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District stalls LGBT lessons

Submitted by on 1, February 12, 2009 – 12:42 pmNo Comment

Officials at Alameda Unified have put the brakes on a plan to introduce a new curriculum on gender identity and sexual orientation into the district’s elementary schools, saying they’d like to take more time to talk to parents about it.

Superintendent Kirsten Vital told the school board Tuesday night that she’d like to hold more meetings with parents about the proposed curriculum over the next two months, and that she hopes to bring it to the board for its consideration in April. The board, which had originally been slated to discuss it on February 24, accepted Vital’s recommendation.

Information on the additional meetings will be posted in school newsletters and on the district’s website.

The lessons, which district officials say are being introduced to combat anti-gay slurs and bullying, would be part of a broader curriculum intended to make schools a safer and more welcoming place to all families. They were discussed last week in two well-attended parent forums at Otis and Washington schools.

Parents at the Washington forum were split on the plan. Some said they support the district’s vision and that the work is necessary to prevent bullying and hurtful slurs, which some said their children have been the targets of at school. Other parents said they don’t think it is the district’s place to discuss these issues with their children, and that these are lessons that should be taught by parents. They said they want the district to focus its efforts instead on training teachers to deal with problem behavior.

For more on this, check out my story on last week’s meeting at Washington, or the district’s website, which has the information that was handed out at the meeting.

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