TUSD1 – Facts to Know About TUSD’s Family Life Curriculum


Hello, Tucson Unified community: parents, students, community members. Number one, I want to thank you for your continuing support of our great district. And what I want to talk to you about today is what that action means. First, please know that the Family Life Curriculum will not be
taught in any classroom across the district until we as an administrative
team comply with the conditions that were set forth by our Governing Board in
the last meeting. First and foremost, we will be conducting a district-wide
parent workshop, meaning that parents will have an opportunity to come to a
workshop and actually sit in as our staff members teach our parents the
exact lessons that will be taught to their students. Parents will be able to
sit in and experience the lessons first-hand and see exactly what it is
that their children will be learning in the Family Life Curriculum. In these
sessions, parents will have an opportunity to provide feedback
regarding any concerns or their overall experience with the lessons. Secondly, we
will be requiring all of our teachers to go through professional development.
We want our teachers to know and be aware of our district policy regarding
the prohibition of teachers being able to use their own personal or political
or religious beliefs to influence students. We at the Tucson Unified School
District, we expect all of our teachers to present content and concepts and
ideas in an informative way free of any political religious or personal
preferences. It is against district policy for any of
our teachers to promote their own, his or her own, personal political religious
beliefs in any classroom for any reason. We also want through this professional
development to make sure that our teachers understand we have Governing
Board policy that protects all of our students and all of our employees
against discrimination or harassment on the basis of disability, race, religion,
personal religious beliefs, political affiliation, political beliefs, sexuality,
gender expression, gender identity. We want our families to feel comfortable
opting out of this curriculum. If they don’t feel comfortable in the curriculum,
they have an opportunity to experience an alternative lesson. We don’t want any family worried that their child will be subjected unfairly to any scrutiny,
bullying, or harassing behavior. Through action taken at the last
Governing Board meeting, our district has prohibited the purchase of any outside
materials or curriculum. This administration, per Governing Board action, is not able to go out and purchase any outside materials, any additional
curricular materials, or any outside curriculum. We are required to develop all materials per Governing Board action internally. We then must be required
to bring all of those internally developed materials through a public review
process through Governing Board Policy IJJ. The next recommendation from our
Governing Board that we must comply with prior to any of these lessons being
taught is the adjustment to make abstinence the primary recommended
method and strategy to be promoted throughout this curriculum as the only
100% safe and effective way to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted
infections and the occurrence of unplanned pregnancies. We will be
increasing the presence of abstinence and feature abstinence as a primary
strategy for avoiding sexually transmitted infections and diseases and
for avoiding unwanted pregnancies. We will be increasing the
presence of abstinence from just two lessons to seven throughout the K-12
curriculum. Lastly, before we implement or take steps to implement this curriculum anywhere in the district, each campus will be establishing a primary contact with the counselor or social worker so that our professional mental health care
providers will be the only persons addressing these issues as they may come up in the classroom. Our classroom teachers are not in the role of counselor or social worker, nor should they be providing clinical or behavioral
health services for these types of issues and concerns. We expect that from time to time when students are in a state of crisis that the identified contact persons, counselors or social workers, are swiftly contacted, and that they begin providing services to students, along with parents. This Family Life Curriculum, just like all of our other curriculum, it’s not designed to promote any sort of ideological social, political, or religious belief
system. The goal is to present concepts and ideas in a factual way so that our
students are well informed. All of the content that talks about contraception, reproductive health, reproductive choices, gender does not even begin until six,
seventh, and eighth grade and into the high school years. Our curriculum at the fourth and fifth grade level covers no content dealing with sex, dealing with
contraceptions, dealing with reproduction or any type of sexual behavior. Our
fourth and fifth grade curriculum deals exclusively with changes to the body
that will occur during puberty and adolescence, strategies for children to
understand acceptable forms of communication on the Internet
and in-person, strategies for forming and maintaining healthy familial relationships to recognize bully and aggressive conduct
and their peers and to have a general understanding of the school atmosphere
around them. This curriculum is opt-in. You don’t have to be a part of this curriculum if you don’t want your child to sit in on it. We will make a commitment
to you to provide a high quality alternative lesson and activity should
that be the decision that you make for you and your child, and we as a school
district are required to get your signature on a permission slip. You will
be notified a few weeks before the beginning of any of these lessons, and
you will be given an opportunity to make a decision whether or not you want your
child to participate. If we do not receive your signed parental permission
slip for your child to participate in these lessons, they will not be
participating and they will be provided alternative assignments. We value the
idea and the concept and the belief that these concepts and ideas are best taught
in the home. This Family Life Curriculum, it’s a resource for you. It’s a resource
for what we know you strive to do in your home and to support that
educational effort that you give. I want to thank you for taking the time to view this information, and more importantly I want to thank you for choosing Tucson
Unified schools. It is because of you that Tucson Unified School District is
the gold standard for excellence in K-12 education in Pima County. Through our
partnership with you, we can make a difference for your child each and every
day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *