In California, thanks to the passage of a new law, there is now what’s called “comprehensive sex ed”—and it’s extremely unpleasant stuff. Today, we’ll speak to two parents from Rocklin, California, who are leading parent opposition in their community to what they consider obscene and pornographic curriculum. They’ll explain the concerning details about content that could soon reach more classrooms across America. Read the interview, posted below, or listen on the podcast:
We also cover these stories:
- The Dow Jones plunged over 700 points Wednesday after the bond market sent a recession warning.
- The Labor Department is proposing a rule to safeguard religious freedoms of companies contracting with the federal government.
- Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler discusses ongoing case of the assault against journalist Andy Ngo.
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Daniel Davis: I’m joined now over the phone by two parents from Rocklin, California, where local public schools are set to implement a new and, frankly, shocking sex ed curriculum for kids.
The parents are Rachel and Courtney, and they’re affiliated with a group called Informed Parents of Rocklin. They requested that we not use their last names to protect their privacy.
Thank you both for calling in today.
Rachel: Yeah, no problem.
Courtney: Thank you.
Davis: How did you both become aware of this new sex ed curriculum and what motivated you to take action?
Courtney: … We met a couple of years ago. We actually met at a school board meeting where our children were attending a school that facilitated a lesson in kindergarten on transgenderism. And since then, we’ve just been paying attention to the changes in education in the state and have been researching and trying to inform other parents about what’s being taught.
Rachel: And for me, last year it became personal because my son was in seventh grade and in our district they do sex ed in seventh grade and ninth grade.
I had heard that they had changed the sex ed curriculum the year before. So I, of course, wanted to know what that was about and went to the parent information night that they held [for] us a school. Even though there were about 500 seventh-grade students at the school, there were only about 20 parents in the room. That was kind of shocking to me because I knew that it was new.
[The] sex ed curriculum used to be two or three videos that they show the kids, and parents would come and preview the videos and know exactly what our kids will be taught. But now, with the new curriculum, it’s 13 lessons.
So for 13 whole 45-minute periods, they’re teaching our kids comprehensive sex ed. That’s almost 10 hours of information.
Of course, there’s no way for parents to know everything that’s going to be taught in a one-hour parent information meeting. So very little of the material is presented to the parents. And of course, they don’t tell you the worst of it.
So that night, even though I knew better, I was kind of thinking to myself, “Oh, this actually isn’t as bad as I thought.” But then they give the parents a chance to look through this binder. It’s like a 3-inch binder of these 13 lessons.
And parents are coming over saying, “Hey, did you see that there was anal sex and oral sex in here? And did you see this activity where they ask the kids to imagine they’re a different gender?”
We’re just kind of poring through this information, trying to get what we can. And we asked if we could get a copy of it to review at home because it’s so much and they told us no, but that we were welcome to come back to the office and look through [it] at any time.
Since then, we actually have bought the books, Courtney and I, and a few of us have been reading over the curriculum and researching other curricula that are being used across the state.
Parents don’t realize that it’s not just that 3-inch binder of 13 lessons. Teachers also have access to slides that parents don’t see when they go into the office to view the curriculum. In order to view the slides, you actually have to have a code. So most parents aren’t seeing that material, and that’s where we found some of the most objectionable things.
Parents also don’t understand that there is a list of resources that our kids are given, and if you follow those links, you go down this rabbit hole that leads to some pretty shocking things.
Davis: Yeah, you mentioned a few of those things. …
This is something that we’ve seen in several school districts across the country. A couple of months ago, we had a lady who was fighting a similar battle in Arlington, Virginia, public schools, and really concerning material.
You mentioned there only being 20 parents at the initial conference. Even among those who showed up, were they concerned? Did they express objections? And if so, how were those responded to?
Courtney: Yeah, definitely. At the meeting, the parents who were there were concerned, most of them. But like I said, there was only 20 parents in that room. So I took it upon myself to text pretty much everyone that I knew and let them know, “Hey guys, did you realize what’s in here?” And I went and took some screenshots and sent them around.
Of course, parents, when they find out, they are shocked. … There’s just so many parents that don’t know. And that’s why for me and Courtney and our group, that’s one of our main objectives, is just to educate parents because, of course, parents should know. No matter how they feel about this, they need to know what’s happening in their kids’ classroom.
Davis: What would you say are some of the most concerning parts of the curriculum to you?
Courtney: That’s a really tough question. We find more and more every day, believe it or not.
There’s a sex ed toolkit that’s available to teachers to use and present to their students where they have a whole page on sex toys. They teach the kids about the different materials that those sex toys might be made of. They tell the kids to be sure to clean them before passing it off to a partner or moving from one hole to another.
They also have a little box at the bottom with a picture and it says, “If you don’t have money to buy sex toys, cucumber, carrots, and bananas make great dildos.” I mean, it’s totally obscene.
There’s also a lot of interactive lessons, which is really concerning. There’s one lesson for seventh grade where … every kid in the class is given a card and their card either has a body opening card or a body fluid card. So some of the kids will have a card that says vagina or anus or mouth, and then other kids will have anal fluids, blood, saliva, semen, etc.
So if the kids have a body opening card, they have to go around the room and find a friend who has a body fluid card and make a match and tell the class whether that match could transmit HIV. And keep in mind, this is boys and girls together, seventh graders who are 12. And these interactive lessons are really concerning to me. …
That’s one thing that’s really concerning is that many of the lessons, particularly in the curriculum that’s being used in my district, the kids are encouraged at the end of each lesson to turn to their neighbor and discuss. And there are a lot of group projects.
So keep in mind, we’re talking about seventh graders here and we all know that there’s a wide range of maturity levels among seventh graders. You have the sweet little girls that have never seen a PG-13 movie and the cuss words hurt their ears, and then you’ve got kids on the completely other end of the spectrum that are watching all sorts of mature content and telling dirty jokes and vaping in the bathroom and who knows whatever else.
So you could have these two extremes sitting next to each other during sex ed and the teacher says, “Turn to your partner and discuss what we just talked about,” and that really concerns me because the teacher can’t possibly monitor every conversation that’s going on in the room. And let’s be honest, they’re going to be an inappropriate conversations.
I just think that’s really scary for the cute little sweet girls on the one end of the spectrum. And we know because we’ve talked to kids who have been in these classes, that there are kids who will think of the most inappropriate things to say or questions to ask. They think it’s funny or for them, it’s basically a free pass for kids to say whatever thing they want and get away with it.
Then of course, in the health framework, which was just passed, it gets even worse. So this is a framework, it’s not yet curriculum, but it will be showing up in our kids’ classrooms in a few years.
They have suggested supplemental books for the kids to read. There’s a book that’s meant for fifth graders that is suggested, and it teaches them about the G spot. It lists 20 different slang words for their private part. There’s a girl book that lists the girl parts and a boy book that lists the boy parts.
Another book that’s meant for fifth graders has a section on mutual masturbation and oral sex and it teaches them how to do those things in detail. And this is for fifth grade. Those kids are 10 and 11, and there’s so much more. There’s so much more.
Davis: It’s incredibly concerning. Do you know how this even got passed? Who passed this? Was this a school board decision?
Courtney: Yeah. That curriculum is based largely on a law that was passed by the assembly. It was implemented in 2016.
Davis: The state assembly?
Courtney: Yes, the state assembly. And it’s called the California Healthy Youth Act.
At the time, there weren’t that many parents that spoke out against the adoption. There were several family rights groups who testified, but really just a handful of groups. And unfortunately, due to the political climate in California, it passed without much backlash. That’s specifically related to comprehensive sexuality education.
The health framework, which has gained a lot of interest, is being finalized right now and over the last nine to 12 months, there were a small group of vocal parents from Southern California that really helped to bring awareness to a much larger audience.
Social media helped a lot with that, actually. It led to hundreds of parents rallying at the state Capitol and speaking out at the Department of Education.
When they had public comment hearings, they spoke in opposition to the framework and we did have some success in hopefully removing some of the really obscene resource books that we found.
Unfortunately, those resource books, while they’re staying or are being removed, they’re still accessible through various links listed in the existing curriculum. I receive text messages every week that were intended to be sent to my seventh-grade son. He would have received that information from his teacher and how to access this information.
It sends kids links to all manner of things, like YouTube videos about sexual activity that actually won’t show up on my phone when I try to open them. My phone has content restrictions and it actually shows them as restricted, so I can’t even access them. But the schools are giving our kids this direct information.
Also, there’s a lot of emphasis on how kids can find their nearest clinic. There’s even an activity in the curriculum where kids write the directions to their nearest clinic.
Rachel: Abortion clinic. Yeah.
Davis: Wow. Have you talked to your kids about this upcoming curriculum and are they able to even opt out?
Courtney: Yeah. We think it’s really important that parents talk to their kids about their bodies and living a healthy lifestyle and how to protect themselves from disease.
A lot of people think that because we object to some of this graphic stuff that we don’t want to talk at all about having healthy sexual lifestyles for our kids. We just think that we should decide as parents what’s appropriate for our children and we want parents to know what’s in the curriculum so they can decide that for themselves.
And if the curriculum isn’t what they want, yes, they can opt out. The state of California requires schools to notify parents that they may opt out of the curriculum, that they have to do that in writing. Parents have to proactively send written notification that they don’t want their kids to take it, which is why parents now think that it’s what we did 20 years ago and it’s puberty and basic things, not graphic descriptions of oral sex.
So that’s why we think it’s important that we want parents to know exactly what’s in the curriculum so that if they choose to opt their children out, they can find alternative resources that might be a better fit for their family.
Davis: … I’m sorry. You mentioned kindergartners being taught about transgenderism earlier, and I want to ask about that because it’s something that is a growing issue, kids feeling pressured to think of themselves as a different gender or being confused and maybe even pushed toward gender transition, at least in certain parts of the country.
Is that something that you’re concerned about, kids in the class being confused and pushed toward something that could lead to irreparable changes to their body?
Rachel: Yes, absolutely. So what’s on our flyer … referring to the health framework that was just passed that Courtney talked about.
This is not actually in the curriculum right now. It’ll be showing up in our kids’ classrooms over the next couple of years. But as you said, there are already several cases where teachers have pushed their own ideology onto kids and this transgender ideology.
You may be aware of the parents in Oregon who are suing their school district because a teacher was holding their kid back from recess to show him transgender videos and books, and now their child is very confused and in therapy. We’ve actually seen some of that here locally, too.
Courtney: Yeah, we know of several cases locally where kids were exposed to a child in their classroom changing their gender and now seeing that they are no longer the boy that they knew all year, that they are now a girl, or vice versa.
These kids are asking their parents at night when they’re sitting in bed, 5-year-old children asking their parents, “Mommy, can my sister become my brother?”
We know of kids who were afraid to touch their siblings’ clothing because they’re afraid that they would change their gender, a boy who was afraid to put his sister’s clothes away because he thought if he touched his sister’s clothes, he would become a girl. Kids are asking if the blood will change from a girl’s blood to boy blood.
Another kind of concerning thing is we’re hearing kids ask if they’re gay or lesbian because they love their friends and a little girl likes to hug her little girlfriends on the playground and they’re asking their parents, “Does that make me gay?” That’s just opening up a lot of questions in their minds that they are really just too young to have to deal with.
Davis: When you speak to the school administrators or members of the school board and you express your concerns or objections, what kind of response have you gotten?
Courtney: Some school administrators and even some curriculum specialists that I have spoken to when I’ve gone into the district to look at the curriculum, they aren’t even fully aware of the entire content of the curriculum.
For example, this text message that I receive on a weekly basis, the majority of teachers, I think, who are sending that information out, they don’t know what the kids are actually receiving. They don’t have the time to follow through on all of the resources.
And school administrators and curriculum specialists, they don’t even know exactly what’s being taught. Some of them know enough to know that they wish it wasn’t taught at all and some of them think that it’s really valuable and want it to be taught at younger and younger grades.
We’re finding that regardless of their personal position, but most will just say that they’re required to offer it and they just remind parents that they can opt out of it.
The problem is that the way the law is, parents are not allowed to opt out of gender identity, sexual orientation, and relationship, that that portion can be taught outside of comprehensive sexuality. And schools are not required to offer an opt out or even notification.
So this is why kindergarten teachers are reading books and holding kids back about this, “Maybe you should be changing your gender,” without legal kind of safeguards for parents.
Davis: Last question for you both. A lot of other parents in other districts might be facing similar kinds of things coming down the pike for their kids. What can they do to get out ahead of this trend and try to stop this curriculum from coming to their schools before it’s accepted?
Rachel: That’s a great question. And I hope that parents in every state are paying attention to what is happening in California because, as you know, what happens in California, so goes the rest of the country.
So we as parents need to be involved at every level at our schools, with our school boards, and at the legislature. We should use every tool available to us to exercise our parental rights, which, like we talked about already, includes opting out of comprehensive sex ed if we don’t want our children to participate in it.
Also, sitting out of school if our schools won’t respect our values, and of course, voting out candidates at all levels who support policies and bills that are in direct opposition to our deeply held convictions and that threaten the health and safety of our children and our parental rights.
It’s really important that parents get involved and start waking up because we’ve come to understand that we can no longer trust the Department of Education. At least in California, we don’t feel like they have our children’s best interest at heart. So we need to wake up and get to work.
Davis: Well, Rachel and Courtney, really appreciate you both sharing about this. It’s sobering, but something that I think parents across the country would be very interested in. So thank you so much for sharing.
Rachel: Yeah, thank you.
Courtney: Thank you.