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Controversial curriculum

July 02, 2009

Re "The ABC's of LGBT," Editorial, June 19

Your editorial contains some misleading information. The Alameda Unified School District curriculum does not actually focus "solely on gay and lesbian issues" and "sexual identity." In fact, the word "sex" is only used twice in six lessons.

You correctly point out that the curriculum will teach second-graders that same-gender parents exist. Children will learn that those parents are part of loving families, along with single parents, adoptive parents and biracial parents.

Given that the lessons actually do not contain descriptive sexual information and do include attention to values, I am puzzled how you could support teaching students "not to belittle others" but call it inappropriate to teach respect for LGBT students, staff and parents.

Tracy Jensen

Alameda

The writer is a member of the Alameda Unified School District Board of Education.

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As an elementary school educator for nearly 20 years, I agree wholeheartedly with The Times' opinion that Alameda schools are going too far by introducing second-graders to the concept of same-sex couples and by requiring fifth-grade students to recite the meaning of each letter of LGBT. Teaching students to respect one another without exception is sufficient to prevent bullying of any kind, be it based on race, religion, physical features, language or countless other reasons.

The school district is setting a dangerous precedent when it chooses to deny parents the right to opt out of such instruction. As a parent of three children, I should retain the right to educate my children, at such a young age, on what I deem to be a controversial lifestyle.

Sam Chaidez

Mission Hills

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I fully endorse the letter and spirit of your editorial. I have taught the ABC's of human diversity and oppression for more than three decades. Never did I think of imparting a facts-of-life curriculum when basic issues of equality and justice demanded full attention.

The emerging debates about the complexity of sexual identity require maturity of mind, body and soul.

Brij Mohan

Los Angeles

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