SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Dozens of parents chanted "Too much, too soon," and " Protect our kids, protect our kids," before the school board meeting Tuesday evening.
This is the the third time in less than one year that parents have shared their concerns about the district's Sexual Health Education Program (SHEP). The district started teaching the program last year to students in sixth, eighth and high school following the state's passage of the California Healthy Youth Act.
Ashley Bever is a substitute teacher in the district and mom of two middle school students. She kept her kids home from school Tuesday in protest of the program that she calls too graphic.
"I don't think you need to give kids more explicit content in order for them to make good choices. We just want it to be age appropriate," she said. "We don't think talking about oral, anal, and vaginal sex in the sixth grade is entirely appropriate or telling middle schoolers you can use a flavored condom."
Other parents told the board the material promotes sexual experimentation and doesn't do enough to promote abstinence and pregnancy prevention.
"It's not about sex education, it's not about biological science, it's about promulgating and pushing a world view upon them. It's about sowing the seed of idea of gender confusion, gender dysphoria is what you're trying to promote," one parent told the board.
District officials say students can opt out of the program with a note from their parent. They say less than one percent did so in 2017.
The board maintains the program is state mandated, but attorney Dean Broyles with the National Center for the Law and Policy said that's not true.
"There are only recommended curriculum, there are no mandated curriculum under the CA Healthy Youth Act because it's too new and a framework has not even been developed yet," said Broyles.
Broyles told the board parents have been waiting almost a year for the public records that show how the curriculum was adopted. He told the board if they don't get the records soon, they'll go to court to fight for them.
The board did not take any action on the issue. The item was not on the agenda. Parents say they've been asking the board to put it on the agenda for nearly a year.