The vote by the Alameda Board of Education on Tuesday did little to ease tensions in the island city near Oakland. A lawsuit and threats of recalling school board members accompanied debate over the so-called Lesson 9 curriculum adopted in May to prevent anti-gay bullying.
UPDATE 5/21/10: School Board drops homosexual indoctrination curriculum
-- From "SF Bay schools phase out gay-friendly curriculum" by Lisa Leff, Associated Press 12/10/09
A San Francisco Bay area school board will use broad lessons against bias to replace a curriculum against bullying gay people that had become a national centerpiece in the opposition to same-sex marriage.
Gay parents in the community wanted their children protected from bullying, while other parents argued that elementary school is too early to talk to students about gay people.
The 45-minute Lesson 9, which was to be taught once a year in each grade starting with kindergarten, sparked a lawsuit, accusations that religious families were being discriminated against and threats of a recall election against the three board members who approved it.
A dozen Alameda families sued the school district earlier this year over its contention that parents did not have to be notified in advance when teachers planned to give the lessons so they could keep their children from receiving them. Last week, an Alameda Superior Court judge sided with the school district, ruling that a state law allowing parents to have their "opt-out" of discussions about human sexuality did not apply to Lesson 9.
Kevin Snider, a lawyer with the conservative Pacific Justice Institute who represented the Alameda families, said before the school board's vote that his clients would not appeal the judge's ruling if the school board eliminated Lesson 9. He did not immediately return a call Wednesday for clarification on whether the board's action satisfied that condition.
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