LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Sex education lessons are reportedly set to be tested for students as young as fourth grade in some Los Angeles Unified schools.
One of the courses the LAUSD is testing is “Puberty: The Wonder Years” authored by Michigan health educator and nurse Wendy Sellers, according to the Daily News.
Sellers, who has trained hundreds of teachers on her curriculum, says her course is aimed at changing the traditional role of sex education, which she told the Daily News often consisted in the past of a video on menstruation for girls in the sixth grade and another separate lesson for the boys in another classroom.
Her curriculum – one that Sellers says is inclusive of LGTBQ identities and doesn’t assume traditional gender roles in describing relationships – would reportedly be taught to students between fourth and sixth grade and would integrate examples of same-sex couples into lessons.
According to the curriculum’s website, the goal of “Puberty: The Wonder Years” is to “equip students in grades 4, 5, and 6 with the knowledge and skills to 1) appreciate and respect the amazing changes experienced by self and others, and 2) to postpone sexual intercourse.”
One of the curriculum’s stated objectives is to “demonstrate effective skills to access and correctly use condoms and other risk reduction methods.”
A Facebook page for the curriculum – which offers about six to 11 lessons that the page claims has been used at schools in more than two dozen states – includes posts that reference several controversial topics, such as how to “teach your preschooler about consent”, “gender stereotyping”, and “rape culture”.
If the LAUSD adopts the curriculum, it would become the largest school district to use the lessons.
Students “should be able to learn about the very normal natural changes that happen for everyone as they grow,” she said in remarks reported by the Los Angeles Daily News. “When they reach puberty — sooner now than in decades past — students need to be armed with information.”
The school district has used a $24,000 federal grant to buy enough teaching sets of “Puberty: The Wonder Years” for use in anywhere between 10 to 50 schools, the Daily News reported.
Sellers is expected to visit Los Angeles later this month to train LAUSD teachers on the curriculum, one of several the district is reportedly considering for adoption.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)