New California Curriculum Seeks to Transform How Children View Gender and Their Sexual Identity
This is part one of a three part series about how LGBT activists and state officials plan to use the FAIR Education Act (SB 48), to transform what California’s children believe about family, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and what parents and local school boards can do to stop it.
By Amy Haywood
Parents and the U.S. Constitution are rapidly becoming obstacles for the California Department of Education (CDE) and its plans to implement the History-Social Sciences (HSS) Framework statewide. Rather than abiding by the FAIR Education Act (SB 48), which mandates inclusion of LGBT heroes in history and social science textbooks and instructional materials in public schools, the Framework seeks to radically transform children’s understanding of history. On November 9, in a process that was overwhelmingly dominated by LGBT activists, the California State Board of Education (SBE) voted to adopt K-8 textbooks that reflect standards in the HSS Framework that draw heavily from recommendations from LGBT activists.
It is a transformational effort aimed at changing worldviews by normalizing sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) ideology among California’s children.
The California legislature passed SB 48 in 2011, which requires the inclusion of the role and contributions of “European Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, persons with disabilities, and members of other ethnic and cultural groups…” in social sciences instruction. This law is mandatory, but in regard to its implementation, CDE guidance states that “it falls to the teacher and the local school and district administration to determine how the content is covered and at which grade level(s).” Furthermore, Education Code Section 60002 stipulates, “Each district board shall provide for substantial teacher involvement in the selection of instructional materials and shall promote the involvement of parents and other members of the community in the selection of instructional materials.” The HSS Framework, however, is not mandatory—though some may mistakenly believe that it is. According to Education Code Section 33308.5, the CDE’s guidelines “shall be designed to serve as a model or example, and shall not be prescriptive.”
It is unclear why media have provided sparse coverage of SB 48-related developments and why parents across the state appear to be blissfully unaware of all that transpired in this seemingly public Framework and textbook adoption process. LGBT activists were well organized throughout the entire process, beginning with the creation of a document linked on the GLBT California Teachers’ Association website called Making the Framework Fair: California History-Social Science Framework Proposed LGBT Revisions Related to the Fair Education Act. One of the editors is Dr. Don Romesburg, Co-Chair of the Committee on LGBT History and Chair of Women’s and Gender Studies at Sonoma State University. Romesburg has been a prominent name in the formation of the CDE’s HSS Framework adoption and rollout.
LGBT activists also submitted hundreds of written comments and stacked the hearings with speakers who gave public comments. In July, when I happened to learn about the textbook adoption because of transgender content that I chanced upon on my second grader’s BrainPop program, I submitted a public comment that, at the time, was the only public comment in opposition to the aggressive approach of HSS Framework in the entire state of California. After the alarm was sounded, many parents, educators, citizens and organizations hastily sent in public comments so they would be counted at the final public hearing in November.
Throughout the entire process, the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC), an advisory board to the SBE, depended heavily on the recommendations of the FAIR Education Implementation Coalition, which included the ACLU of California, Our Family Coalition, the Committee on LGBT History, Equality California, GSA Network, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the Transgender Law Center, Safe Schools Project Santa Cruz County, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. In fact, the 10 textbooks that this coalition recommended to the IQC (if certain suggested edits were made) were ultimately adopted by the SBE.
Interestingly, the California School Board of Education rejected the two programs from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) that did not implement the coalition’s suggested corrections and edits. In a letter to the IQC, the coalition recommended HMH programs be rejected “because they fail to include substantial LGBT-related content from the HSS Framework (Criteria 1.2), and lack diverse portrayals of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans (Criteria 1.14).” The letter states that the coalition “has not yet seen any proposed edits or corrections from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,” and that “coalition members’ efforts to work with them to bring their program into compliance with the required LGBT-related content have not been embraced.”
It seems that HMH materials might be compliant with SB 48 (the law)—but not with the HSS Framework (optional). If that is the case, HMH programs might still be candidates for adoption for local school districts who do not adopt the Framework and who look outside of the SBE-adopted textbook list. This is still unclear to me, but I have reached out to the publisher to find out the answer.
Despite the objections of a growing number of concerned Californians, the SOGI content in the 10 adopted programs was retained and amplified. As a condition of adoption, publishers of the 10 programs will need to make IQC recommended edits and corrections as laid out in the 2017 History-Social Science Adoption: Instructional Quality Commission Advisory Report, and here is a sample of what the corrected content (many of which were suggested edits made by the LGBT coalition) will look like for McGraw-Hill’s Impact: California Social Studies, K-5. I pulled this material from page 76 of the IQC’s advisory report.
First graders will read:
“Ellen De Generes, a lesbian and a humanitarian, is a famous comedian.”
“Langston Hughes was a famous gay African American poet.”
For second grade, students will see:
“Lea likes to go to the beach with her dads.”
“Billie Jean King, a bisexual, has also spoken out for gay rights.”
“Nikki Giovanni is a lesbian poet.”
“On June 18, 1983, she became the first lesbian American woman to travel in space.”
For Pearson Scott Foresman and Prentice Hall’s, California History-Social Science myWorld Interactive, K-5, IQC reviewers on page 191 noted, “References to José Julio Sarria’s being gay and dressing like a woman may be too sensitive for 2nd graders.” Instead, publishers have decided to include the following correction to page 172 of the Student Edition and Teacher’s Edition:
Revise feature to read:
José Julio Sarria - Champion of Equal Rights
José Julio Sarria was a leader in California. He ran for public office in 1961. He decided to be honest. He told people he believed strongly in equal rights. He felt all people should be treated fairly. He did not win. But he made people know they had to pay attention to the rights of all people.
José Julio Sarria was the founder of a worldwide help group. This group fights for equal rights. For Sarria, honesty gave him strength. It inspired other leaders to run for office, too.
Write about how José Julio Sarria’s honesty inspired others to run for office.
Interview Your Family
Ask family members to describe a time when honesty helped them stand up for their beliefs.
Change will be reflected on the reduced student edition page of the corresponding Teacher Edition page.
Page 192 of the IQC report shows what the Teacher’s Edition (page 172) will say:
Write the quality of honesty on the board. Explain that José Julio Sarria was an example of honesty because he chose to speak out for what he believed in. Have children read the text, or read it aloud as children follow along. Explain to children that “to run for office” means to try to get people to vote for you to serve in government—to try to get elected by voters. Ask: What was Sarria honest about? (He told voters that he believed all people should be treated fairly and have equal rights.) Engage children in a discussion about Sarria’s honesty. Encourage them to discuss whether being honest or being elected is more important. Ask: Although Sarria was not elected, how was he a hero for equal rights? (Sarria spoke out about people’s rights and helped to start a help group that fights for rights around the world.) Talk with children about why Sarria might have inspired others to run for office.”
Create a Flag Discuss with children that being proud of and comfortable with oneself can help a person be honest and confident. Encourage children to make a list of their own positive traits and write them on the board. The following may be some of the children’s traits: athletic, shy, musical, artistic, funny, creative, friendly, smart. Have children suggest icons, color blocks, or shapes to represent the traits and use them to create a class flag. Display your class flag for all to see at the front of the classroom.
Page 193 of the IQC report shows an additional publisher’s proposed correction for page 172 of the Teacher’s Edition, which states:
If it is appropriate for your class, you might tell the children more details about Sarria. He told the public that he was gay and was a performer who dressed as a woman on stage. His political campaign inspired the movement for gay rights.
The one program that LGBT activists recommended to the IQC for approval with no suggested edits of their own (only publisher-submitted edits and corrections) was Teachers’ Curriculum Institute’s Social Studies Alive! California Series (K-5). Here is an example from page 235 of the IQC report of a change the publishers must make as a condition of the program’s adoption:
C-3, C-4: Lesson 3, Grade 2 flip card and in Vocabulary – the definition for “sibling” says “brother or sister.” There are gender neutral siblings and words that should be inserted here. The assumption that siblings fit neatly into a binary gender dichotomy is antiquated and inaccurate (emphasis added).
Notice here that the correction addresses not historical information, per se, but rather actively promotes the alternative sexual worldview that a person can self-identify his or her gender (sex) based on subjective thoughts or feelings, while simultaneously attacking and undermining the objective biological, historical, and theological (See Gen. 1:27) categories of male and female (the gender binary) as “antiquated and inaccurate.”
This radical deconstruction of gender is very controversial and is known as queer theory. Teaching this replacement anthropology to our children will have far-reaching consequences.
And, though the next examples I will share are not corrections, I wanted to include some passages that weren’t mentioned in the edits/corrections process as an example of the type of content that is par for the course in the 10 adopted programs. The programs are searchable online at the CDE website. (Since this article was published, the programs are no longer online. Only the titles of the approved books are available. Hard copies can be found at Learning Resource Display Centers across the state. Only draft copies will be available at these centers until April or May when the final copies of the books with all of the required revisions and edits will be displayed for the public.) I searched Social Studies Alive! California Series for K-5, an online program, and in a section about biographies, which I accessed from both second grade and third grade programs, I found a page that tells about the life of Charley Parkhurst. It reads:
Charlotte Parkhurst was born in New Hampshire in 1812. As an adult, Charlotte lived life as a man named Charley. Some think that Parkhurst may have found that it was easier to work as a man than as a woman. It is also possible that Parkhurst had identified as a man.
In “Chapter 5: Citizen and Civic Engagement” of Pearson’s myWorld Interactive 3 (for third grade) Harvey Milk is described as a hero in California. The following from page 213 details his life and work:
Harvey Milk was a political leader and a gay activist in the early 1970s. Gay men are attracted to other men. Milk was elected to a local government office in San Francisco in 1977. He was one of the first elected officials in history to tell the public that he was gay. Milk worked hard to protect gay and lesbian rights. Lesbians are women who are attracted to other women. Milk’s work also made it easier for gay, lesbian, bisexual (those attracted to both men and women), and transgender groups to stand up for their rights.
Chaz Bono is a transgender activist. The word gender refers to whether someone is male or female. Transgender people feel that their gender is the opposite of what it was at birth. Bono was born female, but always felt male. He changed his gender and today lives as a man. Bono and other activists fight against discrimination and other stereotypes of their community.
Some parents with a more liberal perspective might think these excerpts are mild, but it’s important to know that the textbooks are just a starting point. In Part Two of this three-part series, I will show you why parents from both sides of the aisle should be very concerned.
If you would like more information, please contact the California Family Council or the National Center for Law and Policy.
Part 2 - Transgender Indoctrination
California’s Universities are Training Teachers to Implement a Radical New View of Gender Identity
This is part two of a three part series about how LGBT activists and state officials plan to use the FAIR Education Act (SB 48) to transform what California’s children believe about family, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and what parents and local school boards can do to stop it.
By Amy Haywood
In part one of this series , I explained how the State Board of Education (SBE) adopted 10 textbook programs that were heavily influenced by a coalition of LGBT activists during each step of the process. The textbook content far exceeds the bill language of SB 48, the FAIR Education Act, which mandates the inclusion of LGBT heroes in history and social science instructional materials. It’s important to realize, however, that the California Department of Education (CDE) and LGBT activists are using the History and Social Science (HHS) Framework, developed by the CDE to guide SB 48 implementation, as a Trojan horse that goes well beyond including heroes. In addition to the objectionable and controversial sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) ideologies found in the newly adopted state textbooks, even more aggressive content can be found in online lesson plans and instructional materials that were not subjected to the state’s vetting process for adoption.
Several universities across the state are involved in the California History and Social Science Project (CHSSP), whose collaborators, such as Dr. Don Romesburg, Co-Chair of the Committee on LGBT History and Chair of Women’s and Gender Studies at Sonoma State University, were key writers for the HSS Framework.
The University of California, Davis provides guidance to teachers and administrators to support them as they implement the HSS Framework in their districts. Dr. Beth Slutsky, Program Coordinator for the CHSSP Statewide Office at the University of California, Davis, in a June 2017 blog article titled, “How to Implement the FAIR Act,” describes teachers who are already implementing these changes on their own. She writes:
Since January we’ve had the honor of traveling the state to introduce educators and administrators to the new HSS Framework. Regardless of where we go, the FAIR Act is a topic that educators are seeking guidance on – especially the question: “What does it mean to implement the FAIR Act?” Or more to the point on the minds of administrators: “How do I know if my school – and my classrooms – are in compliance with the FAIR Act?” This question seems to come from a place of genuine interest in teaching the state-adopted materials. But it also seems to be rooted in an anxiety about protecting oneself from a parent or administrator that’s concerned about either too much or not enough coverage.
For teachers in school districts that have not yet adopted the Framework or new materials that comply with the FAIR Education Act, Slutsky refers them to the Framework for guidance and offers this advice:
First, in elementary school, especially as students study local families and communities, students deserve to see themselves, their families, and their community represented. For example, in second grade, as students learn about many different family structures – single-parent, adopted parent, grandparent-headed households – same-sex parents should of course be on the list.
Second, when students learn about gender (whether it’s family structures in the colonies, marriage in the Early Republic, or childhood during Industrialization for example), an inclusion of LGBTQ individuals is absolutely appropriate. Students will learn that just as race is an idea and an identity that changes meaning over time – the same concept should be applied to gender and sexual identity.
Third, as students learn about civil rights or social protest movements, they should be learning about LGBTQ and disability history. These connections come easily to students who already learn how movements for racial, ethnic, and gender equality emerged and built on one another in the twentieth century; layering in the role of LGBTQ individuals and Americans with disability is a necessary and natural connection.
What these three points begin to demonstrate is that rather than having the FAIR Act be a separate – discrete add-on kind of topic – that the way to fully implement it is to fit it in alongside existing themes, questions, and topics.
She ends her article by recommending that teachers use “more fully-developed curriculum” available online, such as lessons and sources from the UC Berkeley History Project.
What I found at the UC Berkeley History Project site was stunning and disturbing. On a page titled “The California FAIR Education Act,” I found lesson plans informed by scholars of the history of gender and sexuality, and particularly the work of Professor Don Romesburg. One of the teacher resources, “History UnErased,” linked to a program called “Sez Me.” According to the show’s description:
Sez Me began as an LGBT web-series for kids and evolved into a multidisciplinary educational program for all ages. Hosted by drag queen Charmin Ultra with cartoon anchor Hello Mellow, Sez Me captures unscripted interviews with children from all backgrounds. SezMe.me is an affirming, uplifting, colorful and educational tool to engage all people in conversation about gender and identity. This is the show we wish we could have watched when we were kids!
Part 3 – Transgender Indoctrination
Prevent Transgenderism Being Taught to Elementary School Kids: Advice & Action Steps for Parents
This is part three of a three part series regarding how LGBT activists and state officials plan to use the FAIR Education Act (SB 48) to transform what California’s children believe about family, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and what parents and local school boards can do to stop it.
By Amy Haywood
LGBT activists and the California Department of Education (CDE) are pushing a radical sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) ideology on California’s children through the History Social-Science (HSS) Framework and 10 textbook programs adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE) on November 9. In Part One, I explained the biased adoption process and gave examples of the radical, transformative, and controversial content of the state-adopted textbooks that CDE hopes local school districts will adopt. In Part Two, I explained how outside organizations and online content available to teachers for lesson planning falls completely outside of the adoption vetting process and is a Trojan horse for queer theory (replacing the gender binary of male and female) and other ideas that are inappropriate for children.
Practically speaking, what do the HSS Framework and the SBE textbook adoption mean for local school districts, teachers, and parents? According to a legal opinion memorandum from constitutional attorney Dean Broyles of the National Center for Law and Policy, “…California school districts are completely free to comply with the FAIR Education Act (SB 48), while at the same time exercising their legally sanctioned authority to ignore all or parts of the more aggressive HSS Framework and the CDE suggested textbooks. Indeed, the California Department of Education’s own FAQ on SB 48 acknowledges the discretion of ‘the teacher and local school and district administration to determine how the content is covered and at what grade levels.’”
I have spoken with an administrator at Learning Support Services in the Poway Unified School District, just north of San Diego, to ask for the district’s timeline for any new textbook or framework adoption for history and social sciences. Poway is just at the beginning of this process, and key decision-makers now know that the HSS Framework is not mandatory and that a growing number of parents in the district are vehemently opposed to the radical nature of the CDE-adopted HSS Framework.
Unfortunately, other school districts are rapidly moving to implement the HSS Framework—while parents remain in the dark, possibly due to lack of media coverage, poor public outreach on the part of CDE, and a lack of transparency at the local level. According to Dr. Beth Slutsky’s November blog article, 6 Strategies To Guide your Textbook Adoption in History-Social Sciences, school districts can review the 10 SBE-adopted instructional materials packages and pilot them. Slutsky writes:
I’ve heard from a number of teachers that they have been put on committees to meet with publishers to initiate this process. This process usually takes a year, and involves leaders – ideally with a significant amount of content expertise and teaching experience – reviewing and analyzing different components of texts. According to this kind of timeline (which districts are by no means obligated to follow, though I know a number of them are), materials would be reviewed this year, piloted in the 2018-2019 school year, and implemented in the 2019-2020 school year.
So, parents, time is of the essence. Find out what your school is doing and where they are in the adoption process. Make sure they know that the HSS Framework is not mandatory and that you do not want your elementary school-aged children exposed to SOGI ideologies. Meet with key people in your district who are in charge of textbook and framework adoptions. Lobby board members. Speak at board meetings. Ask questions. Meet with your children’s teachers and principals to find out exactly what is currently being taught to your children. Write your local newspaper. Share this article with the leaders of your church, mosque or synagogue to spread the word on what is happening. Be intentional about teaching your family’s values to your own children so they are not defenseless and easily swayed when a person of authority shares this objectionable content with them. And, finally, register to vote in order to vote these policy-makers out of office.
And if your pleas fall on deaf ears, there’s always the U.S. Constitution, which may provide legal options.
Broyles, in his previously mentioned legal opinion memorandum (that has already been distributed to several school districts), stressed the following:
The FAIR Education Act (SB 48) affirms the ultimate authority of school boards, teachers, and parents regarding instructional materials–the HSS Framework and suggested curricula are not mandatory.
The textbook changes being promoted by LGBT activists affirm a new “transformational” sexual worldview, intolerantly denigrating the worldviews and cultural values of others.
The HSS Framework and California Department of Education (CDE) curricula undermine legally protected parental rights to direct the education and moral development of their children and to determine what is age appropriate.
Unconstitutional government-compelled speech is coerced by the approach embodied in the HSS Framework, suggested curricula, and board policies promoted by CDE.
Unconstitutional state anti-religious hostility and discrimination pervades the HSS Framework and suggested curricula.
Gender dysphoria is not a healthy lifestyle choice and should not be promoted by California’s public schools.
Actions taken by local school districts to implement the HSS Framework and accompanying instructional materials will certainly violate the U.S. Constitution (which overrides the state in such matters), so it looks like parents have legal recourse if their local school districts adopt the HSS Framework and illegally force a transformational sexual worldview on our children.
Here’s a short history lesson for the CDE and LGBT activists. Indoctrination is not the answer. History shows us that forcing Orwellian replacement ideologies on people never turns out well. In our system of government, people can live in freedom only if religious and secular beliefs are on a level playing field; otherwise the ones who were once oppressed become the oppressors. The First Amendment is meant to safeguard us from government coercion of beliefs and conscience. The FAIR Education Act only provides for the inclusion of LGBT heroes in instructional materials; it does not mandate a complete revision of history and our understanding of what it means to be male or female.
It is unconscionable that the California Department of Education is promoting this unscientific dogma in classrooms across California. The CDE, CTA and LGBT activists are out of touch with the parents of this state, and I am horrified and outraged at their disrespect for children, families, and the U.S. Constitution.
If you would like additional advice or help with pushing back against LGBT activists’ plans for your school district, please contact the California Family Council or the National Center for Law and Policy.