Parents in Beverly Hills showed up to their local school board meeting this month to express their shock and disappointment with what they said was the fifth-grade sex education curriculum.
Four parents spoke out about the district’s sex-ed classes for 10-year-olds during the May 10 school board meeting for Beverly Hills Unified School District.
“I feel betrayed, angry, and disgusted,” one dad of a fifth-grader told the board. “Our kids have the right to innocence and not to be exposed to topics that can only confuse them even more than they are as they enter puberty.”
The dad said several topics, including gender identity, were not “openly disclosed” in the email sent to parents about the classes.
“The students for this are ten years old,” the dad continued. “How can the district think this content is even remotely appropriate for this age group and not even make a specific disclosure to parents? It’s unbelievable.”
The dad said he personally requested the course materials, but he pointed out that many parents may not investigate further as they are “busy with life,” and “trust the school to do the right thing.” He also asked them to apologize.
In 2016, the California Healthy Youth Act added to the existing state sex-ed standards, and California began requiring any K-12 sex ed to include instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation. Because sex ed is taught in fifth grade, 10-year-olds are exposed to those topics unless their parents opt them out.
Sex ed in grades K-6 must “teach about gender, gender expression, gender identity, and the harm of negative gender stereotypes,” as well as “affirmatively recognize different sexual orientations and be inclusive of same-sex relationships in discussions and examples,” according to an American Civil Liberties Union handout about the 2016 law.
Another dad of two daughters attending school in the district said the fifth-grade sex ed classes included “a lot of disturbing things” including the idea that “gender is something that many people think they understand but they don’t.”
The dad said he is also concerned about the “lack of transparency” from the school district and urged the school board to share the curriculum “up front” so that parents can make an “informed decision” about whether or not they want to opt-out their children. He also said he is concerned about teachers pushing “personal agendas,” political or otherwise.
A mom, who said she is an OB-GYN and has teenage children, also spoke at the school board meeting and criticized a video, titled “Top Signs Girls are in Puberty,” which she said was included in the fifth-grade sex-ed curriculum and “was not made in a way that supports young girls going through changes in their bodies.”
After the parents complained at the school board meeting, Beverly Hills School Superintendent Michael Bregy extended the parental consent deadline for the fifth-grade sex ed classes, according to an email from Bregy to parents that was provided by the district to The Daily Wire.
“Much like every other subject, the way in which our teachers teach the standards differs from year to year and teacher to teacher,” Bregy wrote in the May 16 email to fifth-grade parents.
“It is critically important that each of our teachers assess the students in their classroom and meet them where they are at, both academically and socially,” Bregy said, emphasizing that the resources teachers use are “developmentally appropriate.”
The Beverly Hills district includes three elementary schools that together serve more than 2,000 students.
The city, a celebrity haven, is nestled within deep-blue Los Angeles County and voted for President Joe Biden in 2020, but pockets of Beverly Hills have voted Republican in the last two presidential elections.
The reaction from Beverly Hills parents is just the latest instance of parents across the country stepping in to protect their young children from what they view as inappropriate sexual content at school, including a progressive view of gender as different from biological sex.