An LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum in the Rocklin School District, near Sacramento, is riling parents, resulting in 700 children being pulled from classes last Friday.
The issue is new lessons that include the accomplishments of LGBTQ Americans, reports Sacramento Fox affiliate KTXL. Many parents say they're not opposed to the inclusive lessons but to giving them to children at a young age — the curriculum would be rolled out in the second grade, where students are about 7 or 8. Some parents said the curriculum should begin in the fifth grade.
At last week's school board meeting where the curriculum was narrowly approved, the district's legal counsel said it cannot change when the students receive the state-approved curriculum. The district did agree to "tweak" the program to address some concerns by the parents, some of whom said their children would be confused by learning about notable LGBTQ people.
The concession did not mollify all parents, and 700 students stayed home Friday; the entire school district comprises 12,000 students. Meanwhile, other parents said they're considering pulling their students from the district's schools permanently.
School officials and local LGBTQ advocates emphasize that the lessons are not sex education.
"I know the importance of this inclusive curriculum from both a personal and professional perspective," Sacramento LGBT Community Center spokeswoman and Rocklin resident Rachel Henry told KTXL. "There are several empirical studies that show textbook curriculum that is explicitly inclusive of the LGBTQ+ has dramatically positive effects on school climate for both LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ students. Students of marginalized groups, such as the LGBTQ+ community, have a right to see themselves reflected in the history that they study."