Tony Andrade, the right-wing businessman who spearheaded the effort to recall former California governor Gray Davis, this week launched a petition drive to severely restrict sex education in the state's schools because he believes such programs promote homosexuality, the Contra Costa Times reports. The petition, dubbed "Civil Rights for Families," calls for a ban on all sex-education programs for students in kindergarten through sixth grade and would require daily parental permission slips for all other students, including those in high school, to attend sex-ed classes. Parental permission would be required for access to all educational materials on any sex-related issues--including menstruation and other puberty issues--that includes books, wall posters, lectures, counseling, and even the ability of students to ask questions.
Andrade says that the state's public schools are teaching bestiality, pedophilia, sadism, and necrophilia alongside lessons on homosexuality and domestic partnerships, and as such parents should be required to give daily permission for their children to attend classes that teach such topics. Andrade says his goal is for schools not to promote homosexuality or deviant sexual behavior. He also says he believes gays are using high schools as recruiting grounds.
The initiative wouldn't apply only to sex-education classes. It also would require daily parental permission slips for history and social studies classes that discuss sex-related current events and issues.
Andrade has until June 3 to garner 373,816 signatures to bring the issue before state voters in March 2006. He has previously backed a failed court challenge to overturn California's domestic-partnerships law and is supporting a recall petition to remove the Sacramento judge that declared the domestic-partnerships measure legal.
Sandra Jackson, a spokeswoman for the California Teachers Association, says Andrade's accusations that schools are teaching bestiality, pedophilia, and necrophilia are completely false. "I think teachers would probably be appalled to find it even suggested that it would be taught," she told the Contra Costa Times. "It's not part of any curriculum."
California law currently uses an "opt-out" policy that offers sex-education classes to all students unless their parents take their children out of the programs. State law also allows parents the ability to preview all instruction materials and gives at least 14 days' notice before any sexual health classes are started.