California school board rejects another state law
May 07 2004 12:00 AM ET
The same board members of the Westminster School District in Orange County, Calif., who opposed a state law banning discrimination against transsexual students and nearly cost the district millions in state and federal education funding, are now challenging a state sex education law, the Los Angeles Times reports. Board trustee Judy Ahrens, who had said the "rewards are going to be great in heaven" when opposing the transsexual discrimination law, is fighting to maintain the district's sex education policy that requires students to get parental approval to take sex education classes. However, the California Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Act, which took effect in January, requires that sex education be automatically taught to students in the state and that parental consent is needed specifically to opt out of the classes.
"It was the intent of the law to have all districts adopt an 'opt-out' policy," says Sheila Kuehl, the openly lesbian legislator who wrote the law. Kuehl says Westminster's current "opt-in" policy violates the statute. Ahrens and two other board trustees--the same three board members who opposed the antidiscrimination measure--are expected to argue in favor of maintaining the district's current policy at a board meeting on Thursday. State officials say if the board continues to oppose the state sex education law, it may lead to another showdown with state officials and a possible loss of state and federal money to the school district.