Fremont parents split over ninth grade sex-ed textbook

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Fremont parents are divided over a health textbook that will be used to teach ninth graders intimate details about the subject of sex.

The Fremont Unified School District has become embroiled in a huge controversy over how much is too much to teach kids about sex. Some parents believe a ninth grade textbook is too explicit, while others think it is fine.

"More and more, we're exposing children to things that aren't necessarily age appropriate," said parent Renee Chapman.

Parent Rae Lan Miller adds, "I think it's too explicit. I think those kind of things should be discussed at home."

The parents are talking about a textbook called "Your Health Today."

This fall, ninth graders at Fremont's high schools will be using it in their health education classes. The book covers a wide array of subjects including relationships, stress, nutrition, fitness, and drugs. But it's a chapter on sexual health that many parents are upset about.

It's just 21 pages in a 392 page book. But it's become a huge controversy, even generating more than 1,000 signatures on an online petition. Those from as far away as India are demanding that the school board rescind its June decision approving the textbook.

The chapter has descriptive pictures and talks about sex toys, orgasms, bondage, and how to use a condom.

Superintendent Jim Morris says the book has the backing of his teachers.

"Our teachers looked at all of the textbooks and said we think this is the best one most closely aligned with the California standards that we can use in the classrooms," he said.

Becky Bruno was reviewing the book at the district office. Her son's entering the 9th grade and she wanted to find out for herself what the controversy was all about.

"This is factual," she said. "And I think this is the best source to get it from, our educators rather than finding it out for themselves and it may not be accurate information."

There is one thing parents can do -- they can choose to have their children opt out of the sexual health portion of the course, but only because of their religious beliefs.
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