San Ramon parents wary because of school's LGBTQ curriculum plans

Parents at one Bay Area school say teaching their children a week-long curriculum, focusing on LGBTQ issues is too much and the content isn't age appropriate. 

On Friday, parents from San Ramon’s Windemere Ranch Middle School met with school officials to express their concerns.

"Why do the principal and the superintendent get to take my young child and get to decide a social issue that even we as parents we as adults can decide at this point," says Robyn Barney a parent at the school. 

"I think it's important that younger kids are more educated, because if they're just learning from their parents, then a lot of time there are older parents that don't think it’s that important," says Naomi Adrian of Blackhawk. 

This isn't the first time some parents disagreed about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning curriculum at the school. 

Last year, the students’ leadership committee, with an advisor, came up with the idea and videos to be shown to their fellow students. Parents then had a week to react. This year they had twice as much time. 

"The principal sent out an email two weeks in advance to let parents know about it, see the lesson plans see the videos that were going to be shown," says San Ramon Valley Unified School Spokesperson Elizabeth Graswich. 

That's when the principal decided to edit out some images from YouTube videos the children will see.  Some parents felt the content which shows same-sex couples embracing and kissing isn't age appropriate.

In the past student leaders have also focused on the holocaust and bullying. The LGBTQ subject matter will be taught for 30 minutes a day for one week. 

Parents we spoke with say they're all for LGBTQ being taught in the classroom, but only with their input. The parents also say they would like the subject matter to be taught only one day and use the other four to talk about issues. 

One parent, Sharlee Stemmons, says more should be included in the week’s curriculum so “true acceptance” can be taught in an all-encompassing way for middle-school aged kids.

The school stresses that parents can opt their students out of the course, but some parents believe doing that just alienates their child.

"They're saying that they believe something different, instead of it being inclusive and acceptance of all beliefs.

You're basically telling that child that they're different because they don't believe the same thing that someone else does," says parent Trisha Baer.

Another parent said if things don't change he'll boycott. 

"We'll pull our children out of school for the whole week and we'll deal with it that way," says John Rocha.

After the meeting, parents said they're hopeful both sides can come to a compromise.

As of now the district plans to teach the edited course starting April 11th.