Alameda District Discontinues K-5 LGBT (“Lesson 9”) Curriculum; Parents Dismiss Opt-Out Suit
Alameda, CA – A group of parents who filed a lawsuit against Alameda Unified School District after the District denied their requests to excuse their young children from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) instruction are dismissing their suit. The material at issue (Lesson 9) gave a monopoly on anti-bullying and persity instruction to only one protected class – LGBT. Lesson 9 excluded all other children who would be subject to bullying because of gender, race, religion, nationality and disability. The dismissal of the appeal comes after attorneys for the District informed the Pacific Justice Institute that the board of education voted to discontinue use of Lesson 9 and replace it with materials that cover each legally protected class.
While the District had claimed that a LGBT curriculum was necessary to address bullying and harassment in elementary schools, documentation from the District obtained by PJI through a public records request revealed that, of the approximately 170 incident reports in an 18 month period, there were no school incidents of harassment due to sexual orientation in the elementary grades. The vast majority of reported complaints on AUSD campuses involved opposite-sex sexual harassment and racial tension, not sexual orientation. “All children deserve safe schools,” said Kevin Snider, a PJI attorney representing the parents. “To give one group the sole voice in safe-school instruction was an attempt to teach impressionable children that the LGBT lifestyle is both moral and normative,” Snider continued. Lesson 9 spawned three lawsuits, administrative complaints, and marathon school board and committee meetings attended by hundreds from the community.
“This has been a significant gain by parents. We are remaining vigilant and will continue to keep an eye on the District,” said PJI president Brad Dacus. “In the lawsuit, we were only seeking compliance with the opt-out requirements in the Education Code, but of course we are very gratified that Lesson 9 is gone,” Dacus continued. “Ending Lesson 9 came about by the combined efforts of many, including Capitol Resource Institute, local churches, but mainly, hundreds of parents in Alameda who had the courage to stand up for their children,” Dacus added.