CUSD Continues Effort to Implement CHYA


Kate Meyers

San Juan Capistrano board members, Susan Holliday and Clark Hampton, discuss the future of the sex-ed program for CUSD.

Grace Aitken, News Editor

Over the past two years, sexual education and the role of it in student’s lives has been a frequent topic of controversy and debate among the parents, teachers, and administrators of CUSD.

The California Healthy Youth Act, passed in 2016, mandates that all students enrolled in public schools get comprehensive sexual education and HIV prevention education. Its goal is to provide teens with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate healthy relationships, sexuality, and other aspects of an adult life.

CUSD hasn’t implemented CHYA in their schools, but are working on a way to develop a curriculum that is as comprehensive and inclusive as possible.

The district fears that many parents will opt their kids out of the course if they feel it’s inappropriate. “Opting out” means their children will be out of the classroom while their class is going through sex ed, which could have negative effects on their future health.

To expedite the process of developing a new curriculum, the district has put together a “task force” made of teachers, parents, and administrators. This task force’s mission is to create a sex ed that is inclusive, while at the same time not making many parents feel that they need to opt their kids out. From April to June 2018 this task force met to provide feedback and ideas on a new curriculum.

After June, district leaders began to build accurate and appropriate lessons for middle school students. Throughout the summer they wrote, and in August the district education services edited it. In November the new curriculum will be presented to community members, and in December it will be submitted to the Instructional Materials Review Committee (IMRC). CUSD’s goal is to have at least a new middle school curriculum in schools by the end of this year.

The revision of the current high school curriculum is scheduled to begin soon, and be implemented by August 2019. A task force to provide feedback on it will consist of students, teachers, District staff, community representatives, and parents.