On Oct. 10, there was a protest held at the Santa Barbara Courthouse by parents and community that are tired of having their voices ignored by the Santa Barbara Unified School District board.
Everyone that is a registered voter between Montecieto to Goleta votes for that board.
There have been many issues the school board has not handled well, the controversial health education choice of curriculum Teen Talk over the HEART curriculum for sex education most recently.
The News-Press and KEYT-TV covered the event. (See newspress.com/protest-against-teen-talk and https://keyt.com/news/education/2020/10/10/parents-protest-sb-unifieds-new-sex-education-curriculum.)
The KEYT news article on 10/10/20 quoted in response, the school board said that protesters are inciting fear and anger with a misinformation campaign that preys on people’s faith.
This Santa Barbara School board needs to be voted out.
“They don’t like the fact that it’s the law that we teach that abstinence is not the only way to avoid pregnancy,” SBUSD board member Kate Ford said.
This shows how out of touch the current board is.
The objection here is not the law or that this is a requirement beginning at 11 years old. Parents recognize the need for this health education to protect against sexually transmitted diseases and prepare youth for their changing bodies as they approach adolescence.
The protesters don’t consider opt out as a choice as “opt out” is to be shut out.
The truth is hundreds of parents, including several doctors, spoke out against Teen Talk over several meetings asking for a choice of the HEART curriculum over Teen Talk that many parents object to. HEART is also compliant with updated educational standards
In general, this topic aside, they refuse to listen to or support the parents voices they are supposed to represent. A huge concern is that they have also failed to bring up standards in educating students, turning out kids unprepared to enter the work force or higher education.
Only 20% of kids can read, write or do math at grade-level in the Santa Barbara Unified School District.
“It’s important we engage with parents as partners to ensure we are addressing the needs of the whole child with medically accurate, standards-based health education for students,” SBUSD Superintendent Hilda Maldonado said.
Why isn’t Ms. Maldonado engaging with parents as partners finding some common ground by offering a choice of the compliant HEART curriculum?
Using Ms. Maldonado’s words ” the whole child,” the HEART curriculum supports the whole child and encourages good communication with their parents.
Previously, she has never been a superintendent; however board members Laura Capps, Wendy Sims-Moten and Jacqueline Reid, who are on the Nov. 3 ballot, selected her to lead the Santa Barbara School District as the new superintendent.
Ms. Maldonado was previously the assistant superintendent, a very different role, in the troubled Los Angeles Unified School District, where the grades are even worse than Santa Barbara. She received quite a bump up the ranks with a $250,000 salary, not including health benefits and retirement package.
In addition to not being inclusive of parent’s voices, the Santa Barbara Unified School District remains in virtual instruction while all the private schools and several school districts have been back to school for many weeks now.
Our kids are further behind each day and are having terrible consequences of this learning model. Screen fatigue is minor; there is a huge increase in depression and a six-fold jump in abuse/neglect. Parents struggle economically trying to work and be present in the home doing the teachers job in facilitating the school’s virtual instruction to the best of their skills.
For equity in education and the health of kids and community, vote for Elrawd Maclearn, Brian Campbell and Moni De Wit, who will put kids above politics. They will be voices for both parents and teachers.
The author is a Santa Barbara resident.