FREMONT — A San Francisco Bay Area school district shelved a sex education textbook that included references to sex toys and bondage after some parents said it was inappropriate for students in a ninth-grade health class.
The Fremont Unified school board voted 3-2 Wednesday to put use of the book, “Your Health Today,” on hold and revert to last year’s textbook. The district plans to try to work with the publisher, McGraw Hill, to makes changes to the book, though Superintendent Jim Morris said that may not be possible, the San Francisco Chronicle reported .
“Administration and staff believes the textbook will be an asset to our health curriculum in that it provides the current, accurate, factual and relevant information our students need to make responsible decisions about their health,” Morris said in a statement. “I also recognize and respect the concerns of some of our families and believe this recommendation is a great compromise that will address those opinions while still working toward ultimately providing the best curriculum possible in our schools.”
The textbook, largely sold in the college market, also includes references to erotic touch and dating websites and has line drawings of sexual organs. The board authorized its use in June in a 3-2 vote after district health teachers unanimously chose it from several textbooks under consideration.
Parents who spoke against the book on Wednesday called it “borderline pornography” and “a how-to for sex.”
“I’m sorry, I cannot see anything a child needs to know in the ninth grade about bondage,” Jim Schultz, a Fremont resident, told board members, according to KGO-TV (http://abc7ne.ws/1rvu4zp). “What are you teaching them?”
But another Fremont resident, Sarah Jeske, applauded the board for adopting a textbook that “covers the broad range that is and encompasses human sexuality.”
“Please don’t let your narrow views of human sexuality affect my child’s education,” she said, as she glanced at the crowd at Wednesday’s meeting.
Some parents also expressed concern that the board would not vote again to approve a possible new version of the text.
But officials reassured them that any revisions would go through the entire vetting process again.