May 18, 2019 at 10:46 pm EDT | by Staff reports
Calif. sex ed. gets LGBT-affirmative overhaul
LGBT-inclusive sex education, gay news, Washington Blade
Ire erupts over gay, trans portions of new teaching guidelines.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California has overhauled its sex education guidance for public school teachers, encouraging them to talk about gender identity with kindergartners and give advice to LGBT teenagers for navigating relationships and having safe sex, the Associated Press reports.

LGBT advocates praised the new recommendations for giving attention to a community that is often left out of sex education policies. But some parents and conservative groups assailed the more than 700-page document as an assault on parental rights, arguing it exposes children to ideas about sexuality and gender that should be taught at home, the AP reports. 

The guidance approved last week by the California State Board of Education does not require educators to teach anything. It is designed as a guide for teachers to meet state standards on health education, such as nutrition, physical activity and combating alcohol and drug abuse, the AP reports. 

But it’s the parts about sex that got the most attention during a public hearing on May 8. The framework tells teachers that students in kindergarten can identify as transgender and offers tips for how to talk about that, adding “the goal is not to cause confusion about the gender of the child but to develop an awareness that other expressions exist,” the AP reports. 

It gives tips for discussing masturbation with middle-schoolers, including telling them it is not physically harmful, and for discussing puberty with transgender teens that creates “an environment that is inclusive and challenges binary concepts about gender,” the AP reports. 

Many residents spoke against the curriculum during a lengthy meeting last week. 

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