After an emotionally-charged meeting on Wednesday afternoon, California’s State Board of Education voted to approve new guidelines for educators across the state on how to teach sex education.
The new guidance is not mandatory, and simply updates the framework by which teachers instruct their students in sex education. It folds in more materials about the LGBT community, gives tips for discussing things like masturbation with middle-school students and puberty with transgender teens.
LGBT groups praised the changes to the framework, applauding the state’s efforts to shine a light on a community that is often overlooked in sex education. But opponents of the changes worry that the new guidelines might infringe on parental rights, and that they, not their child’s teacher, should be the ones to broach the subject of sex with their kid. There were also concerns voiced about the kind of content that children would be taught and the age at which it would be taught to them.
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Samuel Garret-Pate, communications director and spokesperson for Equality California, a statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization; Equality California is also a cosponsor of the Healthy Youth Act, which led to the guidance passed yesterday