ROSEVILLE — In many different ways, many times over, parents in the Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District gave their board of trustees a lesson in what they don’t want to see in their kids’ textbooks.
“That homosexuality is OK but it actually promotes it through the discussion of Harvey Milk,” said parent Sam Burgess. “The only reason why he’s in the textbook is because of his sexuality.”
The assassinated San Francisco supervisor and his sexual preference is part of new history and social science curriculum in the rollout of the state’s FAIR Education Act.
It is legislation designed to be more inclusive of historical figures, who also happen to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, portraying their social and civil rights activism in context with what personal factors motivated them.
Explanation of sexual preference and practices, like cross-dressing, would be taught to kids as young as second grade. Before the new curriculum is introduced, teachers will be trained on how to use it in a manner that is age-appropriate.
Some who attended a board meeting Thursday felt it was all too much too soon.
As far as notification to parents of the changes and opportunity to review and help choose the new text, they felt that was too little too late at just 10 days. The material was available from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., when most parents were working.
“Elk Grove School District allowed their parents to view two different curriculums,” said parent Heather Gibson. “Viewing times were from 2 to 8 p.m. and seven different opportunities within four months. Why was there only one curriculum option given to parents to view within this district?”
Parents also had an opportunity to view the material online.
Trustees had little to say about timing but did offer thoughts like the following before a planned vote to put them in compliance with state frameworks.
“I don’t particularly find it alarming and I don’t particularly find it to be persuasive, which is I think one of the themes that I’ve heard from our comments this evening,” said DCJESD Trustee Scott Otsuka.
Only one person in the crowd, who didn’t come to the podium, seemed in support.
“The children can see a naked lady on TV eating a cheeseburger but they can’t be exposed to what is LGBT?” said Sofie Garrido.
Parents booed and some promised to remove their kids from the district as the board of trustees voted in exactly what they didn’t want.
“So, I feel like it’s the wrong age,” said district mom Jaspir Kaur. “It’s not appropriate for a second-grader. So that’s what my feelings are, I’m not happy.”