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WCSD Sex-Ed SHARE 5th Grade Curriculum Proposals

We want to help you understand what the WCSD Sex-Ed SHARE Committee is discussing and preparing for your child. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with these issues and click on all links and videos. The latest SHARE Committee meeting was held, Monday, October 11th.


Major takeaways - Most of this curriculum is benign. Our only concern is the information in agenda item 2.04. There are some questionable slides. Parents can also click on all four of the video links below and view the proposed videos, keeping in mind the audience is 5th graders. For the most part, all four videos are appropriate…especially the last two.


2.02 Presentation of the revisions from last month’s SHARE 5th grade lesson recommendations.


The Committee discussed and finalized some minimal changes to the 5th grade SHARE curriculum.


2.03 Presentation of lessons that will introduce how puberty prepares the body to reproduce, define sexual intercourse and define conception ways that pregnancy can occur.


This lesson will have two videos proposed to accompany the teaching:


What to Expect (stop video at 3:00): https://youtu.be/DBe7-PHRav8


Pregnancy and Reproduction Explained (stop video at 2:15): https://youtu.be/OejdOS4IqeE


2.04 Presentation of lessons that will discuss “liking and loving”. Concepts include self-love, differences between like and love, define sexual orientation, differentiate between sexual orientation and gender identity.


At the Oct 11th meeting, no formal presentation was given. Just like the prior items, the SHARE Committee reviewed the curriculum they were given and proposed some minimal changes to the given curriculum for approval by the WCSD Board of Trustees.


They did not really have a discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity. There was a comment about if a child has questions about their sexual orientation they would refer the child to a counselor. They looked at three slides each with a photo of a young couple with writing underneath each slide.


-Slide 5 photo of a boy and girl - “Sometimes, we feel this way about people who are a different gender than we are. Our gender has to do with being male, female, a combination of the two or neither. Our gender identity is our inner knowledge of what our gender is. It’s connected to sexual orientation, but it’s not the same thing. When someone is attracted to a person of another gender, that is being called heterosexual. You may also hear the word straight.”


-Slide 6 photo of two girls - “Sometimes we will have these feelings for people who are our same gender. This is called being gay. Some gay women will call themselves lesbians. And sometimes we might have feelings for people of all genders. This is called bisexual.” Explain that our understanding of which gender or genders we feel love and attraction for is called our sexual orientation.


-Slide 7 photo of two young men -“Even though the phrase sexual orientation has the word sexual in it, in many cases, people have strong feelings of love before feelings of sexual attraction or before acting on those feelings. You don’t need to have done anything sexual with someone to know your sexual orientation.”


The committee agreed to send the following changes for approval to the WCSD Board of Trustees, with some exceptions:

  • Change slides/photos using more age appropriate couples,

  • Add a slide to go with emotions of love they are feeling,

  • Add notes for teacher to discuss current slang used by students to mean like or love, and

  • Add a slide before slide 5 that before you love others take care of yourself and love yourself,


This lesson will have two videos proposed to accompany the teaching:


The Reflection in Me (stop video at 3:40): https://youtu.be/D9OOXCu5XMg


Another Pep Talk from Kid President to You (stop video at 4:40): https://youtu.be/D_9rAxvDOko


3.01 PUBLIC COMMENT:


There was an unsettling moment when one mom wanted to make a public comment, but refused to give her name as she was fearful that due to all the medica coverage she would be targeted. It is a sad example of what today’s climate has brought when a parent is scared to speak or ask questions on their child’s behalf at a school committee. The committee was more than polite, but they could not make an exception to this rule. Someone from the audience, I am guessing a school employee, spoke with the mom and I believe answered her questions outside of the meeting room.