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Battle Ground School District board members reviewing a new health curriculum

Battle Ground School District board members reviewing a new health curriculum

By Julia Dawn Seaver

While you’re enjoying the slower pace of summer, your Battle Ground School District Board is hard at work reviewing a new health curriculum — read gender identity and sex-ed — for high school students.

Julia Dawn Seaver
Julia Dawn Seaver

If you didn’t know about it, it’s probably because that was the intention, two years ago when the curriculum was first being designed, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OPSI) Communications Manager Nathan Olsen, in a phone call with the Family Policy Institute of Washington, said they had no plans to issue a press release or otherwise notify parents of the changes. It’s been implemented in various forms in cities across the state and has now come to Battle Ground.

Currently, the only way to see the materials is to make an appointment with the Curriculum Department to view it at the district office.  A quick review shows the intention to adopt gender language and controversial claims. It reads that chromosomes help determine a person’s “assigned sex” and that “parents assign gender to a baby when the baby’s biological sex is identified at birth.”  It further claims that sexual identity is inborn or present at birth, but a newer classification, Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria that occurs in the context of peer groups and online influences, has been recognized. There doesn’t appear to be any reference to the well-reported studies showing 80-95 percent of children will change their minds before adulthood and become comfortable in the body they were born with if not pushed into transition.

Discussing birth control methods, women and girls are reduced to body parts when describing certain types that are “used by people who have a uterus and ovaries.”

It appears the material seeks to conflate transgender people with those born with sex chromosome anomalies like Turner syndrome and Klinefelter syndrome, and intersex people with atypical sexual anatomy.

There is also an exercise that has three students demonstrate three ways to ask someone out.  It states that the gender of the students is not important and if two students of the same gender are asking each other out teachers should “stress that they should not be mocking of gay relationships.”  Volunteers can opt-out if they are uncomfortable.

It’s puzzling why schools would teach students how to ask someone out on a date.  Even more so when a look at the Washington State Report Card reveals fewer than 60 percent of third–eighth graders are meeting the standard in English and Math. Eleventh graders are doing a little better in English but much worse in Math.

The board of directors accepted the first reading of the curriculum at its meeting on June 25 with one dissenting vote.  It’s anticipated they will vote to adopt the curriculum at the next meeting Mon., July 9 at 6 p.m., Lewisville Campus, 406 NW Fifth Ave., Building C, Room C-26.  Some public comments, limited to three minutes, are allowed at meetings.

Julia Dawn Seaver
Battle Ground

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