Newly adopted sex education guidelines encourage California teachers to explain the concept of gender fluidity to children as young as five.
Advocates for the LGBTQ community praised the new guidelines, which were approved Wednesday by the California Board of Education, as an essential step toward addressing the marginalization of gay and transgender youth.
The guidelines do not mandate that teachers adhere to any particular sex education curriculum. But conservative critics claim the more than 700-page document, which recommends various books that instruct students on the particulars of homosexual intercourse, encroach on parental rights.
Many critics were particularly exercised about one section of the report that specifically suggests speaking to kindergarten students — who, according to the document, may already identify as transgender — about the fluidity of gender identity. “[T]he goal is not to cause confusion about the gender of the child but to develop an awareness that other expressions exist,” the framework reads.
“It’s just scary what they are going to be teaching. It’s pornography,” Patricia Reyes, a 45-year-old mother of six who travelled to Sacramento on Wednesday to protest, told the AP. “If this continues, I’m not sending them to school.”
A number of books were removed from the recommended reading list in response to criticism. One such book, titled “S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties,” describes anal sex and bondage, according to the AP.