California is at it again. Just about the time I think I’ve heard it all something new pops up. In 2015 California passed Assembly Bill No. 329 the Healthy Youth Act.

This act covered California sexual education curriculum from K to 12th grade.

Some folks have taken to social media to misinterpret this law as an act that prohibits parents from having their kids opt-out of certain parts of the curriculum.

This is sort of true — but not quite.

Opt-Out Options

How much sex education is too much sex education? I think the parents should be the deciding factor in what forms of sex education their children are exposed to.

That’s not exactly the case in Orange County, California.

Here’s what the law says:

“In brief, the law specifies that parents or guardians can withdraw their children from sex education under the Healthy Youth Act:

A parent or guardian of a pupil has the right to excuse their child from all or part of comprehensive sexual health education, HIV prevention education, and assessments related to that education through a passive consent (“opt-out”) process.

  • A parent can withdraw a child from comprehensive sex education, as a whole curriculum (both instruction on HIV and STI prevention, and instruction on sexual orientation, gender identity, relationships and so on)
  • A parent can withdraw a child specifically from only the instruction on HIV and STI prevention
  • A parent cannot withdraw a child specifically from only the instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

If they allowed a parent to specifically target instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity, a school or school district could fall foul of non-discrimination laws. The department of education spokesperson told us “it would violate EC 220”, a part of California’s Education Code, which states:

No person shall be subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic…including immigration status, in any program or activity conducted by an educational institution that receives, or benefits from, state financial assistance, or enrolls pupils who receive state student financial aid.” 

Discrimination VS Parental Rights

This law starts in kindergarten. I’m not sure I’d be comfortable with my 5-year-old learning all about sexual reproduction.

He or she may have just gone through the traumatic news that’s there’s no Santa Claus. This might be a little much.

Orange County parents do have the right to opt their child out of all sex education, or they can opt out of just the HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections.

But there’s no way they can opt out of the LGBT part because as we all know that would be discrimination. It’s all or nothing with this group.

But there’s a fine line between discrimination and parental discretion. I object to the state having the final say.

Some Final Thoughts

In my opinion this makes no sense whatsoever. Parents should have the right to determine the quality of education their children receive.

I’m fine with the teaching of when the War of 1812 happened but not as sure about teaching preschoolers how babies are made.

Parents should be able to opt their kids out of any curriculum they disagree with for any reason. I wish my parents had been anti-math, but I was forced into algebra.

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