A few years ago, I wrote a column in The Bee about what I thought was a stuck-in-the-1950s policy regarding hair length at Clovis Unified. As you might imagine, the response I got to that column wasn’t exactly positive. I have to imagine the people who are upset about that column are probably upset about the latest Clovis Unified story that’s making national news. And, no, I’m not talking about that lip dub video.
On Tuesday, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against Clovis Unified on behalf of two parents who think the school district’s sex ed curriculum is outdated and doesn’t meet state guidelines. As you can imagine in our ever-polarized society, this story has created a lot of conflicting opinions. The story as been picked up by The Huffington Post, Salon, Fox News, the L.A. Times, Think Progress and others.
Think Progress gave it the most provocative spin:
Students in a Fresno County, California, school district are taught that HIV can be spread through kissing, and the right way to prevent STDs is by going out in groups with friends, getting plenty of rest, and practicing abstinence. Their “Lifetime Health” textbook, which Clovis Unified School District uses for its high school sex education curriculum, makes no mention of condoms or contraception.
Further, Salon, per the ACLU’s lawsuit, says Clovis Unified’s textbook “compares a woman who is not a virgin to a dirty shoe” and teaches that “men are unable to stop themselves once they become sexually aroused.”
In their defense, Clovis Unified’s spokeswoman Kelly Avants told The Bee that the suit is, “a question of differing interpretations of the depth and breadth of a school district’s obligation to cover detailed sexual content in its family life materials.”
Reaction on both sides of this has been as interesting as you’d expect.
One Think Progress commenter wrote:
I live in Fresno and the city seems to have gone back in time more and more each year. It’s a city filled with uneducated rednecks who just love their big ol’ trucks with their anti-Obama stickers. I sometimes feel as though I live in the deep south in the 1950′s!
Meanwhile, a Fresno Bee commenter said:
This sounds like a “gay rights” attack. Take a class in anatomy and physiology and then try to explain how sodomy is a healthy practice. It is unhealthy and unnatural, be it heterosexual or homosexual. Ask a doctor what happens when you get E.coli in your urethra. Maybe the registered nurse who is complaining can educate us. E. coli and the urethra. So sick of these “progressives” who want to sex-up and dumb-down kids.
Where do you stand on this one? With the upset parents? With the school district?
PREVIOUSLY: Is human sexuality at Fresno State too sexy?