A group of California parents think a textbook being used for local sex education classes is wildly inappropriate for students.
According to the Los Angeles Times, some parents from Fremont Unified School District are trying to get administrators to reconsider the use of a textbook called “Your Health Today” in ninth-grade health classes. The parents say that the book references sexual bondage, masturbation and other topics that they think are too mature for their teenage children.
As of Friday afternoon, an online petition calling on the district to remove the book had over 1,700 signatures.
“If all the teachers and the superintendent think it's OK to show bondage, etc. to a 9th grader, then they are all perverts. This book is clearly targeted for college students. One has to ask why are the teachers so interested in getting kids exposed to these ‘advanced’ sexual material?” wrote one commenter on the petition.
The Northern California district’s board of education voted to adopt the textbook in June, according to TODAY.com, and teachers also support use of the textbook.
"The teachers felt here is what California requires, here are the standards, this is the best match for it," James Morris, superintendent of the Fremont Unified School District, told TODAY.
Parents who do not want their kids taking sex education have the option of opting their child out of that part of the health class. Authors of the textbook told TODAY that the book is meant for college students, but it could still work for high schoolers.
Indeed, Fremont district administrators think it is important that ninth-graders have access to information in the textbook.
"Yes, it talks about masturbation," said school board President Lara Calvert-York to the San Francisco Chronicle. "We really want them to have a safe place to get facts about their bodies and how to handle things and how they need to be mature to deal with these things."
Still, a parent from the district says she would consider legal action if the textbook is not dropped.
"I was shocked when I looked at the book the first time," said local parent Asfia Ahmed to the outlet. “I am willing to pursue legal action, and I have other parents willing to support me on this."
California law does not mandate sex education, although when it is provided, it must be medically accurate. Parents must also be notified about the content in sex education courses before they take place, according to California law.