Parents Can’t Opt Their Kids Out Of ‘Inclusive’ And ‘Anti-Racist’ Lessons, School District Says
Reagan Reese on February 7, 2023
A California school district advised teachers that parents cannot choose to opt their children out of anti-bias lessons on race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation, according to a Feb. 3 email obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
In a staff-wide email announcing new updates, Hayward Unified School District (HUSD) told teachers that parents cannot excuse their children out of lessons that discuss an identity protected in the institution’s “Non- Discrimination & Harassment and Equity & Anti-Racism” policy, as that would be enabling discrimination, according to an email obtained by the DCNF. Parents may opt their child out of “comprehensive sexuality education” but not out of “anti-bias lessons about people who are LGBTQ,” under California law, the email stated.
“Our HUSD anti-bias, anti-racist and equity policies, as well as California laws, guide us to provide inclusive lessons that promote safety and acceptance for all identities and to not allow the exclusion of students from these lessons,” the email read.
The FAIR Education Act of 2011 requires public schools within the state to include the history of people from “diverse, racial and ethnic identities,” the email cited. The California Healthy Youth Act requires a comprehensive sexual education for all students in the state, which allows parents to opt their child out of the curriculum if they provide a written statement doing so.
“We are talking about respect,” the email stated under a suggested talking point. “Anti-LGBTQ, gender-related put-downs and racial slurs are among the most common slurs in school environments, and addressing these slurs is essential for the physical, emotional and academic well-being of all students.”
To address parents who want to opt their child out of lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation, teachers were given talking points from “Welcoming Schools,” a LGBTQ program for schools created by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, a left-wing activist group, the email showed. Talking points included telling parents that the “youth must understand the world and people in it” and that “learning about LGBTQ people will not ‘turn’ students LGBTQ.”
Educators were advised to not “overload” parents with information, according to the staff email.
The school district cited its policies and California laws for educators to refer to when parents ask to opt their student out of lessons, the email stated. Under the school district’s “Race and Equity Policy,” allowing a student to opt-out of lessons that include protected identities enables “active discrimination.”
“We provide a free, public education that is inclusive of all identities,” the email stated. “If the curriculum at public schools is not what parents want, they can choose to send their children to a private school.”
Hayward Unified School District did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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