CA school district: Students can't skip same-sex ed

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Whether they like it or not, parents in Vallejo, California are going to have to deal with their children learning about same-sex rights.

Angry parents in the Vallejo Unified School District packed the district’s office Wednesday evening to protest a plan to teach grade school children a course that depicts gay relationships.

Officials from the district told parents they do not have the right to opt out of a lesson plan designed to promote tolerance. The controversy involves three movies that are scheduled to be shown to students from kindergarten through the fifth grade that talk about same-sex relationships.

The district was ordered by a court in May 2009 to get ready to discuss the sensitive issues. The ACLU filed suit against the district on behalf of an openly gay student who says she was being harassed by teachers and staff for being gay. The student won the suit and now the district is required to hold mandatory training, which includes showing the controversial videos to students.

At issue is the district not allowing parents to opt out from having their children watch the videos. Parents say they have the right to control what their children learn but the videos are being shown. District Superintendent Floyd Gonella disagrees in this case.

“We do not feel that this is an area that students can opt out and we feel this is an area we don’t have to give prior notification,” he said.