Parents in a California school district are protesting a sex education book meant for high school freshmen that they think goes too far in the content it covers.
According to KPIX-TV, the book that will be used this fall in the Fremont Unified School District includes topics like masturbation, bondage, orgasms, the use of vibrators and how to buy and use condoms. It includes pictures and diagrams that parents think are too explicit for their teens.
"Your Health Today" will be introduced to high school freshmen in Fremont, California, this fall, but some parents have signed a petition against the book for explicit content. (Image source: KPIX-TV)
“It’s a bit much for me, I’m not comfortable with my child – I mean, wow, that’s, the graphics are extreme – oh my gosh,” parent Latonya Stevenson told KPIX, looking at some of the book. “They are very pornographic. The pictures are very explicit.”
Though more than 1,600 parents have signed a petition against the book, the school board president, Lara Calvert-York, defended it, telling KPIX "[o]ur high-school students today need all the tools they can have to arm themselves to make the best-informed decision." The news station also pointed out that teachers unanimously agreed upon the book earlier this year.
"Your Health Today" was reviewed and decided upon with input from some parents as well, costing the district $204,600, according to the Oakland Tribune.
District Superintendent Jim Morris said that the teachers won't be covering the topic of sex toys in the book and noted that aspects of anatomy are "required to be taught."
"It’s part of students’ learning about their bodies,” he told KPIX.
Watch the news station's report about the uproar of some parents and the school district's response:
While the district doesn't plan to change its stance on using the book, the creator of the petition pointed out that parents can opt their child out of the class if "the course conflicts with [...] religious training and beliefs."
Some parents might even go a step further though. The Oakland Tribune reported that Asfia Ahmed, a parent and also an employee of the school district, said she might actually sue if the book is used, arguing that it's a violation of state law for the course to include information that is not age appropriate.
"[...] I am a very liberal person, and, in spite of that, I still find the book shocking," Ahmed told the Tribune.