After weighing community concerns and compliance with 2016 state mandates regarding sex education instruction, the Chino Valley school board is expected to vote Thursday on new curriculum to be used in junior high schools and high schools this school year.
The materials have been available for public review since July 19 and will be displayed 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 12 through Aug. 14 at the school district’s Samuel R. Burton Professional Development and Media Center, 4525 Danito Court, Chino. The center is off Ramona Avenue, just south of Chino Avenue.
The new materials are needed for compliance with state requirements that schools teach HIV and AIDS prevention once in high school and once in junior high.
State law now allows, but does not mandate, that districts can offer this instruction to elementary students. The Chino Valley school district is not offering this program at the elementary schools.
The proposed material for grades 7 to 12 have been reviewed by district staff, parents, teachers and a committee comprised of five community members, one appointed by each Chino Valley school board member.
For junior high school curriculum, the committee has recommended Chino Valley Unified School District, Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Education, Department of Health Services, 2019.
For the high school curriculum, the recommendation is California Department of Education, California Department of Public Health, Federal Office of Adolescent Health, Positive Prevention PLUS, Sexual Health Education for California Youth by Kim Robert Clark, DrPH, MPH and Christine Janet Ridley, RN, Med, 2015.
During closing comments at the June 6 Chino Valley school board meeting, board member Christina Gagnier said she had reviewed the proposed material.
Ms. Gagnier said, “We appreciate this is a little more of a conservative district. Districts in Northern California may be doing something that is totally crazy,”
“That’s not our district," she added. “Our district is taking a very principled and open approach to the state guidelines.”
Speaking on June 6, Ms. Gagnier chided outside groups who she said came to the community “to spread misinformation” and reiterated that parents can opt their children out of sex education instruction.
By law, students can only be opted out of sex education when it includes discussion of reproductive organs and their functions.
Last fall, members of Calvary Chapel Chino Valley — backed by their pastor Jack Hibbs, Karen England of Capitol Resource Institute in Sacramento and school board members James Na and Andrew Cruz — tried unsuccessfully to expand parental opt out to include all discussions of gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, discrimination, harassment, bullying, relationships or family at schools.
The proposal, which failed to receive a majority of support by the school board, also wanted parents to be notified when a transgender student uses school facilities.
At the Nov. 1, 2018 school board meeting, attorney Margaret Chidester representing the school district, said the proposal was contrary to laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender and gender identity.