Podcast Publish Date: November 27, 2019 – Click here to listen
Summary: California has adopted new curriculum guidelines for Gender Diversity and Sex Education. In this episode, Amber talks about some of the curriculum being developed and adopted by local school districts in order to meet the guidelines. After listening to this podcast, we believe you will agree that such curriculum has no place in the education of our children. We therefore encourage you to get involved, see what’s coming down the pipeline in your state, and push back against it.
Main Points: 1) California has passed legislation requiring publicly-funded schools to adopt new gender diversity and sex ed curriculum. 2) Curricula has been written to meet these guidelines, and public schools are starting to adopt it. 3) Its interpretation of diversity awareness is problematic in its depiction of character traits of historical figures and in the way it introduces and portrays sexuality as early as second grade. 4) Unconventional and inappropriate sexual methods and concepts are being taught in middle school. 5) A law has been recently proposed to force an “opt-in” for students to participate in sex ed instruction. 6) You can get more information from Californiafamily.org.
Transcript: Hey everyone, this is Amber Aston, administrative director and cofounder for Missio Academy. We wanted to preference today’s podcast by stating that today’s topic is pretty serious and sensitive and not suitable for younger audiences. If you have younger children with you, we would advise that you skip this podcast and listen to one of our other podcasts and return to this one when you are alone, even if you can listen to this with your spouse. We hope that today’s podcast is helpful and informative. Thank you so much for listening! Hey everyone, this is Amber Aston jumping on the podcast today to talk to you about something that I thought was pretty serious. I know a lot of parents may be aware to some degree of what is happening in our public school districts across the nation. Today, I’ll talk a lot about what’s happening here in the state of California, specifically here in Northern California where I am located. So let’s get started. So for those of you that maybe don’t have children in public school or maybe haven’t really paid too much attention or are even aware, a lot of states, specifically California, are adopting and have adopted legislation that is requiring our public schools–and any school that receives public funding–to adopt new curriculum that is more inclusive for the LGBT community. In addition, they are looking and requiring that new sex Ed curriculum be adopted. And so they made these laws several years ago, they were passed, and states and school districts were given several years to kind of get things lined up. And really all that does is that the state will adopt a new law and then, you know, school textbook publishers will go and they will start writing the curriculum, and, you know, in a year or two they’re now peddling those curricula to the school districts to purchase and implement, and they’re writing the standards and things like that to meet the requirements of the new laws. So for this year, the bill I think was passed about two or three years ago, and starting with the 2019-2020 school year, school districts across California were required to start implementing this curriculum. And the way that the California bill was worded was it did give a lot of leeway to school districts to implement how they saw fit, and that’s something I don’t think a lot of parents are aware of. And so what’s happening though is contrary to a lot of pushback from parents, from teachers, from the community–school districts are unanimously adopting this new curriculum despite all of the requests not to do so or to make edits and things like that. And so here in our local school district where we live specifically, our school district had the option of three different curricula ranging from bad, worse, and the worst, and thankfully our local school district did vote the lesser of the three. A school district about 45 minutes away from us sadly voted in the worst of the three options. And so that was started, it was implemented this school year, so our local school kids are now being exposed to this, and today I want to do my best to kind of share some of the examples that parents will see. I am going to use specific examples from the curriculum that are here locally. I know it’s a pretty popular curriculum. A lot of examples and things that you can see are on a great resource called Californiafamily.org. The California family council is a nonprofit religious organization that is political. It has been doing an excellent job of trying to raise awareness of what’s going on in some of these different topics, and again, it is more focused on the state of California, because they are based out of California. But I would encourage you, if you’re in another state, you’re listening, and you may not know what’s going on, and your state may not have voted this in yet, or if you know that you’ve heard rumblings that this is coming, I still highly advise you to check out the website and look at some of the information that they’re supplying. They have gone in and actually taken photos of pages from the actual textbook that is being used here in our local school district, so when I talk about some of the examples today, I am referencing those pages. This isn’t just somebody giving a summary; this is literally–I’m reading–from the textbook itself. So the changes that are happening are kind of twofold: the first half of it is diversity awareness–and if you just say diversity awareness I think all of us would say OK, not a problem. You know, I definitely don’t agree with the LGBT lifestyle, but that does not mean that I disparage the person, nor do I wish to have any harm inflicted on them or treat them in a horrible manner. I believe our Scripture calls us to love them and to call them out of the lifestyle, because I have seen that happen on multiple occasions–God in his grace and his mercy wonderfully go in and draw people out of the lifestyle–and I’ve seen them restored and now living the full abundant life that God has given us and has desired for us to live. So I can say that, from a Christian perspective, you know, I could in some sense agree with diversity training. Yes, we should be kind and love people. But the diversity that they’re presenting, I have a problem with from an educator perspective as well as a religious perspective. So what their argument is is that students of the LGBT lifestyle are struggling academically and in their schoolwork, because they have nobody to self-identify with in their text. So, for example, a young African-American male may feel a natural draw to a lesson or a history lesson that highlights the lifestyle of Dr. Martin Luther King simply because they share a common ethnicity, and there’s some, you know, shared identity. And so they can say yes, I see myself as a young African-American male or a young African-American female; I can aspire to be somebody. If they walked ahead, you know, before me and did great things and helped to make changes in society, I can too. And the argument is that we currently don’t highlight anybody of the LGBT movement in our curriculum, so that those students that are in the school districts that are identifying as such don’t have anything or anybody to identify to. And so the goal of this change is to bring in people and focus maybe not on the fact that they created a vaccine or they, you know, were intelligent or created a new invention, but we’re focusing on them solely because of their gender or sexual identity. And in some cases, these are being worked in such a way that is really kind of weird and it’s just…it’s kind of almost…you’re just lost for words how to describe this. So I’ll just use an example: One of the younger grades–I think this is for first and second grade–there is a whole character development curriculum that’s being taught now here in our local school district, and they are focusing on different traits: you know, honesty, justice…great traits. These are great traits, but they are pulling in people and highlighting people for those traits that is just kind of bizarre. And so one of the ones that stands out is the one on justice, and it highlights California governor Gavin Newsom, and this was very controversial back when it was being voted on because he was running for governor at the time. And so the example in the actual book shows that, you know–I’m paraphrasing–California governor Gavin Newsom was mayor of San Francisco at a time when people weren’t allowed to marry who they loved, and he didn’t believe this was fair, and so he went against the laws of the state at the time and allowed people to marry whoever they loved. And it’s phrased in such a way that’s appropriate for a first or second grader. The fact of the matter is, though, that Gavin Newsom broke the law of the land. At the time, same sex marriage was not allowed, and so he broke the law. It’s illegal to do what he did, and yet they are saying that it’s OK to do that and that he was actually a champion for justice because, you know that same sex marriage–people couldn’t marry who they wanted. And so it’s OK to break the law, and that he is a champion for people in the LGBT movement. And so, you know, from a moralistic perspective, it’s just so crazy to me that we would be showing young children justice and honesty and things like that, and we’re highlighting people that are out there doing the exact opposite. And we’re saying it’s OK to do that because you don’t want to hurt anybody. And so you’re seeing a lot of that included. Another example in–and this is what is so scary to me–is, while the bill states that school districts can decide how young they can include this, we’re seeing, as young as kindergarten, conversations happening with gender and identity. I saw a presentation where the presenter made a comment that was just so powerful, and it said that you cannot have the conversation about gender and sexual attraction without having the conversation about sex. And that’s so true: how do you explain to a kindergartner sexual attraction without explaining the sex? And I think any person in their right mind would say no child in kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, needs to be having a conversation about sex and sexual attraction. In our society, we don’t let them into movies that are rated R, you know, if you’re younger then 17, you know they say, without a parent. You know, pornography is blocked and hidden from children; it’s illegal, you know, to have pornography, or child pornography on computers and things like that, and yet, we feel like it’s OK to expose our young, innocent children to a conversation about sexual attraction and naively think that we are not going to have the sex talk with them. In my mind and in my opinion, this is not only traumatizing–and this is not my opinion, it’s fact–it’s traumatizing for a child that young, but in my opinion, this is child abuse to expose a child so young to something. And so for one of the examples for young children to talk about this and to showcase this, they give them a worksheet where they have a little character of a gingerbread person–this isn’t a gingerbread man, it’s a gingerbread person–and on that gingerbread person, in the area that you would see male/female genitalia, they’ve shown the symbol for the male or female, and they talk about how people may biologically be something, but they don’t have to identify with that. And again, getting into the whole transgenderism, I mean, how do you explain that to a kindergartener or first grader, transgenderism? It’s traumatic. And then they talk about, you know, their brain and how they can identify as something else than what they may physically be. And then they talk about attraction–they have a little heart there–and they talk about–and they have a little sliding scale saying that, you know, they’re attracted to men, women, both… How do you do that? How do you have that conversation with, you know, a first grader–we’re talking about 5, 6, 7, 8 years old–that you’re talking about sexually attracted. You know, that stage: they’re still thinking the other gender has cooties. They don’t want to even be near that other gender at the moment. They’re playing tag on the playground and innocently saying, Johnny likes Susie, and, you know, like and love in their world are so distant from what we’re trying to have this conversation with them–they’re not prepared for it. It’s trauma, and it’s abuse. And this is what’s being presented. Another example I heard about recently was: Students were given a page where they were–and I think this was a little bit older, about fourth grade or fifth grade–I think this was the fifth grade–and this was in the sex ed curriculum for fifth graders, where students were not separated by gender; they were all taught this together. So you can imagine a fifth grade boy sitting next to fifth grade girl–they were given a sheet with a drawing of a woman with her legs spread apart and they were asked to color in as the teacher was describing the different areas in anatomy of the female genitalia, and part of the example that the mom gave was that the teacher was describing which areas of the female genitalia were sensitive. Now I am not sure about you, but what in the world does a fifth grader need to know that information for. That is pornographic; that is sexual abuse in its blatant form. And so this is what’s being taught in some of our schools. So that just kind of segues into the two-prong change that’s happening. So before, like I said, we were talking about inclusivity and diversity and things like that, talking more about, you know, sexual identity, attraction, things like that. Now you get into the sex ed curriculum and this sex ed curriculum again is fifth grade, high school…or junior high, excuse me. And so, you know, before, we were allowed to opt out, and I remember–I don’t know if you remember–when you did sex ed, you know, it was uncomfortable, but it was just pretty basic. There was nothing but the facts, your simple biology, and they may have had in some cases some things that you disagreed with. For example, my parents, they opted me out of the day where they were showcasing and demonstrating male contraceptive. And so that was pretty much about as risqué as they got at the time. Today’s curriculum goes way beyond the basic anatomy and biology lesson. You’re not only getting the anatomy in graphic. you’re getting into topics of sexual activity. And so, for example–and this is a case of where I saw the actual picture from the actual textbook that was being used in the classroom here where we live locally–and so what is being given and taught are things like explaining not only just obviously the act of intimacy between a man and a woman, but they are talking about anal sex–and again I’m going to try to be as polite as possible, but I do you have to kind of say some of this stuff just so you can understand the seriousness of it–but they go into descriptions about anal sex, about body fluids within the act of intimacy, they talk about sex toys. What was just even so shocking and beyond the topic of sex toys was a little box at the bottom that said, you know, Tip: if you are unable to afford sex toys, here are some things that you might have in your everyday home that you can use–and they give some examples of fruits and vegetables–that you could use in place of. I am probably grossing some of you out, and I’m kind of glad, because this is literally what is being taught in our classrooms. Again, this is pornographic. There is no reason and no logical reason why we should be having this conversation with our students. They do not need to know this information. You know, they talk about sexual fetishes in this worksheet, and it goes even further, and I’ll stop there. And so this is the type of stuff that’s being taught in the public school system, and currently our laws state here in California, we cannot opt our kids out, which is mindblowing simply because as parents, I just can’t even begin to understand the logic of telling a parent they don’t have the right to decide what, you know, the child is going to learn, how the child’s going to learn it, and what they feel they’re ready for. Even if you wanted to say and use the argument that well, they’re not going to learn it at home; they need to learn some of this stuff there. You know, come on folks, this is nuts. This is just plain nuts. This is pornographic, it’s child-abuse, and you know, there’s so many children out there and as I’ve said before in the podcast, parents, you know your child the best. Why in the world would they think that parents wouldn’t know if a child was able to handle this or not, even if you were OK with some of the stuff being introduced. So, thankfully, we do have some legislation that’s been presented. It’s still very infant in the process, and I have to say, sadly, I don’t have much faith that it will actually pass. I pray that it will, but the new legislation would actually do two things: it would make it illegal for school districts to hide the curriculum if a parent requests to view it. Currently there’s a lot of complaints out there from parents that are going in and trying to view curriculum that’s being proposed or that has already been approved, and their districts are not being transparent with them. And so they’re having to do a huge number of things and just battle with the school districts just to get access to the worksheets in the curriculum. And so this new law would make it illegal for them to hide that as well as it would also allow an opt out feature. And the way that the bill is actually proposed, it’s wanting the parents to require them to actually opt in; before, you had to opt them out, and if you didn’t do anything or say anything, your child, you know, was exposed to that curriculum. Well, this law would actually require all parents to opt their child into the curriculum so that if they didn’t do anything they would be pulled out. So it’s actually kind of a cool way of forcing, I think, parents to be more observant and to know what their students are being taught in public school. So again, I apologize, cause I do know this is a sensitive topic. I try to be as delicate as I can with it, but I do feel like it’s a very serious thing. You know, we would not even think about putting our child on a computer or providing them books or magazines that are pornographic in nature, and yet, sadly, we are sending our kids to school–to the public school in many cases–and this is what they have in their future. And I know that we’re not there yet in the school year for a lot of California parents, but if you have not had a chance to review that or if you don’t know if your school district has voted in that curriculum, I encourage you, I urge you, I beg you, I plead with you, please go to your district office. Demand to see the curriculum. Know what your child is going to be looking at and being taught and being sent home. Please don’t wait until the day that they come home traumatized because, you know, something was presented to them in class, and your child is now struggling with information that they are not ready to have and be exposed to. So I pray that we can see some changes happening for the sake and the sanity of our children. If your state has not enacted any of these laws, God bless you. You are so privileged. But I definitely would caution you to stay vigilant. For so many states, this is coming down the pike very very quickly. I think there’s about five or six states, including California, that already have this bill enacted, and these curriculum changes are already coming into play, and I know more states are falling in behind them. So if you are one of those, and maybe it’s new, stay vigilant and alert to what changes are happening in your school district. If you have your child enrolled in school district–in a public school–and you may need to look at other options if you can. So if you have any questions, feel free to DM me on Instagram. I’d be more than happy to share links and resources to where I have gleaned a lot of my information and my knowledge. Again, Californiafamily.org is a great website that has a lot of information on this specific topic. They have a lot of the graphics of books and even additional information that I just don’t have time to share in this podcast and graphically I obviously don’t want to state and share just cause it’s just to…I want to be somewhat polite. But again, I would love to hear from you guys. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop us a note anytime. You can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop us a DM on Instagram: we are @missioacademy. We’d love to hear your thoughts about this. If you have any information on this you’d like to share that we may feature on a future podcast, we’d love to hear that from you. Until next time!
Californiafamily.org – Information from the California Family Council, a nonprofit organization.