, lesbian and transgendered agenda.
Those opposed to sexual orientation lessons for children are so upset they are threatening to sue the school board, ABC News reports. Promoting gay, lesbian and sexual orientation should be a parents' rights issue, parents say, and is not an appropriate topic for school children.
The Alameda school district's legal counsel, however, recommended the plan because the curriculum does not deal with health or sex education, which are topics that do require opt-out provisions.
“It was the opinion of our legal counsel that this curriculum was not health or sex education curriculum,” school board president Mike McMahon told CNS New.
“If a student responds that one family in the book is made up of a mother, a father, and two children and a cat, you may acknowledge that some families look like this, but ask students for other examples of what a family can look like.”
School Board Member Trish Spencer, who voted against the plan, said she worries that its implementation could lead to the harassment of students who have religious objections to homosexuality. She cited that bullying due to religion is a bigger problem for the district than bullying based on homosexuality.
Also adamantly opposed to the plan is Randy Thomasson, president of the Campaign for Children and Families.
“This will be done whether parents like it or not, and it shows the hostility against parental rights and traditional family values,” Thomasson, told CNS New.
Last month, the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, the voter-approved initiative to make same-sex marriage illegal that passed in November.
The Alameda school board said it will review its decision to implement the curriculum at the end of next year’s school session.