California's sex ed guidelines are 'shocking' and 'medically risky' for kids, teacher says

A sign outside a classroom taken in 2016.
A sign outside a classroom taken in 2016. | REUTERS/Tami Chappell

California’s controversial new sex ed guidance contains medically risky advice that reads like it was written by a college fraternity, says a former public school teacher who’s been helping parents mobilize against the curriculum.

“It’s shocking,” Rebecca Friedrichs, the founder of For Kids & Country, said in an interview with The Christian Post when describing the condom relay races 10- and 11-year-old girls have been participating in at schools where, in front of boys, they’re taught how to put a condom on a model of an erect adult male penis.

Students as young as 11, she warned, are also being taught to engage in risky sexual acts, such as experimenting with oral and anal sex with their “partner.”

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“It is medically risky on multiple levels. And when you read the curriculum … it’s written almost like a college fraternity wrote this curriculum in a very crass and a juvenile way,” she said about the guidance she described as “troubling” and not age appropriate.

“I always tell people that the scary thing is, I’ll give radio interviews and I can’t even say on the radio things that are being taught in our elementary and middle school classrooms in mixed company. There’s something very wrong there,” added Friedrichs, who taught in public schools for 28 years and was the lead plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court case Friedrichs v. CTA that paved the way for a precedent-setting ruling that freed public sector employees from having to pay annual union dues.  

“No one believes it until they see it,” she said of the curriculum. “Now that we’ve been able to help parents to understand what’s actually in the curriculums and they’re viewing it for themselves, they see the urgent need to rescue the kids. Now there’s a groundswell of parents that’s growing fast and fighting back.”

Earlier this month, California’s Board of Education voted in favor of changes to its sex ed guidance for kindergarten through 12th grade students known as the Health Education Framework. It aligns with the California Healthy Youth Act, also known as Assembly Bill 329, the state’s comprehensive sex ed law that passed the state Assembly in 2015 and became law on Jan. 1, 2016.

AB 329 was passed by all Democrats and one Republican, Friedrichs told CP, “And the coalition of supporters was the California Teachers Association, the California School Boards Association, and the California State Parent Teachers Association.”

Parents across California have been organizing protests for months to voice their opposition to lessons on gender fluidity and what they see as the sexualization of their children.

One concern for many parents and groups, such as California Family Council, was the content of the newly approved books that the Board of Education wanted to make available for teachers.  

For example, one of the proposed books, titled S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties, features explicit descriptions of anal sex, bondage and other erotic activities.

The book, along with a few others, was removed from the list in the guidance. 

“It’s important to know the board is not trying to ban books. We’re not saying that the books are bad,” said State Board of Education member Feliza I. Ortiz-Licon, the AP reported.

The new guidance for public and charter schools statewide is the first in the nation to require that students be taught lessons on transgender topics starting in pre-K and kindergarten. While parents can opt their children out of sex ed lessons on sexual health, they cannot take their children out of class when lessons are being taught about gender fluidity and same-sex marriage.

“The reason why people cannot opt out of the gender identity [lessons] is because the unions and their allies have labeled that anti-bullying,” Friedrichs added. “It’s this anti-bullying campaign so that LGBT children don’t get bullied because they claim there’s this big problem with bullying of those children. There’s a big problem of bullying everyone. Everyone gets bullied, that’s a problem. We teach kindness and Judeo-Christian values to combat bullying.

“What the unions do,” she said, “is they push their agenda by saying, ‘We have to stop all this bullying, so every single child in America needs to be exposed to this anti-bullying in the form of gender spectrum and gender identity. It’s caused a lot of confusion for parents here, because parents will say, ‘Oh, I don’t need to worry, I can opt out.’ Well, you can’t opt out of all of it.”

In March, hundreds of parents and concerned California residents attended a public hearing held by the Instructional Quality Commission, an advisory body to the state board, to voice their opposition to the Revision of the Health Education Framework. Since then, protests have continued outside the state Capitol and district school boards across the state.

The framework, The Washington Post reported, covers six subject areas: nutrition and physical activity; growth, development and sexual health; injury prevention and safety; alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; mental, emotional and social health; and personal and community health.

In kindergarten through third grade, children will learn about gender identity; they’ll be taught about masturbation in fourth through sixth grades; in seventh and eighth grade they’ll learn about consent and sexual abuse, and in ninth through 12th grade, they’ll learn more about “contraception and healthy sexual relationships, including advice for LGBTQ students,” The Washington Post added.

A draft of the framework says in part that kindergarten through third-grade students can begin to “challenge gender stereotypes” and that “some children in kindergarten and even younger have identified as transgender or understand they have a gender identity that is different from their sex assigned at birth.” It also advises teachers to “Discuss gender with kindergarteners by exploring gender stereotypes and asking open-ended questions, such as what are preferred colors, toys, and activities for boys/girls, and then challenging stereotypes if presented.”

The LGBT activist group Equality California told The Sacramento Bee that the framework “provides all students with the education and tools to lead healthy lives.”

“We don’t believe any of this will prime students to do anything they wouldn’t normally do,” said Equality California’s communications manager, Josh Stickney. “It’s important to dispel myths and stigma around sex health for the LGBT community. That starts with awareness and sex education.”

Not all parents are alarmed when they read about the California Healthy Youth Act and comprehensive sexual education. They think, “Oh, what’s the big deal?” Friedrichs said. “Unless you know some of the jargon that they use, you might not even be alarmed if you read the law. You should be [alarmed,] there are some alarming things. But it might not alarm everybody.”

“What’s happened is the California Teachers Association and the National Education Association have taken over our schools, and they control a lot of school boards by getting their activists on our local school boards and using teachers to phone bank and do campaigning. Teachers have no idea they’re being used to push an agenda. The unions are pushing the agenda,” she asserted. 

“They use the PTA as a front to pass all these kinds of horrific things to convince people that ‘oh, this must be perfectly fine, the PTA’s behind it,’ so people won’t question it.

“There are multiple other organizations that are involved. Another huge organization that is involved in this is the ACLU,” she said. “And what they’re doing in California is the ACLU sends out curriculum approvals, saying they’ve approved these six curriculums for use with the California Healthy Youth Act.

“They all work in partnership, and they all work in partnership with the state and national teachers’ union. And this is a very personal agenda for many people within the state and national teachers’ union. They are activists who’ve planted themselves in our schools to push this sexual, social and a political agenda. They work with constantly with the Human Rights Campaign, they work with Planned Parenthood, they work with GLSEN, and the NEA works with the Kinsey Institute,” she added.

Friedrichs first learned about the condom relay races being used as part of sex ed in California schools when a concerned mother contacted her about it. “In that case, a school board in Northern California had already allowed the curriculum before it became law. And when this mom found out about it, she started pushing back." 

Some teachers also are alarmed by the sex ed training they have to go through, including learning how to use anatomically correct, fully erect adult male penis models for teaching lessons about sex to their young students.

The teachers unions, in collaboration with far-left activist groups, are to blame, according to Friedrichs. “And the reason I keep saying the teachers unions because they are the root of all of this. … They use teachers’ dues money to lobby for it, to write laws, and they work with Planned Parenthood, and the Gay-Lesbian, Straight Education Network, and the Human Rights Campaign and the Kinsey Institute. All of these groups are working with the teachers unions to push this into our schools. … I don’t want teachers to be blamed and they are being blamed.”

“I’ve had teachers tell me that they plan to take two months off work so they don’t have to teach this,” Friedrichs continued. “The problem with that is, they wrote into the law that if a teacher refuses to teach it, or is ‘unqualified to teach it,’ then the experts come in to teach it. So now Planned Parenthood or GLSEN is going to sexually indoctrinate and abuse your child in the classroom.

“So the teachers can escape, but the kids can’t unless their parents know to opt them out. And they can’t escape from the gender stuff. So the fact that they wrote that into the law shows that they know teachers would be against this stuff. Because why else would they have it so that if the teacher didn’t do it then Planned Parenthood or GLSEN would step in.”

Parents who are mobilizing against the sex ed guidance that they see as pitting their children against them and the values they’re being taught at home can sometimes blame the teachers, and wrongly so, she said.

“Techers are really confused, because parents start to attack the teachers, thinking the teachers agree with this stuff and they don’t,” Friedrichs stressed. “The unions have planted some activists in our schools who are pushing it, so it looks like all teachers agree when they don’t. And the teachers don’t know this coming from the union. So then the teachers end up just terrified. They don’t know what to do.”

As an educator, Friedrichs told CP that she long ago took up the fight to battle corruption in teachers unions. After her lawsuit against the California Teachers Association was heard by the Supreme Court, she said God laid it on her heart to write a book, and she did. It’s titled Standing Up to Goliath: Battling State and National Teachers' Unions for the Heart and Soul of Our Kids and Country and is a compilation of testimonies of teachers, parents and students, that exposes how unions and far-left activists groups “degraded the teaching profession and are damaging our children.”

Friedrichs reiterated that it is vital parents not blame teachers for the sex ed curriculum that’s being taught at their children’s schools, but instead “adopt a teacher” and give then a copy of her book “so they can learn what they’re funding with their union dues.” Teachers unions pocket $5 billion a year tax free, she said, and things like California’s sex ed guidance can be stopped, she believes, if teachers stop handing over their hard-earned dollars to the unions.

In California, another part of the sex ed curriculum states that teachers are supposed to teach students where clinics like Planned Parenthood are located and how to get there.

One bill proposed in the state assembly earlier this year would put the number to Planned Parenthood or another abortion clinic on student ID cards.

“And we’re supposed to tell them that at age 12, you have the right to obtain free birth control, including the morning after pill and abortion, without your parents knowledge or permission,” she warned.  

One game Friedrichs said students as young as 11 are taught to play is called “Tell it to Tanisha.” As part of the game students talk about their sexual interests and discuss experimenting with bisexuality, and any concerns they might have about contracting AIDS.

“Mind you these are 11-year-olds, so it’s this casual attitude of sleeping around with anyone — homosexual, bisexual, out of marriage. And they claim that they are teaching the kids about marriage and adoption. And when you look at the curriculum, there might be one little short mention or a few short pages on that stuff. And it’s all full of all the other, pushing sexual ideas onto the kids,” she added.

Anyone who pushes back against this, she said, gets labeled as a hater or gets attacked by the ACLU or placed on the SPLC’s Hate Map, she warned. “That’s how they control everybody. They’ve terrified the whole country. Everyone’s afraid to push back because they’re going to be labeled a hater and the ACLU is going to come after them.”

Two groups that have been fighting back against teaching gender fluidity in schools are Mass Resistance in Massachusetts and the law firm Pacific Justice Institute, both of which are listed on the SPLC’s Hate Map.

PJI was listed on the Hate Map for defending families whose kindergarten children were traumatized after their teacher read a book about changing genders called I Am Jazz. The teacher didn’t get parental permission before reading the book because she was not required to do so under AB 329.

The parents responded by speaking up at a school board meeting. And the teacher, Friedrichs said, was rewarded with a Teacher of the Year award by the teachers’ union.

When a group of parents in Southern California started pushing back two-and-a-half years ago, she said, parents and grandparents went to the school board, but members didn’t take action because they were threatened by the ACLU and the SPLC.  

“I have had multiple school board members tell me anonymously that they have been personally threatened by the ACLU. So they’re scared. So when parents come in and complain, and they can’t understand why the school board won’t listen to them. And then the parents who push back are called haters and all this stuff, and they just want to protect their kids,” she added.

Follow Melissa Barnhart on Twitter: @MelBarnhart

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