FREMONT, Calif. (KTVU) - A large crowd showed up Wednesday night at a Fremont school board meeting to challenge a proposed sex education curriculum for 4th to 8th graders.
Some parents say the new course material is too detailed, too graphic and unnecessary.
Public comment went late into the night with more than 60 people on both sides of the issue. Signed up to give public comment about what they think students should learn about sex.
With health and sexual education being a sensitive topic for some, parents voiced concern asking that the curriculum be reviewed to insure it is age appropriate.
Some worry Fremont School District is exposing children too early to sexual details.
"It's too much details talking about the sexuality, like intercourses," said Sunidhadevi Gopalan, whose 6th grader would be affected. She's a mother of two girls at Fremont schools. Her other daughter is only in 2nd grade.
Gopalen is among a group of parents who have signed a petition on Change.org, which had more than 4,000 signatures ahead of Wednesday nights's meeting. It calls the new curriculum "inappropriate."
Some parents also say 4th grade is too young to begin yearly sex education and oppose the opt-out system where parents must request their child not be included in classes.
Other parents say they support the sex education curriculum and that the descriptions of sexual intercourse serve an important purpose.
"Those topics are covered in the topics that relate to HIV, AIDS transmission and STI transmission. And it's really important for our students to know how to protect their own reproductive health. So they need to know what behaviors can transmit disease and how to protect themselves," said Dianne Jones, a Fremont parent and curriculum committee member.
Sex-ed supporters say the Fremont lessons are in line with national standards.
The National Health Education Standards for K-12 sex-ed cover a range of topics from anatomy to sexual identity, pregnancy and HIV.
"We always try to promote the transparency and accountability of the school district," said Yang Shao, Fremont School Board president.
The board president says the district posted the staff's recommended curriculum online for parents.
It states, "Under the current California educational code, each district has the discretion to decide the curriculum for sex education for elementary school grades."
The sex-ed curriculum wasn't wasn't on the meeting agenda, so the board won't be able to make any decisions tonight. They will however, need to vote on whether to debate this new sex education curriculum at their next meeting.