After a community forum on June 26th, the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) sex ed committee decided to delay a vote on the new LGBTQ curriculum due to confusion. This was a responsible decision. However, it didn’t take long for things to change. Tucson Unified discussed a possible vote on July 23, 2019, only four weeks after the original forum! It’s almost as if all the confusion was ironed out AND parents had a chance to thoroughly review the new curriculum in the middle of the summer when most families are out of the loop if they are even in town. Well, to nobody’s surprise, that is not the case. The truth is students return to class on August 1, 2019, so July 23rd will be the last Governing Board meeting before students return. Once students return, parents are more engaged and likely to question the content of the new curriculum. Horrors. Let’s get this material passed while nobody is looking!
Thankfully, a parade of concerned community members took to the microphone during public comment at TUSD’s July 9th meeting and begged the Board to give parents at least 60 days to review the new curriculum. Some parents reminded the district about Arizona law mandating a minimum of 60 days for review. Maybe breaking the law was troubling enough for Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo to decide to insert an item into July 23rd’s meeting to discuss the length of the sex ed review period, meaning there would be no vote before school starts. They will also discuss future direction of the sex ed committee. He stated there is no Governing Board policy about a review period; some members seem to think the 60-day Arizona law applies only to textbooks. Isn’t that ironic. Dr. Trujillo came to Tucson Unified recently via the pipeline from Phoenix Union High School District. Phoenix Union is the same district who told us they use speakers and various resources for their sex ed and avoided giving us this material to review. Do we see a pattern here? Here is the last paragraph of Arizona Statute 15-721, which refers to supplemental instructional material:
Thanks to the parents in Tucson who are holding the Governing Board’s feet to the fire. The top-down confusion and rush-to-vote when parents aren’t looking is nothing new. Arlington, VA parents just fought this same battle and wrote an informative summary. One of their points was the summertime voting for LGBTQ curriculum. Here is a link to the write-up in case Tucson Unified wants to try a couple of the tricks Arlington’s administration tried. By the way, Tucsonans already know key TUSD Board members are lining up Planned Parenthood volunteers to stack the deck in meetings, except they aren’t wearing matching pink shirts anymore so they are less likely to tip off the general public.
The name of the sex ed committee (if you can find it on Tucson Unified’s website) is “Family Life Curriculum Committee.” This name is chosen purposely so it sounds safe and marketable to parents, the Tucson community, and the gullible Phoenix media. (The Arizona Daily Star has done a good job covering this controversy at this point.) At one time there was a link on TUSD’s webpage to the Family Life Curriculum Committee (we call it sex ed because it better describes the purpose) meeting schedule. As of this writing, that link has disappeared. Maybe when the district started getting public records requests they decided to bury the information. In the search bar, we entered “family life” and it was there a link popped up.
From there, clicking on the link “Family Life Curriculum K-12” brings the reader to a page with sections referencing grade levels. There are links to overviews of the curriculum, but not the curriculum itself. Each section has a link to a Classroom Climate/Parent Participation form:
Sidebar: Who is training the teachers to teach this agenda?
Right off the bat, sexuality is described in a subjective manner. This opens the door for Tucson Unified to teach anything without requiring the sex ed material be science-based. At least in this overview TUSD is admitting this is a sex ed program. But why did the district use input from students? It is likely those asked were minors. Was this proper? Just this week it was revealed a local education reporter for the Tucson Star was removed from her post, possibly because she solicited sex questions from minors.
We wish the reporter well if in fact she needs to get her health in order. Whatever the reason, why are adults asking children about sex? Are parents okay with this?
Going back to the Classroom Climate form, are Tucson parents aware there is a reference to K-3 sex ed? Was this curriculum discussed by the committee? Ditto for the 4/5 and 6-8th grade curriculum; we know high school sex ed updates were discussed by the sex ed committee, but did they make any changes or hammer down the younger grades? Is there still some confusion from the “hurry-up-let’s-vote” administration officials?
Here is the overview for 4th grade, only read this if you are an adult. Otherwise, the material will have to be accessed in 4th grade sex ed:
Where is the link for the video “It’s a Change Thing”? How can parents or the Governing Board say yes or no to a video they can’t find?
The posted material for fourth grade is scientific, but pretty detailed for nine and ten year olds. Why does the district want the children to look at sexual material at these young ages? Many are not ready. Keep in mind if a man was standing across the street from the elementary school and showed the above diagram to a child as he or she left the school building, the police would be called. But Tucson Unified wants to spring this information on kids, many of whom still play with Legos and Hot Wheels. This may explain why kids are not able to read at their grade level but they can have sex way before their grade level.
Here is a screenshot from Tucson Unified School District’s website. According to the district, there is currently no curriculum to review.
If parents heard there is a sex ed vote upcoming and want to review the curriculum, they will read on TUSD’s website there is nothing to review. How can that be? Is there or is there not a new LGBTQ sex ed curriculum to review in Tucson? Is Tucson Unified in violation of Arizona Statute 15-721?
The saga continues in Tucson. The elected Governing Board will attempt to wear the citizens down. As one parent stated, this curriculum has the potential to divide the community. That is really all that needs to be said. School Boards try real hard to look united in public and limit division, so why would they want the opposite for the families they serve?