CA SB 48 Sexualizes K-12 Public School Students

ACTION Completed
Governor Signed Bill

SACRAMENTO, updated July 11, 2011 -- SB 48, a bill that would change California textbooks and curriculum to bring the sexuality of gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual people to the attention of students K-12 in social studies is so bad, even the LA Times has editorialized against it. It has passed the Senate and landed on the Governor's desk today. He must sign or veto it by July 19.

This bill is a bad as any we have seen. In addition to its corrupting consequences for children about love, human sexuality, marriage, and family, it will cost California taxpayers millions to implement and have a disrupting effect on local school districts struggling with reduced budgets and burdened by state mandates that undermine their critical mission of educating our children. This bill must be stopped.

LA Times Features CCG's Opposition to
SB 48.

LA Times Challenge: Which Reasons Better for Opposing SB 48, CCG's or Theirs

LA Times Editorial (see new LA Times Editorial)

The main point the LA Times editorial board made was that "the decision to include 'the role and contributions' of gay Americans in our textbooks should be left to educators and textbook writers, not politicians." They also pointed out:

  1. That a similar bill was vetoed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006;
  2. It is most wise to have experts draw up a balanced social studies curriculum that became a model for schools nationwide April 8, 2011;
  3. Decisions about what to include in the curriculum should be left for educators and textbook writers to make;
  4. If more is added to the social studies curriculum, something else will have to be deleted or treated more shallowly. Teachers already struggle to get through all the required material.

Imagine the cost of California requiring new textbooks that no other states would use. Imagine the cost of developing new curricula and associated materials and the time every school district and teacher will have to devote to reviewing materials for compliance to avoid law suits. Even though additional expenditures will be required, legislative leaders have determined, based on a technicality, that the bill will have no fiscal impact, and have avoided any budgetary scrutiny at all.

But the fiscal impact and disruption to schools all pale in comparison with the wide-ranging and startling consequences of the bill.

CCG's letter opposing SB 48

What SB 48 Does

SB 48 requires that social sciences “include a study of the role and contributions of … lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans … in the development of California and the United States.”

It also replaces the word “sex” with “gender”. This is significant considering that word “gender” in the Education code is being redefined in AB 887, a bill  sponsored by Equality California and authored by gay rights advocate Assemblywoman Toni Atkins of San Diego. In that bill "gender" is defined as “sex, and includes a person's gender identity and gender expression. ‘Gender expression’ means a person's gender-related appearance and behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with the person's assigned sex at birth.”

The bill is sponsored by Equality California, the lead opponent of Prop 8 and is authored by Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco. The author presents SB 48 as an anti-bullying bill, but it is obvious that the bill has nothing to do with bullying. Studies show most bullying in schools is either racial or girl vs. girl. Bullying is a very serious problem. There is already a lot of money being spent on anti-bullying programs. The legislature needs to commission a study to figure out what is being done — what is working and what is not.  SB 48 does not address these concerns.

Specifically, SB 48:

  1. Prohibits instruction or school sponsored activities that reflect adversely upon persons because of  newly defined gender or sexual orientation;
  2. Prohibits the State Board of Education and the governing board of any school district from adopting textbooks or other instructional materials that contain any matter that reflects adversely upon persons because of newly defined gender or sexual orientation;
  3. Requires that when adopting instructional materials for use in the schools, governing boards shall include materials that accurately portray the role and contribution of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans;
  4. Requires alternative and charter schools take notice of the provisions of this bill in light of provisions of existing law that prohibit discrimination in any aspect of their operation. What ultimate impact this will have on charter or home schools is beyond our ability to analyze.

If that is not alarming enough, the real impact of the bill can only be understood in the context of a document that is used to develop text books and provide guidance for curriculum, materials, and instruction in every classroom in California. The document, Standards for Evaluating Instructional Materials for Social Content, makes it clear that the purpose of social studies is not just to teach contributions of different people throughout history, but to “create a sense of pride” for members of specific groups or classifications of people specifically mentioned in the law. The Standards which will have to be revised to conform to SB 48 currently includes the following provisions:

  • “The standards promote the individual development and self-esteem of each student regardless of gender”;
  • “The responsibility of parenting should be emphasized”;
  • People “should be portrayed in nurturing roles with their families";
  • Portrayals “should be balanced by … characters engaged in other less traditionally recognized activities”;
  • “Depictions of diverse …groups … must include such groups in the mainstream of U.S. life”;
  • “Portrayals must not depict differences in … lifestyles as undesirable.”

Does the last point really mean that depictions of lifestyles must be portrayed as desirable?

More information:
See testimony on this bill by child psychologist Miriam Grossman. She reveals consequences of sexualizing curriculum that parents need to be aware of.

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