For months, parents have pushed school officials for answers about who was involved and what was being taught by Planned Parenthood on campus. Just before Christmas, in response to a public records request from Pacific Justice Institute, the District finally identified some of the PP employees involved with the program. Parents are now more concerned than ever. The parents started asking more questions and learned that one of the sex ed instructors at Acalanes High School, when she is not working for Planned Parenthood, leads “pleasure workshops” demonstrating the use of sex toys for a sex toy porn shop in Berkeley called Good Vibrations. It is not yet clear what this instructor may have told students about the store’s offerings.
PJI previously reported on the District’s use of racy sex checklists, a diagram of the “Genderbread Person,” and coaching students in asking each other if it’s okay to take their clothes off. In a letter sent to PJI in early January, a lawyer for the District strongly defended the program as “age appropriate” and claimed the sex checklists were merely “idea-generating worksheets” rather than illegal surveys or questionnaires.
Although the District is promising to continue the controversial program, there are signs it is beginning to feel the parents’ pressure. After being confronted with the backgrounds of the two instructors outlined above, Superintendent John Nickerson confirmed to parents that neither of those individuals would take part in the sex ed program that began January 5. The District has not disclosed, however, who would be teaching the class and has previously admitted it does not conduct background checks on PP instructors.
Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, commented, “It has become clear that Acalanes officials have breached parental trust at every turn. They have brought individuals into the classroom who should not be anywhere near a school campus, and they continue to defend an indefensible program. In light of these most recent revelations, we are renewing our call to the District to suspend its relationship with Planned Parenthood and make sweeping changes to comply with the letter and spirit of state law. We are also calling on responsible journalists to join us in asking tough questions and holding the District accountable for these serious lapses in judgment.”
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