The Fremont Unified School District Board of Education on Wednesday night was slated to vote on whether to approve a new sexual education curriculum to be taught to students between fourth and sixth grades.
The school board meeting, which began at 4:30 p.m., ran into the late-night, early-morning hours before a decision was made.
Nearly 6,400 people have signed a petition to stop the curriculum from being taught because they fear it is not age appropriate.
"I am against the existing sexual curriculum," parent Alice Lu said. "I feel that they need to have a total, comprehensive health education and not strictly focus on sex education. And even if it is sex education, I think the current curriculum, it's not appropriate for their age level. Some of the materials, I just feel is a little bit too explicit."
[BAY DSJ] Demonstrators Gather in Fremont Before Sex Education Curriculum Vote
The associate superintendent of the district said the curriculum follows state standards, which require the lessons to include comprehensive sexual health education, HIV prevention education and other age-appropriate material.
"I'm OK for it," parent Harry Singh said. "The kid needs to know what it is. I'm sure the district knows what they're doing. I think [the students] need to know. They're going to find out anyways."
Parents can have their child or children opt out of the curriculum, but critics argue that would subject the students to ridicule.
"This is not a question of whether or not we’re just 'a bunch of prudes' that don't want our kids learning about puberty and sex education," said parent Chris Drake. "We're actually here because we object to Three R's curriculum and we think it is not a good curriculum and we object to the way the Fremont Unified School district has gone about rolling out the curriculum."
The Three R's refer to rights, respect and responsibility.
If the curriculum is approved, it will start in a few weeks.