Muslims join Christians to fight for state sex education limits
GREG BURT/CALIFORNIA FAMILY COUNCIL
Sacramento — An Islamic advocacy organization and a branch of the NAACP are joining together with Christian organizations from around California to support a bill requiring increased transparency and parental oversight of sex education lessons taught in public elementary classes.
Senator Mike Morrell authored SB 673 after hearing that some schools were disrespecting parental rights by making it difficult for parents to review the sex-ed curriculum being used in elementary classes.
A press conference will be held at the capitol Wednesday, January 15, at 8 a.m., with Senator Morrell and two witnesses testifying on behalf of SB 673 in the Senate Education Committee at 9 a.m. One of these witnesses is Dr. Ahmed Sobah, chairman of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California.
The Islamic Shura Council of Southern California represents and advocates on behalf of 60 mosques and Muslim organizations.
“We support SB 673 because it increases parental oversight with an Opt-In for our youngest learners and mandates age-appropriate, medically accurate sexual health education for elementary-aged children,” wrote Dr. Sobah in his SB 673 support letter.
The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Branch #1034-Lake Elsinore/Southwest Riverside County also sent a letter of support for SB 673.
The letter’s author, NAACP Education Chairwoman Christina Laster pointed out how this bill fulfills the California Healthy Youth Act stated intent “to create a streamlined process to make it easier for parents and guardians to review materials and evaluation tools related to comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education.”
“SB 673’s mandate for elementary CHYA curriculum to be on-line via district’s website, provides easier accessibility to parents for review of materials,” stated Laster.
SB 673 has three main provisions:
It requires school districts that teach elementary-age comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention to put that curriculum online for easy and convenient parental review.
It restores the right of parents of elementary-age students (TK-6th grade) to opt their children into comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education courses, rather than passively opt their children out.
It requires comprehensive sexual health and HIV lessons to be age-appropriate and medically accurate, as is required of middle school and high school curricula.
“Parents have the right to know what lessons are being covered in the classroom,” said Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga). “We want them to be engaged and involved in the education of their children. This sensitive material needs to be transparent.”
At the conclusion of the SB 673 hearing on Wednesday, at about 10 or 10:30 a.m, there will be a rally at the south steps of the Capitol. Speakers will include Senator Ling Ling Chang; Pastor Jack Hibbs with Calvary Chapel Chino Hills and Real Impact; Rebecca Friedrichs: Founder of For Kids and Country; Sarah Kim with Traditional Values for the Next Generation; Pastor Tim Thompson with Our Watch Now; America Figueroa with Alliance to Protect Children; Marlo Tucker with California Concerned Women of America; Karen England with Capitol Resource Institute; Stephanie Yates with Informed Parents of California; Matthew McReynolds with the Pacific Justice Institute.