Protesters ask school board to ditch sex education program

Parents call for an end to the San Diego Unified School District's SHEP sex education curriculum.

 

SAN DIEGO – Dozens of parents, clergy, students and community members packed the San Diego Unified District School Board meeting Tuesday to demand and end to the current sexual education curriculum.

About 75 people gathered outside the Eugene Brucker Education Center chanting, “Too much, too soon.  Too much, too soon.” About 30 people brought their concerns inside to the Board of Education.

“We understand the need to teach sexual education and simply want the district to step back and start over,” said parent Ashley Beyer.

Beyer told FOX 5 she and 5,000 other parents have signed a petition, which they submitted to the Board of Education. The petition demands that the district suspend the highly controversial Sexual Health Education Program (SHEP). It asks the district to find and adopt an alternative sex education program that respects what they call community values.

“The district needs to partner with parents in teaching our children age-appropriate information so they can make healthy sexual choices,” said Beyer.

Beyer and other parents at the meeting didn’t go into details, but they claimed the SHEP curriculum gives too much information to children before they are ready to handle it.

“It’s too graphic, too extreme and too over-sexualizing.  It has to be replaced,” said Beyer.

District officials said the SHEP curriculum was successfully implemented in the 2016-2017 school year for 27,000 students in sixth grade, eighth grade and high school biology classes. School authorities said SHEP has broad support from teachers, parents and community organizations, only 196 students, or less than 1 percent of those enrolled in the program, opted out of the new curriculum due to parent requests.

“No, no they’re just too young,” said Abbey Gill.

Gill was one of the parents who chose to opt out.  She has a son and daughter who attend Kimbrough Elementary School.

 “They’re still asking questions, which we’re still even finding a way to put it into a sentence to teach them.  We know.  We, the parents, know them better than the schools,” said Gill.

“It teaches our children to research sex on the internet and unapologetically promotes pornography — which is highly addictive and harmful,” said Beyer.  “It grooms them for premature sexual interest, experimentation, and engagement, leading to the sexual objectification of our children.”

The subject of the SHEP curriculum was not on the Board of Education Agenda for Tuesday’s meeting, therefore no action was taken or changes were proposed to the curriculum.