School district softens LGBT curriculum
Officials at Alameda Unified are offering a new and softer version of their proposed LGBT lessons for students in the district’s elementary schools to the school board at its meeting Tuesday. (Check under “Hot Topics” when you click the link.)
A public hearing on the proposed curriculum is set for May 12, and the board could vote on whether to approve it on May 26.
District officials have laid out scripted, specific lesson plans for each elementary grade that they are billing as an extension of an existing anti-violence curriculum put in place in 2006. And they have made several changes to what they are proposing to teach.
The district’s original first-grade lesson would have included the book “Asha’s Mums,” a story about a girl who has lesbian parents. The revised lesson would instead use “Who’s in a Family?” which includes different types of families, including those headed by gays and lesbians. Its second grade lesson had the words “gay” and “lesbian” listed as suggested vocabulary words. Those words have since been moved into the fourth grade lesson.
The kindergarten lesson would still feature “The New Girl … and Me,” a story about the treatment a new girl at school receives. The vocabulary words for the lesson are “name-calling,” “exclude,” “hurtful,” “teasing,” “similar,” “different” and “comfortable.”
Lessons for grades 4 and 5 would hear an essay from a youth with gay parents describing his school experiences and would discuss stereotypes, respectively.
Supporters of the curriculum plan have said it’s needed to address anti-gay slurs and bullying that occur as early as kindergarten, while opponents said they thought it offered too much information, too soon and that it focused too much on gay issues and should be more broad-based.