TUCSON – With every seat filled inside a multi-purpose room at Duffy Middle School, dozens of others listened and watched outside as the TUSD School Board considered changing part of its curriculum Thursday night.
The changes will focus on family life and sex education. TUSD Board President Adelita Grijalva is a mother of three in the district.
“We’re hearing from school nurses and from teachers that the information these students have is not accurate,” Grijalva said. “So, while I think it’s important for parents who would like to have the discussion with their children at home, those of us who would like to opt-in, have to sign a permission slip to opt-in.”
That permission slip means the family life class time is not required for every student.
Grijalva said the curriculum would pertain to fourth through eighth graders and once in high school, each part grade-specific and age-appropriate.
Jim Humphrey opposes this.
“I’m a dad, a granddad, a great-granddad,” Humphrey said. “It infringes on the sovereignty of the American family. It’s the family who mold and shape our children.”
The curriculum would include the female and male anatomy, teachings on personal space and boundaries and would include discussion about the LGBTQ community.
“I have a son who’s transgender, Patricia Casey said. “I’m worried about his safety and the more we can educate people the more likely we are to have understanding and visibility.”
Humphrey said a classroom is not the place to have this discussion.
“I appreciate our teachers, they have a tough job, I could never do it,” he said. “But I don’t think this the correct venue for them to be entering into.”
There is a second public hearing on the Family Life Curriculum scheduled for next Thursday night at Cholla High School at 5:30 p.m.
Adelita Grijalva expects the board to vote on the proposed changes Sept. 10.