Information And Reviews

Conejo Unified school board approves Teen Talk sex ed curriculum

Conejo Valley Unified School District board of education approved a sex education curriculum, a big step in a years-long process that sparked much community debate and led to a reference of a board member as a “Nazi.”

The school board unanimously voted to move forward with the Teen Talk curriculum at its Tuesday meeting. The decision will allow the district to comply with the 2016 California Healthy Youth Act.

The vote came after a fiery public comment period for the item.

District parents and community members who came to speak were against the adoption of the curriculum for its alleged sexualizing students and “indoctrination” in the language used.

Trustees pushed back on what they called misinformation in the comments.

Background

State law requires districts to provide a comprehensive sexual health education, including HIV prevention information to students in seventh through 12th grades. It specifically requires the curriculum to be age-appropriate and “comprehensive, accurate and unbiased.” Any instructional materials related to the curriculum must recognize gender, gender expression and different sexual orientations.

The district originally delayed changes to the curriculum to wait for the state school board to adopt an updated health education framework in 2019 and publish the document through the California Department of Education. 

Since 2016, the district has reviewed six comprehensive health curriculums, including Glencoe, the one currently used by the district.

The board has taken some action over the years to come into compliance, including updating its parental consent policy to abide by state law. While active consent is not required from parent or guardian, they do have the right to opt-out of part or all “comprehensive sexual health education, HIV prevention education, and assessments related to that education” on behalf of their child, the law states.

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