ELK GROVE (CBS13) — Textbooks in Elk Grove back in the spotlight Tuesday night. Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD) unanimously decided to adopt new curriculum including LGBTQ leaders in updated textbooks.
“LGBTQ people exist in society and are not monsters or freaks,” one parent said to the board. “It really hurts my heart to hear what members of my community think about my son, and how he should be hidden.”
Others did not share those same sentiments.
“You are raping the innocence of our children,” said one parent, who was strongly opposed to the new textbooks.
A long-running debate finally came to its climax at Tuesday’s school board meeting. The decision was finally made just before 10 p.m., but only after hours of listening to concerns from the community.
“I never once saw myself represented in textbooks and I think it would have meant a lot to me,” said Kim Angulo, Vice President of the Sacramento Stonewall Democrats.
“You don’t have the power to simply indoctrinate students to believe the way you do!” said Greg Bert with the California Family Council.
EGUSD has spent months considering the new curriculum, which puts its schools in line with The Fair Education Act of 2011. The new state standard aims to include more ethnic and racial groups, including LGBTQ figures.
“I strongly support inclusivity, however, I do not believe it’s necessary for 7 and 8-year-olds to learn about bisexuality,” said Shani Phillips-Keller, an Elk Grove parent.
The district gave parents several opportunities to review the new textbooks before making its decision.
“If they don’t need to know what your sexual preferences are, why is this information relevant for them for historical figures?” one woman asked the board.
Curriculum Program Specialist Dawniell Black made the case for new materials saying the district hasn’t bought new textbooks since 2007. A total of 84 teachers previewed two sets of materials in their classrooms.
“All of the teachers in the pilot, piloted both programs!” Black said.
And their consensus?
“McGraw-Hill was heavily favored over Pearson,” Black explained.
After hours of debate, the district approved the McGraw-Hill textbooks and the district hopes to have them in the classroom by fall 2019.