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District seeks broader anti-bullying curriculum

Submitted by on 1, August 24, 2009 – 6:00 am2 Comments

020509_18291Officials at Alameda Unified are initiating efforts to broaden the district’s anti-violence curriculum so that it specifically addresses bullying based on race, religion, disability and other characteristics protected under state law.

District officials want to convene a committee of community members, parents and district staff to look into creating a broader-based anti-bullying curriculum that is “more explicitly inclusive of all the protected classes,” according to a staff report to be presented to the school board at its meeting Tuesday night.

Many of the parents who opposed elementary school lessons that specifically addressed anti-gay bullying said they felt the district wasn’t going far enough to stop bullying based on race and other factors, and they said the district’s own statistics showed that such bullying was still a problem, regardless of the district’s existing anti-violence curriculum.

Superintendent Kirsten Vital had said in May when the anti-gay bullying lessons were approved by the board that she would review the district’s anti-bullying curriculum to make sure it was addressing the needs of all of the district’s students.

A group of Alameda residents is seeking to recall three school board trustees who voted in favor of the lessons because, they said, the lessons excluded instruction to protect students who are bullied based on their race and ethnicity, gender, disability, nationality and religion. And another parent who wrote a formal complaint to the district said she wanted district officials to create a committee to rethink the lessons.

District staff working on a supplemental guide to the curriculum determined that while it was a “good first step,” it “was not explicit in addressing all the protected classes.” So they want to create more inclusive lessons.

The new curriculum would also establish “clarity and guidelines” to ensure that the lessons don’t constitute health education. A group of parents just sued the school district for denying their requests to opt out of anti-gay bullying lessons, saying the lessons are health education, which they have the legal right to skip.

More to come.


  • David Hart says:

    The lawsuit people SAY they want this. Will they drop the suit if this passes?

  • Dave Kirwin says:

    Lesson 9 is the ONLY anti-bullying lesson that specifically protects any of the protected classes – you know, “…on the basis of sex, religion, nationality, handicaps, race, ethnic group, or, …and this gets longwinded, sexual preference, gender, or perceived gender…”

    In short, despite the huge public demonstration against a this pro-LGBTQ curriculum for only grades K-5, LGBTQ is now the only protected class that has lessons specifically addressing their protection in the entire Caring School Curriculum. No lessons specifically address race, ethnicity or religion (or any of the others.)
    According to the District’s own statistics, local bullying follows the state-wide patterns – Race, ethnicity and religion are the main targets of “bullying behavior” There is very little ‘bullying” in Alameda on the LGBT issues – and none of it in Elementary school.

    Saying “That’s so gay” is not bullying – it is little kids misusing a term they think means “stupid”. (This according to my elementary and middles schools children) We can tell them those are things, or sentences we don’t say, …because it is against school rules. We don’t have to try to explain it any farther to 5, 6 or even 8 year olds.

    I favor having very clear and open discussions and lessons on Sexual tolerance, acceptance, and empathy, to improve understanding of all the LGBTQ issues, but they should not start until Middle School, and should continue thru high school. Such lessons on empathy and understanding should also exist for all the other protected statuses as well.

    IMO elementary students if using any kinds of slurs should be told to ‘stop it’ – they don’t need, and at the younger grades are not capable of, philosophic understanding of these issues. It a ‘just say “no”’.

    At the BOE meeting of Aug 25, AUSD reveled that because lesson 9 is the only lesson in the Caring School Curriculum that specifically addresses issues of a protected class, that AUSD will stop using the curriculum soon. They will now be forming a new committee to choose a new curriculum that specifically addresses all the protected classes. CSC was chosen years ago because it was a suitable framework for teachers to use as their judgment allowed.
    Now at great expense and because of poor judgment allowing the specific K-5 lessons to support the outspoken LGBTQ activists, it is all just a big waste that split the community. (And split the vote for the next needed parcel tax) That lack of good judgment is all the reason I need to want to dump those members of the BOE who supported dividing the community.

    I absolutely support LGBT issues, I resent being called ‘homophobic’ on local blogs because it is so opposite the truth, but the target age of K-5, IMO is just not appropriate. At young ages, children need to just be “told” what not to do as far as playground conduct. It is a time of socialization, true, but also a time they must begin to understand there are rules they simply have to follow. As they get older and they can understand more, more can be reveled to them in our public schools. As far as sexual awareness, “let the children play”, and later in their young lives there will be plenty of time for those sexuality lessons.

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