My Experience With the Roll Out of CSE

Jan 2, 2021"Sexuality" Ed, Personal Stories

I would like to share some experiences of the roll out of CSE in California. In my own district, science teachers reported hearing kids in middle school walk out of lessons saying, “I didn’t know you could do that” to their friends. These same teachers said the kids themselves would beg to finish lessons early or skip them altogether. They were not enjoying them much. In another district, a high school chose a book for English that included a situation where a man was fantasizing about being a girl for a day. At another school in this district, a male substitute teacher claimed he was a woman and then supervised middle school girls changing for PE class. The district could do nothing because he identified as a man. This same substitute teacher taught elementary grade levels, dressed as a woman, which further confused and upset the young children. There is a story of a teacher who was prepping for the 2019 lesson plans and the principal and Human Resources called him in amd wanted to discuss what he would be teaching. He responded that he taught to the law of CHYA and not beyond. The result  was that they pulled him from teaching CSE because he wouldn’t teach the graphic things in the curriculum. He was harrassed horribly and had to seek counseling as a result. 

A young girl was asked for her pronouns and she said she didn’t want to participate. They told her she had to. Her mom came to school to help her and was told she couldn’t see her daughter because the school was a closed campus. A first grade teacher was made to teach gender identity and told to not count the number of girls and boys, but just the number of children in her class. In a 9th grade classroom, kids were asked to do an exit lesson/interview. They had to close their eyes and imagine a world where they were the only heterosexual person in the world. They needed to explore how they would feel if they were scared to go outside because people would judge them or harass them. The teacher defended this assignment, once parents and students complained they were uncomfortable with it, because he said he had clearly invited students to come talk to him if they were uncomfortable. What teenager would go speak with the adult who was clearly comfortable with this assignment?

The grooming of young minds also occurs in clubs. Most high schools and many middle/junior high schools have Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs. At a middle school in my own district, there are multiple young women in their early 20s who are still struggling psychologically and emotionally from what they heard in those club meetings. There are high schools where large groups of girls are now graduating as boys. Children are being taught from as young as age 4 that families can have two daddies or two mommies and that they can be whatever gender or no gender. There was a highly publicized case in northern California, where a kindergarten class was subjected to a highly traumatizing event on the last day of school. A boy in the class went behind a barrier while the teacher read “I Am Jazz” to the children. This book details the journey of a young man who stars in the televised show of the same name. This young man writes that he was born in a boy’s body with a girl’s brain. Then the little boy in the class comes out from behind the barrier, now dressed as a girl and is introduced with his new name. The fallout from this was horrific. Parents were given no notification and their children now were home for the summer with all sorts of concerns and confusion. Some kids would wake up screaming in the middle of the night because they were terrified they were going to change genders. One little girl saw herself with wet hair after taking a bath. She began screaming “I don’t want to turn into a boy!”. The teacher of this class went on to be awarded Teacher of the Year by her district. The parents were told their concerns were unwarranted and unwelcome. 

CSE is designed to separate a child from his/her parents and family. Students are regularly told if they want to discuss something without their parents’ knowledge, they can tell their teacher. Districts even have gender transition plans that include instructions of how to help the student transition without the parent knowing or consenting. Students are told they can get birth control, hormone therapy and abortions all without parental knowledge or consent. The strange thing is, students are taught about consent constantly, as part of CSE. This is taught to children, despite it being illegal for a minor to give or receive consent for sex, as a way to help them protect themselves from sexual assault. However, they usually offer students ways to talk about what they’re “ready” for. They teach them to ask things like “Can I take your shirt off?”, knowing that children are often quite unsure of themselves and that girls are pressured to do things by the boys they like. They use the word “pleasure” constantly. They want to make sure they kids know that sex is pleasurable and that they have a right to pleasure. 

History of Roll Out in California

Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) has been mandatory in California schools since January 1, 2016, through the California Healthy Youth Act (CHYA). As such, California families have been dealing with this graphic sex education for several years now. The CA Dept of Ed allowed an unelected body of people, under the leadership of ASHWG, to pre select curricula for school districts to choose from. All of these curricula are Sexual Risk Reduction (SRR) programs, rather than Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) programs. SRA programs typically teach that kids can have relationships that don’t include sex, while SRR programs typically teach that kids are most likely having sex anyway, so why not teach them how to do it safely. 

As there were pre selected curricula, most districts just chose one of them, often without looking at it beforehand. There have been multiple instances of a parent asking about a particular lesson and the district personnel or board member being completely unaware of the content of that lesson. So, as time went on, we became aware that these programs were chosen with little or no knowledge of what was in them. The other thing to know is that the content of these curricula went far beyond the intent and language of the CHYA. CHYA speaks mainly about making sure sex education is inclusive of gender identity and sexual orientation and teaches about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The curricula read more like how to manuals for sex. They teach that there are 3 types of sex (vaginal, anal and oral – VAO). They say they must teach this to make sure gay students feel their ability to have sexual relations is being addressed. They say this is a way to prevent bullying of gay kids. The problem is, many heterosexual kids then engage in anal and oral sex as well. 

When we have mentioned to school districts that there are curricula out there that satisfy CHYA but are not part of the pre selected list, they often turn us down because the ACLU has been sending threatening emails to every district as well as physical representatives to their board meetings. They have been acting like a sort of police arm of CHYA. Districts’ fear of them usually supercedes any concerns from parents or even themselves. 

April has seen the extensive damage this curricula has wrought in California public schools.  She has heard the painful stories from parents whose children came home from school confused, frightened and even disgusted from what they were taught. She has raised her voice in warning at school board meetings, community education seminars, and even at her state capitol against the very real threat of CSE our children are facing.

April Gallart


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