Alameda Public school LGBT curriculum for K-5

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					Lesson9Comments                                                                                    9/28/09 8:07 AM




                              Comments Received From May 19 through May 25
                                                          May 2009

       Due to number of comments received, comments received regarding the LGBT curriculum for K-
       5 is on multiple pages. The more recent comments made after May 25 and the background
       information can be found on the LGBT curriculum page. Comments prior to March 1st are here,
       comments from March 1 to May 9 are here comments made from May 10 to May 12 are
       here and comments from May 13 to May 18 are here.

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       Alameda Resident 5/25

       My daughter is a second grader in Alameda Public Schools. I am a teacher of the living
       sciences, biology, human physiology and environmental science for Oakland Unified School
       District. I have held this position for 20 years. In addition to my California Teachers Credential, I
       hold an M. S. degree in Education with emphasis in curriculum.

       I have read the curriculum which encourages tolerance and acceptance of all, for grades K-5. I
       regard these brief lessons as a bare mammon, or stuttering place for teaching against hate. The
       Curriculum should be adopted. Hate and bullying are very serious problems which lead to even
       more tragic forms of violence.

       Like you, I listened to the arguments against the curriculum at last weeks meeting. I am confident
       that many of the speakers had not read the lesson plans. Claims that the curriculum does not
       address other hate such as ethnic slurs, are obviously wrong. The lessons for Kindergarten,
       grades 4 and 5 are very applicable to all kinds of hate and encourage students to step into the
       shoes of those they might have belittled.

       I am very concerned about intolerance and hate in our local and greater communities. Private
       schools can ignore the diversity of humanity public schools can not.


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Lesson9Comments                                                                                   9/28/09 8:07 AM



       I will attend again Tuesday Night to see you vote for tolerance and against hate.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/25

       On Tuesday, May 26th the Alameda Board of Education will decide whether or not the public
       schools of Alameda should include lessons that educate the students about lesbian, gay,
       bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) people. I firmly support an affirmative decision in this regard
       as I believe that programs such as those being considered can serve to better prepare our
       children for the ever increasing diversity in their lives.

       As a 5th grade teacher at xxx Elementary I recognize that the subject of LGBT is a very sensitive
       subject for many of the parents and community members. However, I do not think that this fact
       should guide your decision to include or exclude this subject matter in our students’ education.
       Instead we need to make this decision as educators responsible for preparing our students for
       the world they live in as well provide a forum for all students to feel supported and safe within our
       school communities.

       The proposed curriculum is not intended to teach students about sex, morality, or about what it
       truly means to be a gay individual within our society or world. Instead, the curriculum simply
       makes an attempt to create a basic understanding of the diversity in family structures that may
       exist amongst their peers. I believe that this would serve to create a much more productive and
       safe learning environment for all students.

       This evening, I strongly encourage you to approve the proposed curriculum

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/25

       Thank you for having received my emails so far. Again, I would like to voice my opposition
       against the LGBT curriculum. I am still disappointed that the process in which the LGBT
       curriculum was developed has not been addressed. The process gives me concern and I still
       have not heard a satisfactory explanation for why it occurred in a seemingly underhanded and
       secret way.

       Though other attorneys apparently drafted a letter to support the LGBT curriculum, they still have
       not adequately defeated the legal grounds. It only takes one legal reason to make the curriculum
       illegal and I'm afraid the letter has not defeated all grounds for why the curriculum is legally
       justified.

       Please save yourself from the litigation costs for a case that will be ruled against you. You have
       received many fair warnings and it would be irresponsible to go forward with this curriculum.
       Please do not allow this curriculum to go forward.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/25

       I am writing to urge your support and leadership in further making Alameda schools a safe and
       respectful environment for ALL of Alameda's students and families by supporting the proposal
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Lesson9Comments                                                                                  9/28/09 8:07 AM



       respectful environment for ALL of Alameda's students and families by supporting the proposal
       regarding the curriculum to teach elementary school students respect for gay and lesbian
       families.

       Superintendant Vital's public comments urging that all of us keep in mind our responsibility as a
       district for providing a safe and welcoming environment for all students and our obligation to
       develop policy and a curriculum that we believe best enables us to protect the rights of all our
       students, their families, and staff," is right on the mark, and should be commended and
       supported.

       I must also convey to you my recent experience receiving a disturbingly biased and unethical
       telephone survey by the opponents of this proposal. The Capitol Resource Institute funded this
       survey which asked HIGHLY biased questions... NOT in an attempt to legitimately guage the true
       attitudes of Alameda residents, but to gain support for its pre-established beliefs that oppose fair
       treatment for gay and lesbian persons and families. The survey was also conducted by computer,
       thereby not allowing people to ask questions of the surveyors, including such things as how long
       the survey would take, nor to clarify some of the questions that were so convuluted as to be
       nearly incomprehensible. I must urge you to completely disregard any "data" presented as a
       result of this poorly-conceived and mis-representative survey, and to remember that the majority
       of Alamedans are fair-minded and open-hearted people whose views are not represented by the
       Capitol Resource Institute or any other outside agitators, attempting to sway the Board to accept
       their bigoted and viewpoints which reflect, at best, a vast minority of Alameda residents.

       We entrust our children to the educators, administrators, and Board Members who lead the
       Alameda schools. Please consider these issues carefully, and strongly support the rights of all
       Alameda students and families to live in safety, understanding and equality in our schools and
       community.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/25

       I support the proposed Caring Schools Curriculum for the following reasons;

       Fact: We are all human beings, with differing gifts and talents
       Fact: We are not identical with one another – we are diverse, come from different places, speak
       in different ways and look different from one another
       Fact: It is important that we are respectful of all persons, including those whose ideas may differ
       from our own
       Fact: These concepts should be taught at home
       Fact: There are many different kinds of families – they happen to come in different sizes and
       configurations and combinations
       Fact: Celebrating the many differences in our life are best taught at home - if that should not
       happen to occur – then learning at school is a logical solution
       Fact: Words can be very hurtful – often children hear words at school – realize that word/s are
       useful for teasing/taunting without always understanding the meaning of the word itself
       Fact: Unless these ‘school’ words are shared with parents, who can help them to understand
       them, and that the use of the words can be hurtful – this then leaves school as a backup and
       logical place to help the student learn


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Lesson9Comments                                                                                    9/28/09 8:07 AM



       It is important to demonstrate to our children that we can be accepting, respectful and tolerant of
       individuals and families who are not ‘just like us.’

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/25

       As an Alameda resident living on the West End of town, I wanted to voice my support for the
       Safe Schools Curriculum, and to share my perspective as a Family Physician working in the
       community. And, I am speaking as a Taiwanese American, Christian, Straight Man.

       Many of my elementary school, middle school, and high school patients suffer bullying for a
       variety of reasons, including racial, language, gender, class, and sexual orientation reasons. I
       have seen the damaging effects of this bullying on the psychological, physical, and emotional
       development of my patients. Many of my them live in fear when they are at school, doubt their
       self worth, have poor performance in school, and bring a variety of behavioral challenges home.

       Given the enormity of the bullying problem and its effects on my patients, I support any
       curriculum that will begin to alleviate bullying in the schools. I see this curriculum as just the
       beginning of our efforts to address bullying. We need to start somewhere. Later, we can build
       and expand onto the curriculum, if needed. And, if our teachers are asking for support with
       particular attention to LGBTQ communities, we need to support them on this.

       Opponents argue that this curriculum should not go forward just because the curriculum does not
       address each and every group that suffers oppression, as if it is a zero sum game. What they fail
       to remember is that all our idenities as people are not fragmented into separate racial, gender,
       religious, or sexual orientation categories. A child is not just Black, or disabled, or a boy, or
       Muslim, etc. A child may be Black, and disabled, and a boy, and Muslim, and gay. When a
       curriculum addresses one aspect of identity, this is not a loss for all other aspects of identity.
       Rather, addressing one aspect begins to touch into the web and fluidity of identity that will end
       up serving the whole person.

       Thank you for sheperding this process along and being open to various viewpoints as we make
       Alameda a stronger and more inclusive community.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/25

       I have attended the last two public meetings regarding the Safe Schools Curriculum but was not
       offered the chance to speak. Those who opposed the curriculum repeated the same few
       criticisms. One oft repeated comment was "this is not science." I beg to differ. As an
       anthropologist I have seen the body of scientific data grow that demonstrates that biological
       differencecs between males and females exist on a continuum. This data covers areas of
       hormones, primary and secondary characterisitcs, and the various configurations of the X and Y
       chromosomes. This is not referring to any disease processes or even sexual orientation but
       simply to variation with human beings. In short, people can't be put into discrete boxes of either
       this or that. This scientific ambiguity can make some people uncomfortable but that does not
       diminish its relevance. As an Alameda parent of several public school children I want my children
       to receive an excellent education. Whether or not people like learning about the continuous
       biological variation between males and females, it exists. This information will be coming to the
       curriculum eventually in academically and developmentally appropriate ways.
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       curriculum eventually in academically and developmentally appropriate ways.

       I am very proud of the proposed curriculum and only wish that there were more LGBTQ lessons

       TOP

       Alameda Student Third Grade 5/25

       I don't want this curriculum happening. It's not part of math, language arts, or reading. A lot of
       people disagree about this. I don't want you to force me to do this!!!

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/25

       As I am sure you are all aware, Propositions 1A, 1B, and 1C were voted down by Alameda
       voters. Alameda was to lose 50 million dollars, but it now it looks like this is just the beginning of
       massive deficits.

       What you may not realize is that voters are angry. They are tired of annual education tax
       increases. They are even more tired of misguided priorities. Why should voters approve of more
       money when they know that any money approved will only be misspent?

       Voters need only to point to the LGBT curriculum. There seems to be no money for art, no
       teacher time for music, no athletics, and a focus away from core academics. Schools are being
       closed, and teachers regularly receive layoff notices. But somehow there seems to plenty of
       money for LGBT curriculum, valuable teacher time, teacher training, consultant fees (from a
       biased consultant - why did we pay him???), and the cost of defending impending lawsuits!
       Voters are sending the message - when money is tight, spend money on academics and
       universally accepted programs! Please do not allow this new curriculum - and get education
       priorities straight instead.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/25

       It is time to end bigotry in the name of religion. Please vote for the proposed LGBT Curriculum.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/25

       I am taking time from a very busy life to voice my support for teaching tolerance in the school
       curriculum. I am an Alameda resident with 3 school age children and have lived here about 20
       years. This is a no brainer in my opinion. I am sorry that it is eating up so much time in an era
       where our focus is desperately needed elsewhere.

       BOTTOM LINE: If we are going to teach tolerance for race, religion, ethnicity, marital
       status...there is NO legal or rational basis to exclude teaching tolerance and respectful behavior
       towards gays, lesbians, bisexuals or transsexuals.


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Lesson9Comments                                                                                     9/28/09 8:07 AM



       Haven't we already learned these lessonsin American History? Despite the Supreme Court's
       decision in Dred Scott, we now KNOW that African Americans are NOT "3/5 of a person."
       Similarly, despite the Plessy v. Ferguson decision, we now KNOW that "separate is not equal".
       Did we really have to wait until 1967's Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia to KNOW
       that inter-racial marriage cannot be outlawed?

       In your hearts I believe you already KNOW the right answer to this curriculum question. It is a
       long overdue curriculum change. We must live in tolerance if we are to be a viable community.
       The alternative is unthinkable. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/25

       I am an Alameda resident and parent of children attending Alameda public schools. I am
       speaking on behalf of my Muslim family, to let you know that the passing of the proposed
       tolerance curriculum would conflict with the teachings of our Islamic faith. I am deeply disturbed
       to think that my responsibility as a parent to teach my children important moral values is being
       usurped by the public school system, taking away my right to be the first teacher of my children.
       The teaching of moral values have always been in the realm of family, we send our children to
       school to learn the tools of education (i.e., reading, writing, math, sciences etc.). The teaching of
       respect, tolerance and dignity should be extended to ALL peoples regardless of gender, religion,
       race and physical abilities I am therefore OPPOSED to this new curriculum as it clearly serves
       the interest of only a select group of the population. In serving the needs of a richly diverse
       community, we the parents, teachers, educators, school administrators, school board members
       and students in Alameda should all work together in dealing with issues that are culturally
       sensitive and relevant to city. I sincerely thank you for your time and consideration.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/25

       I have a five year old daughter, who will be in first grade this fall. I am asking that you not adopt
       the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) cirriculum.

       We live in the Untied Stated of America, where we are supposed to be free!

       I believe that if you do pass GLBT cirriculum, it will be taking away that freedom! Being Gay,
       Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender has nothing to do with education! We are supposed to have
       religious freedom, I am a born again Christian. How is it fair that you give them the freedom to do
       whatever they want, but force those who do not want to teach their children at such a early age
       about GLBT's, that they have to teach them, and do not have a choice!

       Again I am against the GLBT curriculum! I believe that a parent should have the choice. If you do
       decide to pass this, at least give the parents their freedom of choice! The choice to opt out if they
       so choose. These are OUR children NOT yours!

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/25


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Lesson9Comments                                                                                  9/28/09 8:07 AM



       We are against sex education. We want the concentration to be on reading, writing and
       arithmatic.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/25

       At what point do we stop listening to people and take away their rights "for their own good"? The
       parents of your school district have asked you to not adopt a GLBT curriculum, but you have
       decided to go forward with it anyway--to stop bullying. As if there aren't other ways to stop
       bullying. Are you secure enough in your job that you truly believe that the majority of the people
       who have asked you not to adopt this material will now turn around and support you in the
       election when you have not supported them? Or are you bowing to pressure from the vocal
       minority? Or maybe your own interests? Whatever, I am asking you not to adopt the GLBT
       curriculum.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/25

       t is utterly unthinkable that this curriculum has come this far as to even be voted on.

       Please PRESERVE MORALITY in our schools, our children, our state and nation.

       We anticipate a close vote by the Board of Education, when it decides whether to mandate the
       homosexual, bisexual, and transsexual curriculum in Alameda Unified School District.

       This quote on your website is an abomination that there would be a close vote to mandate the
       teaching of gross immorality!!!!

       STOP THIS FROM HAPPENING! the future of our children and schools are in your hands .
       There is no value in this kind of teaching.

       May the Lord God Almighty's Truths in the Holy Scriptures be your guide and conscience.

       Thank you for stopping the teaching of this curriculum.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/25

       Please do not allow the board to teach the GLBT in the schools. It is the sole responsibility of
       parents to teach their own children these moral issues, the way they want to and they way they
       believe in. It is NOT appropriate for schools to teach this curriculum. I am the grandmother of
       sixteen and I don’t want any of this subject matter taught to my grandchildren.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/25

       Californians were told in recent Prop 8 commercials just this year that a GLBT agenda and/or
       same sex marriage training would not be brought into the classroom. And surely not without
       parental consent! Were we being misled??
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Lesson9Comments                                                                                   9/28/09 8:07 AM



       parental consent! Were we being misled??

       Please do not adopt a GLBT curriculum in your school system. What happened to the
       fundamentals called the 3 - R's???

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/24

       As a teacher and parent of a student of AUSD, I wholeheartedly support the new "diversity" or
       anti-bullying curriculum.

       For almost four years I have subbed for all ages (from toddlers at Woodstock Child Development
       Center on up) through AUSD and for the last 2 1/2 years I have taught my own classes through
       the Alameda Adult School. In one capacity or another, I've hung out with and talked to a lot of
       teachers.

       There is a lot of name-calling in our K-12 schools. (I have not seen this behavior in Adult
       Education classes). I was very sad to hear derogatory talk from my sixth grade daughter, who
       attends Lincoln Middle School. While she stopped immediately when she recognized the
       response of my wife and me, I learned how persuasive this kind of talk must be. She did not
       learn insulting language at home.

       While teachers may try to address each issue or name calling as it comes up, having this basic
       curriculum would "institutionalize" basic human values such as respect, tolerance, and
       understanding of people who are different.

       Every teacher that I have talked to is in favor of the curriculum. While the sampling size is not
       large, I know that the vast majority of teachers support this curriculum.

       While the opposition to the curriculum is well-organized and very outspoken, I believe that they
       speak for only a small portion of Alamedan parents. I am surprized at all this commotion. I
       thought that Alameda as a community had basically resolved the issue of homosexuality 10
       years ago and learned to appreciate the contributions and gifts of our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and
       transgendered neighbors. One way or another, respect, tolerance, and understanding of people
       who are different are non-negotiable values.

       Thank you for taking a stand to make Alameda safe for all students.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/24

       As an Alameda resident, I am writing to express my SUPPORT of the Caring School Curriculum.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/24

       I have owned my house on Versailles Ave for 5 years now. I also have a 3 year old girl that I plan
       to send to Otis school in a few years. However, because of the way I am seeing this LGBT
       curriculum play out, I am having serious issues about whether or not I can trust our AUSD school
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       curriculum play out, I am having serious issues about whether or not I can trust our AUSD school
       system. The fact that it has gotten to this level is astonishing to me... a couple of thoughts:

       - Mike: you mentioned at the most recent meeting that AUSD has "equal exposure on either
       side". How can that be? This makes no sense to me. If you adopt this curriculum, you will be
       imposing this teaching on children, and that will clearly bring about some suits that, even if they
       do not win in court, they will cost a lot of money. So at the least, you stand to lose a lot of money,
       and then there is also the risk that the curriculum will be thrown out, in which case it was all for
       naught... HOWEVER, if you decide to take some time in order to revise the material, get more
       feedback from the people that are against the curriculum, not only will you be uniting the two
       sides on this matter, but you will also be avoiding a lawsuit. How can someone possibly file suit
       because you decided to revise a curriculum that clearly has caused division... Remember, the
       opposition doesn't want to exclude LGBT, we just want to make revisions to have it be
       acceptable by all. We don't want to just throw it away altogether. Isn't it the safest way, to bring
       together the groups as well as avoid lawsuits?

       - We have heard clear statements (at both of the recent meetings) from members of our African-
       American constituency about the need for similar topics on racism, which is a much more
       prevalent problem them the bullying of LGBT. If we are going to start having particular protected
       classes be represented in the material outright (not just a picture of a family where they are
       different colors), then we FOR SURE need to incorporate ALOT more material. We heard clear
       testimony of how even the African-American students in Alameda High don't recall any lessons
       teaching tolerance and shunning racism! How can we leave this class that has had such a
       prominent spot in the history of America out? It is also clearly stated that the protected class of
       religion is altogether left out? How can we be talking about a very particular case of a protected
       class and yet totally leave out another whole category! This material is not complete and clearly
       needs to be worked on!

       - One of the questions brought up is how the accountability structure and assessment will be
       done for teachers and making sure they are teaching strictly what the material is saying and not
       adding their own thoughts or deviating. It seems like this is such a big and complicated pieces,
       how can we go forward without it, especially with such a sensitive topic? This
       accountability/assessment structure is something that I think also needs to be brought into public
       discussion, because it has a huge role to play in how the message will be communicated. This is
       something that the people need to see if it is sufficient and up to their standards... We need to
       hear the plan for that too, can't just sweep it under the rug and "hope for the best".

       So, I would like to voice my opposition to the incorporation of this curriculum. I would like to see
       something that the entire community stands behind and is accepted, which I think is possible
       here. However, if the BoE pushes this through in the premature state that it is in, then how can I
       trust them with much larger issues? It would cause me to think about whether I want to enroll my
       child in AUSD, and also along with that whether I want to support the parcel tax for the AUSD...
       why would I send my child to a school or support a school which can't make decisions that seem
       like they should be so straight forward?

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/24

       This is circulating from Almeda C.A.R.E from sample letters of support...the Unified School
       District in Alameda, instead of listening to the overwhelming majority of parents from this school
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       District in Alameda, instead of listening to the overwhelming majority of parents from this school
       who are extremely upset and angry; the school, if you could call it that, is taking the side of the
       groups pushing this proposal, against the parents wishes.

       Media, school board, California Senators and Congressman, Governor, Schwarzenegger, whom
       I have included in this email...take note, this is unbelievable that is is happening in America:

       Given the serious consequences of school harassment, I urge you to reject any proposal that
       would permit individuals to opt out of aspects of the curriculum that are designed to reduce anti-
       LGBT harassment. Permitting families to opt out will undermine the program’s effectiveness and
       is inconsistent with its very purpose. Even if only a few people ever choose to opt out, creating a
       special rule that allows it will send a message that respect for LGBT parents and youth is
       optional.

       This has absolutely nothing to do with school harassment or disrespecting gays. This is the gay
       and lesbian communities wanting control of the schools and our kids. This is truly an atrocity.
       This is not about kids or parents...this is about a group that wants to infiltrate the schools and
       overturn what the parents want for their children (see parents reactions speaking out against this
       proposal in blue, below).

       I suggest they propose a curriculum on Christianity and Traditional Marriage and force the kids
       and the parents to participate. Can you imagine?

       It's okay to opt out of the Pledge of Allegiance today--which I still find hard to believe-- but this
       person is suggesting that the school force lesbian and gay curriculum down the throats of
       parents regardless of the parents beliefs or wishes. I say that by it's very tone is vehemently
       disrespectful, yet they speak of respect. This is very bad. There should not even be such a
       curriculum in a school, much less a proposal telling parents they cannot opt out.

       This is not what parents want. This is not what parents want!!

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/24

       I tried to attend the May 12th meeting about our students sexual orientation curriculum. The flyer
       I had received was unclear as to where the meeting was so I was late only to find the meeting
       closed. Since I was out of town for this last meeting my 8th grade daughter attended but was not
       allowed to speak. I have three children in the Alameda Unified School District and I have six
       adult children who went to public schools. Most of my adult children have Master or Law degrees
       and are very successful in their personal and professional lives. I have been involved in public
       schools for the last 30 years and will be for some time to come. I am concerned about what is
       happening in our school district when I see ABC, NBC and other television trucks outside our
       local district meetings.

       You made two comments in the newspaper that concerns me. One was that 60% of the
       attendees were in favor of the curriculum and that 10% were from outside the area. Per the
       article about 350 people attended the meeting which means you estimated 35 people were from
       outside the area. Just at the May 12th meeting I had discussions with over a dozen people from
       outside the area, all in favor of the curriculum. My daughter who was seated in the last meeting
       estimated the number of outsiders to be much higher then 35. To say that 60% of the people
       were in favor tells me that you are not in touch with the parents of this district. I have been in this
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       were in favor tells me that you are not in touch with the parents of this district. I have been in this
       district for 9 years and have three children attending and every discussion I have had with the
       parents I know tells me that an overwhelming majority of the parents in this district do not
       support this curriculum.

       You have everyone's e-mail why don't you take a poll and see for yourself. This would be a great
       way to get accurate and reliable feedback from the parents and students you are supposed to
       represent. This would leave out the outside individuals that are involved in this for political
       reasons. You are here to represent this district and the parents and students that reside here.
       You are not in your position to support political issues or the interests of those outside the City of
       Alameda.

       The schools are responsible to educate our children in the areas they will need for their future
       careers. There will be 68.1% of California's seniors graduating this year. California rates 47th in
       education in this nation. We are failing at teaching the basics to our children and we should not
       be distracting our administration, teachers and students with political issues. These meetings
       need to be about how we can help all of our students graduate when they are seniors.

       Sexual orientation, family structures, religion and personal morality should be taught in our
       homes. These areas are off limits to our school districts.

       Tolerance is something that should be taught in schools when it comes to other students.
       Disabled individuals, different races and cultures, different shapes and sizes, religious moral
       preferences are all areas that the students need to respect and tolerate. Someones sexual
       preference or behavior is not something that should even be addressed by the schools, it is a
       personal and a family matter. The schools already have policies dealing with tolerance, this is all
       that is needed. To single out one group in a curriculum and not address all of the others is
       discrimination.

       The district has enough distractions and financial problems without inviting lawsuits that will be
       inevitable if this curriculum is adopted.

       I think this topic should be dropped and the important business of preparing our children for
       college should be our priority.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/24

       If you accept the current LGBT proposal, you chose to ignore the rights of one group so a school
       district can be ‘pushed’ to impose on one group’s Federally protected rights to further the political
       aims of another group. (LGBT groups have no legal ‘right’ to this proposed curriculum; therefore
       it is a ‘political aim’.)

       By rejecting this proposal no one is negating the rights of gays. No one is making them
       “invisible”. The proposal is simply a bad set of lessons which also violates the protected rights of
       one group while doing nothing for any of the federally protected classes of citizens which are
       also not included in any other lessons taught in the other 8 lessons of the curriculum. It is not
       within a school’s role to teach values contrary to the religious beliefs of its students. No one
       opposing the curriculum is asking AUSD to censure factual content from the school curriculum. It
       has clearly been the non-factual opinions and values that are suggested as both age
       inappropriate and in violation to 1st Amendment protection, and the lessons parents believe will
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       inappropriate and in violation to 1st Amendment protection, and the lessons parents believe will
       work against the stated objective of the proposed curriculum, which form the basis of the
       community's rejection of this proposal. As for the “factual” element of the proposed lessons, it
       would be equally factual, (and equally wrong) to teach K-3 about auto-immune deficiency
       syndrome, its introduction to the USA, and how it has spread. That is why we need a balanced
       committee, representative of our community, to work with the public so we can actually put
       together a curriculum that does respect and welcome and celebrate all the diversity in our
       community.

       The proposal was also put together in a deceitful and undemocratic manner. Much of the anger
       of the community has been caused by the exclusion by the district, on this topic which obviously
       is a core concern for large portions of our community. We simply have to be careful how we
       teach “value lessons”. The proposed curriculum also fails to meet the requirements of AB 397,
       which the district erroneously cited as the legal impetus for this proposal. It also doesn’t train all
       staff, not even all teachers, how to deal with student to student harassment.

       There have been far too many seemingly deliberate untruths told by the committee and AUSD
       staff to the press, the BOE, and the public. This has created a horrendous obstacle for
       community trust, and is a problem which must be addressed by the BOE. The motivation to
       achieve a desired result does not allow public employees to lie to their superiors or their
       financiers, their fellow citizens, and press. There is no excuse for the deceitful behavior that has
       created so much distrust between our community and AUSD.

       If the BOE makes the mistake of approving this curriculum rather than using good judgment and
       creative thinking to initiate a better solution, they will destroy this school district and leave the
       community divided and without the means for our community to come together to achieve a
       better program as a unified team. In fact it may just leave the school district’s community forever
       divided.

       The BOE must be willing to trust this community to work together rather than dictatorially forcing
       a bad curriculum. I urge all of you to spend time reviewing what others have done to achieve
       positive outcomes, such as SF school district which started with a committee which represented
       all of the community, and has far better programs and very explicit "do’s and don’ts'" for students,
       parents and staff. http://www.healthiersf.org/LGBTQ/index.html . They also have a No-Slurs
       Policy (that's comprehensive) http://www.healthiersf.org/LGBTQ/GetTheFacts/pol-antislur.html .
       (&Safe-School Line- anonymoustips.) They explain how staff and teachers are to intervene. And
       SF is just one better example. There are wealth of superior programs that address all forms of
       harassment.

       The BOE could always revisit this proposal if, after being given an opportunity to succeed, the
       community cannot put together a better plan, but I recommend the board reject this plan because
       of all its failings, and commence to assemble a fully representative committee to challenge and
       allow the community to demonstrate that Alameda is a tolerant and accepting community that
       wants all students to feel safe, non threatened, and welcomed; that our diversity is celebrated
       equally - not just LGBT issues, but for our entire community; that we can put together a program
       which meets the expressed requirements of AB #397 in a meaningful manner. You, the BOE, will
       likely find that our community is not only capable of working together for such goals, but are
       willing to take extra steps to commit to real enforcement of BOE Policy 5145.3

       Alameda is now in a position where the BOE will either save, or ruin, our school district. This is a
       huge 1st hurdle for this new BOE.
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       huge 1st hurdle for this new BOE.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/24

       As a married, heterosexual female mother of 3 young children (entering 2nd grade and entering
       k) in Alameda Public schools, I want to again share my full support of the board adopting this
       cirriculum. Gay families are present all around us and are a reality of our society and our school
       systems.

       Please vote to pass this important cirriculum.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/24

       As parents of three young boys, one of whom will be entering kindergarten this coming fall, we
       are strongly opposed to the incorporation of "Lesson9" into the school curriculum. My wife and
       do not feel it is the school districts' mission to indoctrinate our children in the acceptance of
       "alternate lifestyles". Parents should have the ability to address this issue with their children in a
       manner and at an age each family deems appropriate.

       Rest assured that if the school district adopts "Lesson9" that none of my children will be
       attending Alameda public schools.

       Additionally, we reluctantly voted "yes" for the for the most recent property tax assessment
       supporting the school district. Adopt "Lesson9" and not only will we never again support any tax
       programs to benefit the schools, but we will actively lend our support to the opposition.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/24

       Are you ALL out your mind? STOP Polluting our INNOCENT Children!!!

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/24

       I am writing to let you know that we strongly feel that the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender
       (GLBT) curriculum should NOT BE ADOPTED. Children should not be exposed to this material
       at school. It is the parents job to teach their children about sexual orientation at home not the
       schools.

       Please make the proper decision that the GLBT curriculum should NOT BE ADOPTED.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/24

       I have spoken twice at the last two meetings opposing the LGBT curriculum. I wanted to inform
       you that Berkeley Unified actually officially does NOT currently have a LGBT curriculum in
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       you that Berkeley Unified actually officially does NOT currently have a LGBT curriculum in
       implementation. Though there was a press release that said that it did in 2007, I heard a rumor
       that it in fact does not. Last week, I went to Washington Elementary and talked with a 5th grade
       teacher who verified that they do not have any type of LGBT curriculum being taught, nor have
       they in the past 4 years she's taught there. I thought this might be very important information for
       you to have as I believe it has been reported to you that Berkeley has adopted a similar type
       curriculum that is being proposed to Alameda Unified.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/24

       I am writing to express my opinion that the GLBT curriculum should NOT BE ADOPTED. Please
       consider our family's right to teach our own children about sexuality when we see fit. The
       schools should be a support to families, not authorities over families to usurp parental rights. I
       urge you to do whatever you can to not allow this curriculum to be taught in our schools.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/24

       Have you all been possessed by the DEVIL or what? WHAT is wrong with you? What a
       DISGRACE you are to the nation. We AMERICANS say
       NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/24

       What's wrong with you people in Alameda? You want to poison our children? You people should
       get BOOTED out of your job. And you'll deserve it

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/24

       I will be emceeing the San Francisco Marriage Equality Rally at the MLK Memorial and will be
       unable to attend. I pray that the event will be peaceful and I hope that education will win out.

       Someday our yet unborn children will look back at this strife and wonder why equal treatment
       was not given to gay people and their families in the ways that I, born two years after the murder
       of MLK wonder how Bull and Gov. Wallace could have allowed the violence and the injustices
       perpetrated against blacks and the people that came to support them. We seem to fail to learn
       the lessons of our past that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere and we somehow
       fail to be able to translate the oppression of the past to see where it is showing up, which group
       is being marginalized today that is needing equality and respect.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/24


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       It is my plea to you and the other school board members that I DO NOT WANT the GLBT
       curriculum to be adopted into the school curriculum. This act will not only violate MY parental
       rights but expose children to concepts relating to sexual orientation beginning at age five without
       the consent of the parent.

       PLEASE? PLEASE! PLEASE! DON'T DO IT!

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/24

       I am writing to voice my opinion regarding GLBT curriculum which will come before you for your
       vote on Tuesday, May 26, 2009. I feel strongly that this curriculum should NOT BE ADOPTED.
       Sexual orientation and religious values greatly differ among members of the State of California. I
       believe issues such as these should be taught in the home and NOT in the public school
       systems. Please do not introduce our children to this curriculum. Do not expose our children to
       books such as; And Tango Makes Three. This curriculum would violate my rights as a parent to
       protect my children from ideas and information that I do not support in a public education venue.
       Please, please do not adopt this program.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/23

       I understand that you, along with the Alameda school board, will be deciding whether to adopt
       the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) curriculum, which will be taught to young
       children (K-5). Those that are encouraging this curriculum are arguing that this must be done in
       order for young children to be taught tolerance and diversity. However, what is actually being
       advocated is the social acceptance of alternative sexual lifestyles without any regard to the rights
       of the parents who are legally and socially responsible for these young children. I urge you to
       support my right to: 1) decide when (i.e,. at what age) my child should be taught about
       alternative lifestyles and 2) how my child should view alternative sexual orientations in context to
       our religion.

       While tolerance is being touted as the leading criteria for this decision it is very ironic that there is
       no tolerance for parents who desire to teach their own children about the merits of a
       heterosexual marriage. My own young son will soon be a kindergartner. I find it repulsive that the
       school board would consider adopting any sort of lesson plan that would teach my son about
       "two male dads", "two female moms", and etc. when he is at such a young and tender age. He
       does not need to know about sexual orientations in order to "accept those with diverse
       backgrounds". The true agenda of those that are urging you to accept curriculum that includes
       GLBT lessons is to get young children to feel that all of society has accepted their alternative
       lifestyle.

       So why am I writing you? Because I know that my son will be taught what is in the curriculum. I
       plead and urge you again to dismiss any attempts to adopt any sort of GLBT curriculum. Please
       consider the rights of the parents, the tender ages of these young children, and what the true
       agenda is at this moment.

       TOP


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       Alameda Resident 5/23

       I am an Alameda resident, physician, and parent of 2 young boys. I am writing to encourage you
       to support introduction of the CARE curriculum to help make our community as open and tolerant
       as it possibly can be.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/23

       Do not allow the new gay rights curriculum to pass.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/23

       Please consider the long term negative affects of adding the GLBT curriculum to public schools.
       This is a subject that is deeply personal and private that crosses the boundary into religious
       freedoms. Removing the legal right of parents to choose the time and place to teach their
       children about sexual matters and gender orientation will cause manifold repercussions. These
       are not "civil rights" issues, they are lifestyle choices and have no business being mandated by
       official bodies. Please, consider the future.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/23

       Has AUSD ever considered implementing an already existing program/curriculum that deals with
       safety and caring schools? It seems nearly impossible to include every group that needs to be
       represented - so many different races, religion, holidays, etc. Plus this makes diversity and
       tolerance really superficial.

       What about a program that focuses on overall safety and bullying? I've found these two to be
       remarkable: http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/about/aboutrc.html
       http://www.devstu.org/csc/videos/index.shtml

       you can even apply to receive services: http://www.devstu.org/csc/initiative/index.html#

       No need to reinvent the wheel when there is already superb curriculum and programs out there.
       We teachers are always looking for what works well already.

       I urge you to doing some research on this topic before making your decision. There are many
       districts and schools have had great turn-around in decreasing bullying after implementing such
       programs at their sites.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/23

       I am writing to ask you to please support a fabulous curriculum that creates a safe place for all
       children. What a gift to be able to give the childrenthe opportunity to learn about differences, be
       taught vocabulary, and then be given words to be able to talk about their feelings! Wow, that is
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       taught vocabulary, and then be given words to be able to talk about their feelings! Wow, that is
       powerful. I believe it is your responsibility to help create a safe school environment for all
       children, with all their multitude of differences. This curriculum is not just about GLBTQ issues as
       some would like to frame it. Many kids get teased and bullied for a multitude of reasons. It
       saddens me to think of all the children that do get bullied are afraid to speak up. The shame,
       humility, self hatred...all affects of being bullied. You have an opportunity to help students...that is
       what this is about. You have an opportunity to help those students who don't have anyone on
       their side. How could you not want to do that?

       Please don't give into the bullying by those who are using this as yet another pulpit to instill fear
       and continue discrimination.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/23

       I oppose to add any gay education to the Alameda elementary school curriculum. Children is so
       young and easily influence by any kinds of messages we educate them. The gay education is a
       controversial topics. Even now it's a very heated and debatable topics for various organization.

       TOP

       Alameda Parent

       We shouldn't educate young children with gay education. We should let them choose what what
       they want after they grow up as a adult. But not influence them any concepts or directions at this
       young age. nt 5/23

       As the parent of two kids in the AUSD, I wanted to voice my strong support for the Safe Schools
       Curriculum. I think it could do a lot of good towards reducing bullying, teasing and worse against
       gay and lesbian students and against students from gay or lesbian families. I'm hopeful that here
       in Alameda our School Board will not let individuals who misunderstand the curriculum or who
       don't "approve" of those different from themselves, keep you from doing what is best for our kids,
       namely approving the modifications to the Safe Schools Curriculum. Thank you for your time and
       patience through this process.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/23

       am a mom of two daughters who are being raised by heterosexual parents and I applaud the
       School Board for pursuing a curriculum of tolerance and communication despite the potentially
       overwhelming fear that might accompany such a plan.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/23

       am writing to express my full support for the addendum to the Safe Schools Anti-Bullying
       Curriculum.


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       I wonder how different my life would have been had my school had a wonderful anti-bullying
       curriculum like yours.

       Kids must learn early on that _nobody_ deserves cruelty from others, no matter how different
       they look, act, or seem. LGBTQI people are no exception.

       While there are obviously many people who are uncomfortable with, do not approve of, or do not
       want to acknowledge LGBTQI people, families, and lifestyles, it is AUSD's duty to ensure that all
       children are safe at their schools, including those who may be LGBTQI. Teaching children they
       must not pick on or discriminate against _anyone_ is of utmost importance.

       Please do not allow those people who would exclude this vulnerable population (some of the kids
       who need the most protection) from lessons on anti-bullying to sway you from your duty to
       protect ALL children.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/23

       I am an Alameda resident and parent of children attending Alameda public schools. I am
       speaking on behalf of my Muslim family, to let you know that the passing of the proposed
       tolerance curriculum would conflict with the teachings of our Islamic faith. I am deeply disturbed
       to think that my responsibility as a parent to teach my children important moral values is being
       usurped by the public school system, taking away my right to be the first teacher of my children.
       The teaching of moral values have always been in the realm of family, we send our children to
       school to learn the tools of education (i.e., reading, writing, math, sciences etc.). The teaching of
       respect, tolerance and dignity should be extended to ALL peoples regardless of gender, religion,
       race and physical abilities I am therefore OPPOSED to this new curriculum as it clearly serves
       the interest of only a select group of the population. In serving the needs of a richly diverse
       community, we -- parents, teachers, educators, school administrators, school board members
       and students in Alameda should all work together in dealing with issues that are culturally
       sensitive and relevant to city. I sincerely thank you for your time and consideration.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/23

       As a concerned California resident and a parent of four school-aged children, I would like to
       respectfully petition that the GLBT curriculum NOT BE ADOPTED in your school district. Though
       I understand and support the need to educate our children to prevent bullying, I do not support
       the information and methods the GLBT curriculum would use to accomplish this task. I believe
       that children should not be exposed to this material at such a young age and that the education
       of the subject matters the GLBT curriculum includes should be a choice made by parents to
       teach their children in their own homes, as they see fit. This act will also clearly violate parental
       rights, as the parents will not have the option to have their children excused from the classroom
       while the GLBT curriculum is taught. Parents should at least have the option to make the
       decision whether or not they want their child to participate in the GLBT curriculum, just as
       parents have the option to have their child excused from Family Life educational programs, which
       are taught throughout our state. This curriculum is a clear violation of parental rights and is
       exposing our children to subject matters which are not necessary to the education and
       prevention of bullying.
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       Again, please do not vote to adopt the GLBT curriculum in your school district. Thank you for
       your thoughtful consideration of this important subject matter.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/23

       I am an American citizen resident and parent of children attending SC county public schools. I
       am speaking on behalf of my Muslim family, to let you know that the passing of the proposed
       tolerance curriculum would conflict with the teachings of our Islamic faith. I am deeply disturbed
       to think that my responsibility as a parent to teach my children important moral values is being
       usurped by the public school system, taking away my right to be the first teacher of my children.
       The teaching of moral values have always been in the realm of family, we send our children to
       school to learn the tools of education (i.e., reading, writing, math, sciences etc.). The teaching of
       respect, tolerance and dignity should be extended to ALL peoples regardless of gender, religion,
       race and physical abilities I am therefore OPPOSED to this new curriculum as it clearly serves
       the interest of only a select group of the population. In serving the needs of a richly diverse
       community, we -- parents, teachers, educators, school administrators, school board members
       and students in Alameda should all work together in dealing with issues that are culturally
       sensitive and relevant to city. I sincerely thank you for your time and consideration.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/23

       THIS IS A PETITION TO YOU. PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW THE GLBT CURRICULUM TO BE
       ADOPTED.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/23

       GLBT curriculum should NOT BE ADOPTED.

       STOP the spread of this Virus!! NOW!!

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/23

       As a parent, grandparent (the oldest will be starting kindergarten in the fall), marriage and family
       therapist, and Christian, I support this curriculum, which I have reviewed. My only concern is that
       the group that is left out of the depiction of families are those whose families don't feel loving and
       home is a place of fear, more than love. I hope that teachers will have training to watch for signs
       of that as they teach about families and reach out to those children. If some parents are
       concerned that they get abusive at times, this curriculum could be seen as a way for them to not
       act on their frustrations, so that they don't get reported.

       As a Christian I see the LGBT community as similar to the Samaritans of Biblical times, and as
       Jesus pointed out, they are our neighbors.

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       While everyone seems to be against bullying, it was in an encounter with a member of the
       opposition on Tuesday evening May 12th, in the ante-room, waiting to get in to chambers, that I
       realized some people may not realize how their attitudes support bullying. A woman came into
       the room from the chambers, saying she just couldn't believe the curriculum they were proposing.
       Having reviewed it and the books myself, I asked curiously what specifically she had objections
       to. She pulled out the Robert Skutch book and said vehemently that with the different
       descriptions of families, there was a page where the parents were of the same sex! Well, that is
       what is! (A few years back some would have been upset by a mixed race couple being depicted.)
       Children are going to run into that! Pretending something doesn't exist is not what education is,
       or should, be about!

       On a more dramatic scale, if this woman has children it seems to me it would be impossible for
       them not to pick up her attitude (which seemed pretty hateful to me), and when they come
       across children with LGBT parents, or who have "gay" actions or looks, they will disparage them.
       They will be following what she does, even if she says don't bully. She is actually encouraging it.
       With this curriculum children will have a chance to view LGBT connected children with a sense of
       their humaness.

       This curriculum is a necessity!

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/23

       I understand that you will be voting soon on whether or not to allow a book that teaches about
       gay lifestyle. I beg of you to listen to the people. Please keep these teachings in our homes and
       out of the school. I don't believe there have been studies that show what the percentage of
       children in gay homes are being molested by gay parents. Or how many gay couples stay
       together and how long on average. But I won't just single out gays, look at the percentage of
       step-parents who would do the same as opposed to biological ones. Look at this whole thing
       statistically, not the rule, not the exception. We need to be realistic not idealistic for a moment.

       I love my gay family members, I do not wish harm on anyone. This is not antigay in any respect. I
       just believe in protecting children first and foremost. They are the ones who have no voice. Let's
       bring in books that speak about honesty, compassion, humanitarian, charity, bullying, life's
       struggles and overcoming obstacles. Those are things that will help in our society. Please, leave
       sexuality out of our schools, little kids don't need to be thinking about such adult matters, no
       matter what level you bring it down to.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/23

       I am aghast that the school board is considering adopting the proposed GLBT curriculum into our
       schools. In our family’s experience with children in elementary, middle, and high schools, we
       have found that it is the conservative children who are routinely bullied for having a traditional
       opinion about marriage, NOT the children with pro-gay opinions. Ours is such a liberal area of
       the U.S. that a traditional viewpoint about marriage and homosexuality is the minority opinion.
       Adopting a GLBT curriculum would only further empower administrators, teachers, and staff to
       bring GLBT issues to the forefront which would further cause our traditionally-minded children
       even more discomfort than they already feel. As it currently stands, our schools are not the
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       even more discomfort than they already feel. As it currently stands, our schools are not the
       neutral forums of discussion they should be. Under the guise of anti-discrimination or anti-
       bullying, school staffs all across California are discussing gay issues and allowing/promoting a
       pro-gay viewpoint while effectively dismissing traditional views. Our children are made out to be
       people who hate from families that hate for merely being Pro-Proposition 8. They are ridiculed
       and bullied while teachers stand by and do nothing merely for having a counter opinion about
       GLBT issues. But regardless of where we as a family stand on this political issue, we should not
       further empower those voices are already stronger on these issues.

       As to the particulars of speaking to my children about gender/sexual matters without my
       permission -- whether it concerns heterosexual behavior or homosexual behavior -- I am morally
       opposed to schools having that power. I do not wish my children to be exposed to material
       beyond their understanding without my permission or supervision. This has always been the right
       of parents in the U.S. Why adopt something that does not allow parents the legal right to have
       their child excused from this classroom discussion if they are morally opposed to it? Don’t we as
       parents know our children best? Are the schools now presuming to know our children better?

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/23

       First I want to say I appreciate all the time and effort you are putting forth on this issue very little
       pay! I am saddened that some of the opponents have chosen to have outside lawyers come into
       our city to speak to you all. I suppose it's an act of intimidation. Maybe ACLU will go to bat for the
       District if the opponents file a lawsuit.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/23

       If you are a parent I hope that you understand the importance of your right to choose for your
       children. We may or may not agree on the topics but we each have the right to make choices on
       behalf of our children. If you feel that teaching about GLBT lifestyles is important to do in the
       grade schools then that is your opinion and you have that right to that but I also have a right to
       what I want my children to learn and know and at what age I want that information given to them.
       I do not believe that teaching some things will change the outcome of whether we will have
       bullies in the schools. Children learn from their parents how they treat other people. I am all for
       treating each person as an individual and allowing them their choice. I expect to be given this
       same respect. Don't decide on something that takes away my choice. It takes away your choice
       also.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/23

       I am an Alameda resident and parent of children attending Alameda public schools. I am deeply
       disturbed to think that my responsibility as a parent to teach my children important moral values
       is being usurped by the public school system, taking away my right to be the first teacher of my
       children. The teaching of moral values have always been in the realm of family, we send our
       children to school to learn the tools of education (i.e., reading, writing, math, sciences etc.). The
       teaching of respect, tolerance and dignity should be extended to ALL peoples regardless of
       gender, religion, race and physical abilities I am therefore OPPOSED to this new curriculum as it
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       gender, religion, race and physical abilities I am therefore OPPOSED to this new curriculum as it
       clearly serves the interest of only a select group of the population. In serving the needs of a
       richly diverse community, we -- parents, teachers, educators, school administrators, school board
       members and students in Alameda should all work together in dealing with issues that are
       culturally sensitive and relevant to city. I sincerely thank you for your time and consideration.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/23

       Thank you for listening to what Alameda residents have to say. I am a resident of Alameda for
       over 15 years, and I went to public middle and high schools in Alameda . I have been following
       the BOE meetings over the LGBT curriculum, and I want to write to express my opposition to it. I
       think, at least, students should be able to opt out of the curriculum.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/23

       I was recently made aware of the above agenda item and visited your website. Although I do not
       live in your school district (I live in the Sacramento area) I want to strongly voice my opposition
       to the passage of anything that condones the gay lifestyle as 'OK', especially to young children.

       Please consider the implications of what you are doing---what we teach our young people has
       ramifications throughout their life. Our schools are to teach skill sets to prepare young people to
       be successful; our schools are not a place to promote a particular group's political agenda and
       efforts to 'normalize' a particular lifestyle.

       If I could vote at your meeting it would be a resounding NO to the inclusion of the GLBT lifestyle
       in your school sytem.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/23

       As a parent, I wish to teach my children about the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender life
       styles myself. I DO NOT want the schools to be teaching this to my children beginning at age 5.

       My children are not bullies. They do not harass or make fun of others who have different life
       styles.

       I believe that the teachings that the school could and would give to these young children would
       be biased against those who do not agree with the GLBT lifestyle. I believe that these teaching
       would actually do more harm than good. I believe that bullying would continue and that it would
       spread to those who do not support the GLBT lifestyle.

       Please, do not force this upon those who are most innocent in our society.

       The GLBT supporters are not able to convince legal adults that this lifestyle is acceptable so they
       have to force it up on the innocent so that future generations will agree with their incorrect
       lifestyle.

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       Please vote against this new curriculum

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/23

       I am a private school principal in Alameda, and a public policy analyst for education issues in
       California. I have served on the former police chief’s advisory committee and on the board of
       Alameda Family Services Agency, assisting as a mediator. I have served as president of one of
       California’s major child care associations, and as vice-president of the National Child Care
       Association. I am an advocate of children, an Alameda resident for 32 years, a parent, a person
       of color and a person of faith. And in all of my roles, I have come to know that fear - especially
       parental fear is one of the strongest emotions one can possess. It is present on both sides – one
       group, fearful of what they did not know, and how they fear it might change their family value
       system – on the heels of a strong state legislative battle which because of words, appears to –
       but has nothing to do with this issue -- and other parents and friends, fearful of what other words,
       used in a seemingly innocent, but extremely harmful manner, and what the subsequent actions
       from those words can do to their child. And fear, perhaps, on the part of the school board for
       young people who have the right to spend their time on the positive journey of education, and a
       perhaps a greater fear, of students losing their lives or even just their spirit, when they feel they
       cannot thrive in their own classroom among their peers.

       History shows that within many other periods, family was not always so traditionally defined nor
       challenged as it is in our day. We have discovered over the years, however, that changes within
       the world have generated the need for a return to a more open consideration and redefinition of
       what is called family. Culture, emergency and societal shifts have created situations that have
       required a reshaping of family in order for the child to survive. While traditional families have
       existed over the years, so have foster, parentless, and homeless children. The number of
       children within the foster and adoptive care system, homeless and with serious special needs,
       have created a breakage within the solid foundation needed for the child.

       The restructuring of family, by many who have had a strong desire to assist that solid foundation,
       has resulted in the widening of love by grandparents, differently-abled parents, foster parents,
       single parents, and gay parents. Thank God – as it has allowed many more children to be
       brought up with love and caring – and by many more who through their personal experience may
       be able to teach them about tolerance, understanding and appreciation for those who may be
       different from the rest.

       The greatest disservice that could be done to these individuals is to fail to recognize what has
       been created as family – in whatever structure it presents itself. The greatest disservice that
       could be done to the children is to fail to recognize the foundation for their creation, growth and
       love. To deny their family structure is to deny the child. To deny their family structure, and
       therefore themselves, is to take part in the destruction of their self confidence and pride. To do
       so, destroys the foundation – the very building block of this nation’s future.

       Apart from my work, my vacation time is spent volunteering by working with youth, who are gay,
       lesbian, transgender or questioning, and straight youth of LGBT parents. I began this work,
       because I believe that far too often adults champion their own issues, without recognizing the
       emotional and social needs of their children. My time is spent providing these young adults with a
       safe place where they are not verbally or physically abused and where they can discuss the
       challenges they face. Their time also includes education and requires their hands-on
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       challenges they face. Their time also includes education and requires their hands-on
       volunteering on behalf of those of other marginalized populations or victims (as they’ve been) of
       the violent expressions of others. I have been in education and public policy for more than 26
       years, and after hearing and seeing the results of bullying in various forms, I applaud the district
       work to proactively safeguard our city from making the mistake of repeating our nation’s history
       of alienating a disenfranchised people, denying their right to open existence without facing
       possible recrimination.

       I’ve spent the last few days in Sacramento, a part of a committee dealing with the effect of the
       economic crisis on education, and the hardest bit of information that educators and advocates
       heard was that I in 10 California dollars are spent on corrections. “If you want to save education,”
       we heard,” keep them out of prison.” As an African-American, those words hit my heart, because
       as the admonition goes, “Watch your thoughts, they become your words. Watch your words,
       they become your actions.” It is impossible for young people to learn unless their minds are free
       to learn. And it is impossible for young people to learn, when they spend their time, thoughts,
       words, and actions creating negative situations that involve themselves or others. This often
       comes in the form of bullying, and I believe that bullying exists when one cannot find an
       appropriate way to express what one does not understand, or feels uncomfortable about –
       regarding oneseIf or others. I see youth of color who need to ready themselves to be productive
       members of society by first developing character and social responsibility, and it is my greatest
       wish that schools work as partners to build the student from within, so that education can
       emerge. I truly believe this curriculum addresses that intent.

       While the curriculum does not highlight all marginalized people who are targets of bullying, it is a
       beginning. The curriculum must be massaged to be more inclusive, as when it is, gay and lesbian
       families, Asian families, African- American families and others will have a more organic place
       within education as they do in society. But it has to begin to get there. The vote of equality began
       with women; the march for civil rights began with African-Americans. But neither ended there,
       nor should this curriculum end here. Throughout this process, we have seen the easy way that
       humans fall prey to being bullies, and we therefore all have a need for education regarding
       bullying. We bully when we boo and hiss others who are allowed their opinions which are not our
       own. We bully the school board when we hold our voter rights, residency and homeownership as
       pawns against the very officials we elected to do their best job amidst the worst and sometimes
       unpopular circumstances.

       But as adults, we must want something better than that for our children. We still need to learn,
       but theirs is a future in which they will need to have control with greater respect and care than we
       have shown, and with due diligence to make this planet safe when we are no longer around to
       protect them. For that reason, as a village, we must work together to prepare them to be peaceful
       people among others who are not like them.

       As an educator, I have appreciated being a part of an educational philosophy called ‘education
       for peace,’ which involves teaching children about people of the world – their similarities and
       differences, with a view toward breaking down difference-based barriers. Our school went a step
       further. From its inception, and before the phrase was coined, we maintained an anti-bias
       curriculum and we have been a welcoming school for families of all compositions and cultural
       belief systems. It has been a struggle over the years, as we were faced with the challenge that
       even our city of Alameda held more diversity than we imagined, and we needed to maintain the
       integrity of our statements of inclusivity – educating staff, changing administrative tools, updating
       our curriculum and having the courage and conviction to demand strict adherence to policies
       befitting our curriculum, and a curriculum which upheld the policies.
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       befitting our curriculum, and a curriculum which upheld the policies.

       My school’s no tolerance policy is three-fold: it involves educating our parents, educating our
       students and enforcement of discipline – viewing verbal and physical abuse as equal. Families
       have homework, which involves sharing some aspect of their culture at the beginning of the
       school year, so that we can embark on a clear understanding of who they are. Family photos of
       all students are in the classroom, to begin providing students with pride in themselves and their
       foundation, and to enhance our first cultural lesson of the school year – the family – all families.
       At the preschool and kindergarten level, we do not mandate the use of the word gay or lesbian,
       nor do we avoid it – we provide what I call an age organic approach. Along with being taught
       about differing families, the children also learn about differences between people all over the
       world, as simply that – differences. We educate without providing a bias, within the framework of
       maintaining integrity for each family. Students learn about differences and similarities between
       people, and we have the challenging task of seeking to provide information without having any
       bias.

       In the public school system, that task is greater - it involves a greater number of students, many
       more complications and far less flexibility. I applaud the desire of the school board to attempt to
       address this difficult task – to meet the needs of a city reflective of a changing world – involving
       many people who in order to live peacefully, must begin at the foundation of human
       development, by providing not mere tolerance – but honor for those different than oneself. To do
       so, I believe that those in leadership must sometimes simply lead.

       I know the district framework and curriculum. Laden across lesson plans everywhere is
       information about the nuclear family with standard religious views and practices – it cuts across
       all curriculums from math problems and social science to language arts and school events. I do
       not believe non-traditional families have the right to opt out or be informed before such family
       mirroring takes place; neither should nuclear families should not opt out, but enhance the
       curriculum with a value system, which by the time the child reaches public school, should already
       be embedded in the fabric of their own family curriculum. Including family within the structure of
       education is imperative - it provides children with a context for their experiences, and reinforces
       their identity and emotional development. However, we must now provide those self-esteem
       building experiences for every child, including those who fall within the protected classes.

       The challenge of a more democratic process appears to be at the core of what is now a debate
       over content. I have painfully listened to people pick at every word, situation and page of a book
       to find flaws. I have written so many curriculums over the years, and as imperfect as we all are,
       and as fast as society is changing, I have never found one that could not be improved upon. In
       retrospective correction, one can only look slightly back and then place one’s energies to take a
       step forward. I believe that the board has done that, in providing continual late night respectful
       listening ears to the many people who have gathered to be heard – oftentimes repetitively,
       reading the numerous emails which have poured in, and making physical space to accommodate
       the numbers of people who have been showing up. There is no more that can be done to correct
       the process that preceded it. Moving forward, it is time now to address fear with clarity and
       harmful bias with education. Parents need to be educated – not with a view toward changing
       their values, but understanding that of others. Parents who may feel that they are raising their
       children with a solid value system also need education regarding the information their child
       receives, and how they process it, and articulate it with peers. Students need to learn about
       others in an organic manner, interwoven into curriculum so that it is so culturally natural (even the
       differences), that understanding differences is a part of life.

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       It does a disservice to all children to teach them about a world which no longer exists. The world
       in which our children live and will lead, is one in which they must first learn integrity and respect
       of others’ differences, as the norm is that there is no norm. What there is – is a partnership
       wherein the work of schools includes teaching students about their society and their lifesaving
       responsibility to respect those within it. The work of parents is to couple that information with
       their own value system and cultural lessons, and their excellent personal role modeling of
       integrity in society regarding how one honors the differences of others, and their right to be
       different. As evolution is a part of science curriculum, and politics a part of history and civic
       education, parents partner by teaching their children their own personal values. This curriculum
       simply includes family structure in the context of teaching respect, and zero tolerant bullying.

       Children, the foundation of the future of our world, deserve a solid, fair footing for their beginning
       as individuals. Children need a solid sense of self, upon which to build their character and shape
       their personalities and values. The family structure is the basic environment for such building and
       molding. It is my sincere wish that children in this nation experience the education of witnessing
       honest, sincere understanding of families in differing formats. Not media love among personality
       tv shows depicting individuals who are offered the exchange of money for marriage, or drama
       shows of individuals caught in abusive relationships, but that they learn about families who have
       loving commitment between same and differing nation, same and differing states, people of
       same and differing abilities and yes, people of same and differing beliefs and genders.

       Truth be told, the one thing upon which we can all agree is that the curriculum is not on the best
       seller list. But accept with it with the responsibility to modify it, and educate all sides about the
       imperative need for children to have their family, however it is shaped - respected as a solid
       foundation. Do not make the mistake of dismissing it or delaying it, sending the message that the
       greater core of this issue is less than important. Amendments and additions do not require
       dismissal. There are times when legislative leadership calls for education through unpopular
       decisions which ultimately provide society with the tools for a more just future. Such was certainly
       the case with Brown vs. the Board of Education.

       Teaching our children respect, tolerance and honor is easy when everything and everyone
       mirrors your values. However, we teach integrity when respect and honor must be upheld when
       life shows itself in different or more complex situations. Those are models to be held up to our
       future generations. We must – for the sake of our future- set aside fear and personal views. We
       must – for the sake of our children – lift up what is just, fair – and perhaps different from what we
       have known, for this is where we begin to model and correct intolerance, misunderstanding and
       prejudice. This – we owe to our city. This – we owe to our children.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/23

       I have heard so many people on the opposition being called "bigots" and "haters". Does anyone
       find it ridiculous that the very people that are pushing so hard for this "anti-bullying" curriculum
       are the very people who are bullying, name-calling and resorting to intimidation? So much
       emphasis has been placed on how LGBT are treated, what about how everyone else is treated?
       Are these people who are bullying and name-calling going raise children that are tolerant of my
       child's beliefs, whatever they may be? Or are they only going to be tolerant when we agree with
       them?


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       This is why I feel this curriculum is so flawed. It only focuses on bullying of one group of people
       and not anyone else. This curriculum is not "anti-bullying", it's just "LGBT-promoting". If I felt that
       the curriculum really addressed the issue of bullying, for all groups of people, I would not be so
       opposed to it. But it clearly doesn't.

       I am an Alameda resident and voter with children in an AUSD elementary school. I urge you, the
       Board not to just accept the curriculum presented to them and to really question whether it will do
       what it is intended to do, to stop bullying in the schools. I have a strong feeling it won't.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/23

       As a citizen of California who has children in public schools, I am writing to ask you to vote not to
       institute the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transsexual curriculum on Tuesday. I do not have
       children in the Alameda school district. However, I know that if this curriculum is instituted, it is
       only a matter of time before it spreads into other school districts around the state. The people of
       California have voted twice in the past decade to uphold the principle that a marriage should
       take place between one man and one woman. The people have voted in this manner because
       they know that children need a mother and a father who are committed to each other through
       marriage. Teaching acceptance of persons is fine, but to teach children to value and accept
       homosexuality is a moral issue, which is the basis for the majority of Californians voting to
       uphold heterosexual marriages as the law of the land. It is an issue that parents do not want the
       public schools taking into their own hands without their consent.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       I understand that you are voting on an issue that every child be taught sexual orientation without
       parental freedom to choose not to participate.

       If this is accurate, I urge you to protect the rights and freedom of parents and children to choose.
       I imagine you would like to choose and I hope you value freedoms. Please act with courage to
       protect our freedoms. I am counting on you to stand up for choice.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       The parents of your districts have continuously opposed the curriculum that you are attempting to
       induct at the kindergarten level through the fifth grade.

       We have an epidemic of STD's in our society and pregnant girls as young as 11.WHY would you
       want to start teaching this subject that these young minds aren't able to comprehend,unless your
       agent is to indoctrinate them, and ignore the wishes of their parents.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/22


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       I am an Alameda resident and parent of children attending Alameda public schools. I am
       speaking on behalf of my Muslim family, to let you know that the passing of the proposed
       tolerance curriculum would conflict with the teachings of our Islamic faith. I am deeply disturbed
       to think that my responsibility as a parent to teach my children important moral values is being
       usurped by the public school system, taking away my right to be the first teacher of my children.
       The teaching of moral values have always been in the realm of family, we send our children to
       school to learn the tools of education (i.e., reading, writing, math, sciences etc.). The teaching of
       respect, tolerance and dignity should be extended to ALL peoples regardless of gender, religion,
       race and physical abilities I am therefore OPPOSED to this new curriculum as it clearly serves
       the interest of only a select group of the population.

       In serving the needs of a richly diverse community, we -- parents, teachers, educators, school
       administrators, school board members and students in Alameda should all work together in
       dealing with issues that are culturally sensitive and relevant to city. I sincerely thank you for your
       time and consideration.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/22

       On Tuesday night, the opposition may present the results of a survey. This was an automated
       phone survey, and one came to my home.

       This survey was conducted by the Capitol Resource Institute, the anti-gay marriage advocacy
       group from Sacramento whose Executive Director Karen England has testified in this matter.
       This alone makes its reliability questionable at best.

       Two of the questions were of particular concern:

           1. "Do you think Gay and Lesbian should be part of a vocabulary list taught to children?"

               I know you are aware that these are not on the list as words to be taught to children, but as
               guidance to teachers for appropriate responses should those words come up. If the
               opposition frames this to say that the majority of people are opposed to the use of these
               words, please be aware that their question does not reflect the reality of the curriculum. Of
               course, I hope this doesn't dissuade you from including these words and providing teachers
               the support they need and are asking for.

           2. "Do you think marriage between one man and one woman should be legal?"

               I kid you not; it is phrased in exactly this way. Who is going to say it should be illegal? If
               they say that respondents support marriage as defined as one man and one woman, they'd
               be lying. Which isn't very Christian.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/22

       There are times when we must stop thinking of being politically correct and begin to think about
       what is best. There is a blatant disregard for the rights of parents and children in regard to
       teaching about homosexuality in elementary school. If children are taught that the gay/lesbian
       lifestyle is normal and natural, there will be no boundaries. When there are no boundaries,
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       lifestyle is normal and natural, there will be no boundaries. When there are no boundaries,
       people start to think that it is all right to try such behavior, even when they are not predisposed to
       it.

       Force is not what America is all about; Freedom is. Americans should not be forced to have their
       children taught about homosexuality. Any other sex education curriculum requires parental
       consent, but not this.

       Why is that? Why should my freedom be taken away? Very often, when a law is made, a
       freedom is taken. Sometimes it is a necessity. This is not. Why do activists insist on taking my
       freedom to teach my children and supplanting my ideas for theirs? Who decided that they were
       right? This is one of the erosions of freedom taking place in America at this time. It needs to stop.
       Please do your part to stop it here.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/22

       We do not need to spend money, time and resources to teach the Golden Rule. Families and
       teachers already know what is right.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/22

       I am an Alameda resident and parent of children attending Alameda public schools. I am
       speaking on behalf of my Muslim family, to let you know that the passing of the proposed
       tolerance curriculum would conflict with the teachings of our Islamic faith. I am deeply disturbed
       to think that my responsibility as a parent to teach my children important moral values is being
       usurped by the public school system, taking away my right to be the first teacher of my children.
       The teaching of moral values have always been in the realm of family, we send our children to
       school to learn the tools of education (i.e., reading, writing, math, sciences etc.). The teaching of
       respect, tolerance and dignity should be extended to ALL peoples regardless of gender, religion,
       race and physical abilities I am therefore OPPOSED to this new curriculum as it clearly serves
       the interest of only a select group of the population. In serving the needs of a richly diverse
       community, we -- parents, teachers, educators, school administrators, school board members
       and students in Alameda should all work together in dealing with issues that are culturally
       sensitive and relevant to city. I sincerely thank you for your time and consideration.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       I am concerned with the curriculum that you are considering that exposes children to materials
       that is not appropriate for their age. Also, the discussion of the morality of gay or lesbian
       relationships needs to remain in the individual families. The rights of parents to teach their
       children morals is paramount. It should also be left to parents to teach their children about
       tolerance. If you need to talk about bullying and how it is wrong, fine, but you need to address
       other groups (including religious groups) that are at risk for bullying and not just focus on one
       group, the gay and lesbian groups. I have not heard nor seen any part of this curriculum that
       teaches about tolerating other groups. This is a biased, one-sided discussion. Parents need to
       have the right to remove their children from such training or teaching to insure that their children
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       have the right to remove their children from such training or teaching to insure that their children
       are not indoctrinated with beliefs and ideas that could go against their morals and values. Please
       do not further erode the rights of parents to teach their children and to decide what is or is not
       appropriate for their children.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       I urge you to support the rights of parents to teach lifestyle values to their children in their own
       homes and support parental rights to have their children excused from classes that teach subject
       matter of which they do not approve.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       I understand that this Tuesday the Alameda school board will be taking a vote on whether or not
       to begin teaching a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) curriculum to children starting
       in kindergarten and continuing through fifth grade.

       First of all, that is not the job of teachers. If parents want to inform their children, that is their
       business and their option. A teacher's job is to teach math, English, reading, etc.,

       I STRONGLY oppose my tax dollars going toward teachers using valuable time to teach children
       of "lifestyles". Do you realize how many parents will start home schooling their children? Your
       school will loose students and that means a loss of revenue.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       I am emailing you with regards to the school curriculum proposed for children of your city. I urge
       you to vote no, to have same sex education taught to kindergarten children through 5th grade.
       The parental rights would be abrogated by teaching such subject to small children. This type of
       education should be taught in the home.

       The people of California have already voted against legalizing same sex marriage. Why are your
       schools trying to subject young children to sex education that teaches the opposite view.

       Again, please vote no.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       I learned that your school board will vote on whether to teach GLBT lifestyle and associated
       matters in your curriculum to young children (K through 5). As a mother of 3 sons (and now
       grandchildren) in California, I oppose this type of teaching. We have enough problems in human
       relations without exposing young children to this aberrant lifestyle (and thereby encouraging it
       too). It is better to keep our morals high and pure, to protect and guide them on the "straight"
       path.
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       path.

       To me, this kind of instruction would be like telling them "anything goes" and do what you feel
       like, don't curb any of your personal urges (whether it be drugs, overeating, endless pleasure
       pasttimes on games, shows, gambling and the like, giving vent to feelings of violence, or
       whatever your urge is). What we need now is the opposite (restraint AND respect), and, of
       course, pity, love, and willingness to help those who tend to the aberrant behaviors. Down deep,
       I really feel they would like to be "normal," but are having a hard time when there's been
       rejection. When traditional marriages and lifestyles were prevalent, this country and its individuals
       were in MUCH BETTER shape than the way we are slanting toward today.

       I urge you people NOT to add thes GLBT lessons to your curriculum.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       This email is sent to you to once more plead that you will NOT begin teaching the GLBT
       Curriculum. This curriculum is abhorrent to most of the parents in your school district, as you
       should know that after seeing Proposition 8 passed last year. I believe the reason for Proposition
       8’s passage is precisely because parents DO NOT WANT their children exposed to the gay
       lifestyle while they are still in their early years. You should be sensitive to this feeling of the
       parents in your area and you should support it.

       Please do the right thing, and DO NOT introduce the GLBT Curriculum.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       I have recently heard of the proposed plan to adopt a GBLT curriculum in your area. I am a
       resident of California who is concerned with that possibility. I have heard that people in your area
       have overwhelmingly voiced their opposition to this curriculum. Please listen to them. The right
       for values to be taught in the homes and families should not be taken awayby school boards. I
       do not believe "Bullying" in general will be stopped just by adopting GBLT curriculum. There are
       others out there that teach respect and unity and kindness in public schools without the need to
       discuss alternative lifestyles. Please vote NO on any form of GLBT curriculum in your schools.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       I have read about your potential curriculum starting in kindergarten where you will teach about
       gay and lesbian lifestyle. This is so inappropriate I cannot believe that I even have to say it. We
       already do not have time to property teach our children the academics that they are entitled to
       learn. Now you have the nerve to attempt to talk to little children about concepts that they should
       not be dealing with at that age. You are pandering to the radical special interests and not giving
       a darn about the children. Bullying any child for any reason is not acceptable, and of course
       children should be taught this. And there should be appropriate punishment for those who bully
       others in any way. But what you are proposing goes too far and doesn't solve the problem. And
       parents should always have a right to remove their child from any sexual teaching of any kind. It
       is all right for me to keep my 12 year old out of school for sex education regarding
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       is all right for me to keep my 12 year old out of school for sex education regarding
       heterosexuality but not OK for me to pull out a 5 year old when you are discussing
       homosexuality? Are you out of your minds? I hope you will do the right thing and stop being
       cowards in the face of the minority who are trying to push their twisted morality on the rest of us,
       especially our children.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       I am a concerned mother of five children and I am against having a curriculum that teaches
       anything about a gay or lesbien lifestyle. I think everyone has a right to live how they want to, but
       I don't think anyone has a right to teach my children about things that I don't want them exposed
       to at such a young age.

       We talk to our own children about sex and sexual preferences that are in our society, but we are
       the only ones that need to be teaching them about these things. I do not think it is the schools
       job to worry about teaching such topics.

       Stick to the basics... reading, writing, math, science. I will take care of the social and sexual
       issues.

       TOP

       Out of Town Teacher 5/22

       I'm a 5th grade teacher in xxx and my students and I have had several discussions and activities
       related to understanding sexual orientation and accepting different types of families. When they
       heard about the conflict in Alameda in the Chronicle, they were moved to write a letter to you and
       the other school board members voicing their opinion on the subject. I would like to include their
       letter as an attachment and in the body of this email for your consideration.

       We are 5th graders in the Sunset District of San Francisco. We read an article in the newspaper
       saying that parents in your district don’t want their children to learn lessons about gay families. In
       our class, we discussed and wrote about our feelings and what we think of gay and lesbian
       issues. We watched a video about different types of families, including families with gay parents,
       and read a book titled And Tango Makes Three. This book is about two male penguins who
       loved each other and wanted to have a baby penguin. We learned a lot from these lessons, and
       we are trying to encourage you to vote to let Alameda elementary schools teach the lessons
       about the outside world and different types of people.

       One viewpoint is that the kids can’t handle the word “gay.” Parents think it is inappropriate for the
       teachers to teach them about gay people. Many argue that parents should teach their children
       about gay families themselves when the children get older. From some of the parents’
       perspective, they think it is wrong to teach 4th and 5th graders about gay families.

       However, we feel the 4th and 5th graders of Alameda should be taught about gays and lesbians,
       because they are at the age when they make fun of people who are different. They may use, or
       misuse, words and hurt others’ feelings. Also, if kids don’t learn the correct words and meanings,
       they might use the words the wrong way like, “You’re so gay.” We also argue that kids are more
       mature than the parents think and they can handle learning about gays and lesbians. Lastly,
       students may meet gay schoolmates or have friends with gay parents. If they don’t learn about
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       students may meet gay schoolmates or have friends with gay parents. If they don’t learn about
       this community, kids can ruin their friendships by saying something rude or inappropriate.

       Another reason to allow schools to teach about gay and lesbian people is that gay and lesbians
       are often put down and teased and they don’t feel accepted. If you teach special lessons,
       students will learn to respect people who are different from them. This will make students who
       may be gay or people with gay relatives feel accepted in and out of school.

       Finally, we agree parents should discuss the topic at home, but the parents may have incorrect
       or incomplete information. We feel it should be discussed in school, too, because not all parents
       will have discussions about gay topics with their children. And, maybe someone in the class will
       have questions they don’t feel comfortable asking a parent.

       Our suggestions for compromising may be able to help your community to solve problems about
       teaching children to respect gay parents and students. Some ways to fix this problem are:
       teachers could tell parents what specific topics will be covered, or parents could get invited to
       evening workshops to get the lessons themselves to see what they are like. Bringing parents to
       evening workshops is a helpful way to solve this because if the parents like the lessons, they will
       let their children have the lessons in school or talk more about it with their children.

       Even though we do not live in Alameda, we have discussed these topics in class and have
       experienced these events. We feel it has made us more mature, comfortable, knowledgeable,
       and accepting. We feel you should take our recommendations because we feel this is very
       important in our lives and we need to learn about this. We hope you will take our advice in
       solving your issue. We look forward to seeing the outcome of your decision. Thank you for taking
       the time to read this letter!

       5th Grade Students

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       Please reject the GLBT curriculum. I ask that it NOT BE ADOPTED and you do all in your power
       to reject it.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       I won't take much of your time nor belabor a point you've already heard, but I wanted to let you
       know I oppose the proposed homosexual curriculum. If the point of the curriculum is to stop
       school bullying, then the laws that already protect students from bullying should be more strongly
       enforced. If the point of the curriculum is to educate children on homosexuality, then parents
       should be able to opt-out of it if they desire, since they are the primary educators of their
       children. But if the point of the curriculum is to promote the homosexual lifestyle, then we need to
       seriously stop and consider whether or not we want to use the classroom and our students to
       play politics.

       Let's keep the classroom for learning reading, writing, and arithmetic, and leave politics to our
       elected officials.

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       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/22

       I was present at last week's meeting and realized through people's responses as well as hearing
       from the board members that there are just way too many concerns regardless of which side
       "wins".

       I hope you take into consideration all those concerns and just wanted to let you know that I still
       oppose of the curriculum.

       A short and brief email just like how you guys probably like it. =)

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/22

       I am an Alameda resident and parent of children attending Alameda public schools. I am
       speaking on behalf of my Muslim family, to let you know that the passing of the proposed
       tolerance curriculum would conflict with the teachings of our Islamic faith. I am deeply
       disturbed to think that my responsibility as a parent to teach my children important moral values
       is being usurped by the public school system, taking away my right to be the first teacher of my
       children. The teaching of moral values have always been in the realm of family, we send our
       children to school to learn the tools of education (i.e., reading, writing, math, sciences etc.). The
       teaching of respect, tolerance and dignity should be extended to ALL peoples regardless
       of gender, religion, race and physical abilities I am therefore OPPOSED to this new
       curriculum as it clearly serves the interest of only a select group of the population. In
       serving the needs of a richly diverse community, we -- parents, teachers, educators, school
       administrators, school board members and students in Alameda should all work together in
       dealing with issues that are culturally sensitive and relevant to city. I sincerely thank you for your
       time and consideration.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       In regards to your recent LGBT curriculum proposal, whether you’ve already voted on it or not, I
       a concerned parent wish to ask you all to consider the following:

           1. There is another curriculum which most states consider essential to be taught. It is called
              Sex Education. Taught, in order to educate children of the nature of their bodies and the
              risks of unprotected sex, disease ect.. Yet, the courts have repeatedly upheld out of
              deference to parental rights, particularly those of religious expression, including the rights
              of parents to teach their own morality to children that all parents have a constitutional right
              to opt out of such classes. Consequently permission slips are sent home by law.
           2. A question then: Is Homosexuality, (in particular Homosexual marriage), any less
              controversial, risky, or morally questionable than Sex Education in the eyes of the people?
              Does the forced teaching of it interfere with a parent’s right to instill their own moral values
              in their children? Answer: Given the fact California just went through an extremely heated
              debate on prop 8 in the which it was upheld by a majority vote, I would say most definitely
              yes. Therefore, if the district wishes to teach it (the district choosing to side with those in
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              yes. Therefore, if the district wishes to teach it (the district choosing to side with those in
              the minority of this debate), the same standard of the Sex Ed curriculum should be
              adopted. The permission slip to opt out. Anything less than this would be completely
              disingenuous. It would utterly destroy any credibility the school board possesses with
              parents because it would undermine the foundation of trust between them by not respecting
              their wishes within the limits of the law.
           3. Any school board who ignores the wishes of parents in their district, their city, their county,
              and their state, is imposing its own will as law and therefore is not assured of operating in
              children’s best interests. Indeed such a board would be highly tyrannical and unworthy of
              parent’s support due to lack of respect for their greatest clients. Such a board would be
              completely arbitrary, slanted, and biased by their own shortcomings. Their deaf ears would
              render them unable to make objective decisions or set balanced goals. Such a board, I
              would hope, would not be long lived in their positions, and I myself would be certain to work
              long hours to make sure they were not reappointed.
           4. Failing this, I would exercise the last great right of any parent when faced with
              unreasonable leaders who arrogantly presume they know what’s best for my child. I’d
              remove my child from said school district as quickly as possible and home school them. Or
              if the opportunity presented itself, I’d vote with my feet and pick up and move to another
              school district, city, county, or even state where common sense and democracy still prevail
              and educators listen to parents. Many parents in your area may indeed do this if you
              persist in this radical idea of forced indoctrination. This may already be the case as I
              believe California is currently losing people en masse as they migrate out of the state into
              other ones where freedom isn’t on the decline.

       In closing I would just like to say that I wish you all well. I sincerely hope and I will fervently pray
       that you exercise better judgment and maybe even listen to those who say the parent is the
       supreme teacher of right and wrong in a child’s life. Not the school, not the school board, and not
       the state.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/22

       I looked over the proposed lessons for the LGBT curriculum, and I oppose to its adoption.

       On the surface, its message is tolerance, accepting others who are different, but in the core, the
       theme is not truly about tolerance. Tolerance is good and necessary, however, tolerance without
       directions is very dangerous. The concept of tolerance needs to be balanced with the concept of
       morals (what is right and what is wrong), and vice versa. The proposed lessons are teaching that
       we need to accept others who are different (LGBT specifically in this case) because they are
       okay people too, but that is the wrong message about tolerance. Tolerance is about loving
       people who are different, even though they might be wrong and might even be our
       enemies. The proposed lessons are promoting the LGBT lifestyles without accomplishing the
       goal of teaching the real meaning of tolerance and acceptance.

       I am certain that the current AUSD curriculum is already teaching the students to be acceptant
       and tolerant of others who are different. This new proposed curriculum adds no value over and
       above what AUSD is already offering to the students.

       TOP

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       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       Please reject the proposed homosexual curriculum. Parents should be consulted before this
       goes any further and this should be completely revised.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       I am an Alameda county resident. I am speaking on behalf of my Muslim family, to let you know
       that the passing of the proposed tolerance curriculum would conflict with the teachings of our
       Islamic faith. I am deeply disturbed to think that my responsibility as a parent to teach my
       children important moral values is being usurped by the public school system, taking away my
       right to be the first teacher of my children. The teaching of moral values have always been in the
       realm of family, we send our children to school to learn the tools of education (i.e., reading,
       writing, math, sciences etc.). The teaching of respect, tolerance and dignity should be extended
       to ALL peoples regardless of gender, religion, race and physical abilities I am therefore
       OPPOSED to this new curriculum as it clearly serves the interest of only a select group of the
       population. In serving the needs of a richly diverse community, we -- parents, teachers,
       educators, school administrators, school board members and students in Alameda should all
       work together in dealing with issues that are culturally sensitive and relevant to city. I sincerely
       thank you for your time and consideration.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       Please vote NO to "gay, bisexual and transgender curriculum" to children from K to 5 grade.

       If you vote yes, it is a reverse discrimination act to those who are against homosexual and
       forcing the next generation to buy into accepting homosexual is a norm. IT IS NOT.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       This is truly sick and obscene that you would teach this type of behavior to children ages 5-10. If
       a person makes the choice in their life to be gay that is fine, it is their choice. But to mandate this
       type of lifestyle on highly impressionable innocent children is disgusting. You also overlook the
       fact that by promoting this lifestyle you offend millions of people all under the guise of
       "acceptance and tolerance" yet you are not accepting or tolerant of my feelings and views and
       the feelings and views of the majority of mankind. You are also violating the First Amendment of
       this Nation which reads:

       Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
       exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people
       peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

       Your curriculum violates my religious beliefs and although I don't live in your school district I
       must tell you to put a halt to this horrendous behavior.


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       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/22

       Thank you for taking the time to listen to all the concerns of the community. I was at the meeting
       this past Monday and I was shocked to feel unsafe at such a meeting. My stance remains the
       same, I respectfully request that you do not pass this curriculum. As clearly evidenced this past
       Monday, you were able to witness a very emotionally heated meeting. After listening to the board
       members it was clear that there are still a lot of questions that need to be addressed about this
       curriculum. Given the current circumstances, I strongly urge that the board reconsider the
       implications of this curriculum and really zero in the issue of bullying.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       Your “school” district is a joke. What about teaching kids skills that will help them be successful
       and leave matters of race, religion and sexual orientation to the parents?

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       Please do NOT allow the new curriculum to begin in the Alameda School District that teaches the
       children about various Gay and Lesbian issues. Children in the Elementary School years are just
       too impressionable for such a thing. They have enough to deal with already with their hormones
       beginning to activate, usually by the 5th or 6th grade. Its also a time for much experimentation on
       their parts, and I shudder to think of such young kids trying out what it means to be Gay!

       It may have escaped somebody's notice, but nowadays its common for kids to already practice
       oral sex as part of their dating. Young boys have come to expect oral sex as "payment" for their
       dates from the girls!

       Please don't encourage further risky behavior in our young people. They need to mature more
       before they can be exposed to such "issues".

       It won't stop the "bullying", as some have implied. That goes on in school regardless of a child's
       sexual identity. Children shouldn't even be thinking about sexual matters until their hormones
       become active and their bodies begin to change! Leave it to the parents at THAT time to decide
       what is right for their kids to know.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/22

       The essence of the objections to the LGBT anti-bulling curriculum lies in religious beliefs based
       on certain biblical interpretations. The opposition does not want things taught in the schools that
       conflict with their religious beliefs. Opposition to the curriculum is organized by the Sacramento-
       based Pacific Justice Institute through two churches in Alameda. Opposition to the LGBT
       curriculum is reminiscent of objections to the teaching of evolution, but has even more profound
       consequences for our students. The opposition has every right to limit by religious beliefs what is
       taught in their home or in religious schools but not in our public schools. We can not deform our
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       taught in their home or in religious schools but not in our public schools. We can not deform our
       public schools to conform to these beliefs.

       These are public schools and we are responsible to deal effectively with discrimination based on
       sexual orientation in them. And we desperately need to deal with effectively with bullying. This
       curriculum is appropriate, objective and specific. The teachers association is unanimously in
       support of it.

       The vast majority of bullying of male students has some aspect of homophobia whether the
       student is gay or not. A rising tide affects all boats. Combating homophobia is the place to start
       and set down an anchor when combating bullying. This is not a complete curriculum dealing with
       all discrimination and bullying, but any effective curriculum should directly address bullying
       against LGBT students. Good work has been done, more work has to be done. We need to move
       forward with the work that has been done and institute this curriculum.

       I am sure you as School board members will make an objective decision based on what protects
       a minority class against discrimination and all children against bullying.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       In response to the news article concerning the LGBT instruction course that the Board of
       Education will be voting on. As a parent of six of my own children and two step-children if any of
       my children were attending your school and being taught this coarse I would with draw them from
       the district. These children do not need to be taught that it is ok to be gay or lesbian by the
       school. Many families in America do not accept gay and lesbians. I myself do not want any of my
       children exposed to that type of life style. And I definitly don't want the elementry teachers
       teaching this life style to them. I understand your reasoning for wanting to teach it, but its not
       going to work. Bullying has been around forever. There is nothing you nor I will ever do to
       change it. Even as adults we are bullied in some sort of way. All we can do as parents and
       teachers is pay attention to our children and don't let it get out of hand. I hope that you make the
       right decision on this subject.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/22

       How did you make a note of who was there and whether they were in favor or opposed? I didn’t
       sign any attendance sheet. Many people just walked right in and found a seat. I’m wondering
       how you got those figures, because it doesn’t seem accurate.

       TOP

       Outof Town Resident 5/22

       The following is for the Alameda Board and those who are trying to force parents and children to
       accept curriculum that violates their First Amendment Rights:

       By forcing this curriculum upon young children, you are in the same class as terrorists and the
       brain-washers of past militant governments (i.e. Nazism, Socialist, and Communism). This is a
       violation of a parent's Constitutional right to decide what their children can be taught, and why
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       violation of a parent's Constitutional right to decide what their children can be taught, and why
       our school system is failing. Maybe if you spent more time teaching our children the facts of this
       great country and how it was formed (based on Biblical values), instead of left-wing liberalism,
       they could make the choice themselves. YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT, AND YOU WILL
       NOT CORRUPT OUR CHILDREN!

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/22

       Don't give in to bigotry; give our students the information they need to stop anti-gay harassment
       and bullying.

       Vote for the New Curriculum guidelines.

       TOP

       Out of State Resident 5/22

       I read a news story this morning about the upcoming vote on the Gay Curriculum Proposal at
       your school.

       As a parent of two small school age children (ages 5 & 7) this story, of course, caught my eye.
       After reading the information I have to say please consider allowing parents who do not agree
       with this agenda due to religious beliefs, to allow their children to opt out. Otherwise, by forcing
       them to attend "the school district is violating a First Amendment right for those who have a
       religion that doesn't support homosexuality." As stated in the article, “ But the school board says
       otherwise, and its attorneys say that if the curriculum is adopted, the parents will have no legal
       right to remove their children from class when the lessons are being taught.” What about their
       First Amendment rights covered by the Constitution?????? If you force the issue, be prepared
       for legal action!!!

       Your school is setting an example for the nation! The nation’s eyes are upon you. Do the right
       thing and don’t let this controversial curriculum pass. Please do your job and educate the children
       on reading, writing, arithmetic, etc….and please leave the family/moral issues up to the family to
       teach their children how they see fit. It’s really not your job as a school district to teach children
       about gay marriage, and how to survive/adapt in their community. That’s the parents’/guardians’
       duty to do so!! Remember, as a parent, you are your child’s first teacher, and lifelong teacher!
       Think about what your parents/grandparents/guardians have taught you while growing up. Would
       you have wanted that replaced by your school district teaching you what they felt you needed to
       learn? Parents/grandparents/guardians should be allowed to teach their children about life
       experiences and to shape their child into a capable adult willing to take on the world! It’s just not
       the schools place to do so!

       Also remember….. “California is no stranger to the controversy surrounding gay issues. Last
       November, voters passed Proposal 8, which overturned a Supreme Court ruling and banned gay
       marriage in the state.” Obviously, the majority of Californians do not support gay marriage and
       possibly the majority are also in opposition to this proposed curriculum as well. If your school
       district chooses to ignore the opposition and goes ahead with this curriculum, be prepared for
       backlash and lawsuits.


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       In my opinion, the school system is overstepping its bounds and going into an area that is
       considered a FAMILY/MORAL issue! Homosexuality should be something that is explained to
       children at home, by their parents or guardians, when the time is appropriate for that child. As
       you know, each child is different, but isn’t Kindergarten usually a little early to process this sort of
       information????

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       I just read the write-up on FoxNews regarding the district’s proposed plan for the integration of
       LGBT sensitivity training into the curriculum. I noted that several people with students in the
       district are absolutely opposed to this plan, and feel that their First Amendment rights are being
       impinged upon by the district. I personally tend to agree with this stance, within the fact that you
       are not allowing parents to “opt out” their children for these classes. Therefore, I have a proposal
       for you to consider;

       Proposed curriculum changes should be adopted as presented, with the requirement for parents
       with children attending schools within the district to receive 5 days advance notice of the date of
       the instruction. (School is REQUIRED to provide 5 business days advance notice.)

       Parents will be afforded the opportunity to “opt out” their students from this class, with the proviso
       that this allowance is given for the purpose of addressing these issues with their child in a
       manner which they deem age-appropriate and in-line with their individual spiritual beliefs and
       practices.

       If the opted out student is subsequently involved in an incident which is inclusive of this type of
       subject matter, then the district reserves the right to;

       a) Suspend the student for a period deemed appropriate by the school district, or

       b) Include the student in subsequent reinforcement classes which address this subject matter. (If
       the parent(s) won’t do the job, then the school is able.)

       Parents will be given the option of either (a) or (b), based upon their individual spiritual belief set.

       Each subsequent violation of this area of policy will be addressed in a progressive manner, up to
       and including expulsion from the district and its schools.

       I understand the need for Alameda Unified to address these issues in a constructive, age-
       appropriate manner. What I don’t agree with is your preemption of the parents’ right to deal with
       this in a manner which is consistent with their beliefs. I feel that the above “happy medium” will
       address this, and maybe alleviate some of the concerns that parents have expressed to news
       outlets such as Fox and CNN. If Alameda Unified adopts the curriculum in the above fashion, it’s
       a “win-win” for all concerned.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/22

       Bullying in school is, in fact, a significant problem. Tools for teachers to address this issue are
       quite appropriate.
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       quite appropriate.

       It seems, however, that this issue is being used by some groups, e.g. lgbt and I'm sure others, to
       advance their own agenda. The national attention that your school district is getting is indicative
       of citizens becoming very aware of programs being used by various special interests, and
       thereby subverting the broad support that the original program (e.g., anti-bullying) enjoyed.

       Please do not let this happen in the Alameda Unified School District. The causes of bullying are
       many and varied. While childhood is the best time to curb such bad behavior, remember the
       KISS principle, keep it simple s___. Don't add unnecessary agendas to the issue. And please
       don't forget the views of children's parents.

       Thank you for listening to this concerned citizen (though not of your school district). I pray that
       you will come up with viable ways to handle the bullying problem - other school districts will be
       watching for viable solutions.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/22

       I am writing to express my support for the Caring Schools Curriculum and the School Board's
       effort to address stereotypes and bullying relating to homosexuality and gender identity. My
       family has lived in Alameda for eight years. My daughter does not attend school in Alameda but
       we are long time supporters of the Alameda schools. My daughter's school does have a
       curriculum that addresses gender identity issues and I really appreciate the respect and care that
       the children at her school show toward each other, regardless of the makeup of their families or
       how they identify themselves. As I read the proposed curriculum, the only "agenda" being
       advocated is that of respect for each other as each of us happen to be. A public school system,
       indeed any school, should do nothing less.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/22

       I just heard about the phone survey that you will be doing to gather information about Alameda
       residents' view on this curriculum. I hope the phone survey will be fair in that it will fairly describe
       the curriculum that is proposed.

           1.   Define what LGBT is, as some people may not be aware of the acronyms.
           2.   that this is targetted for K-5 level.
           3.   That none of the other protected subgroups are explicitly mentioned in the curriculum.
           4.   That the curriculum mainly focuses on introducing LGBT and acceptance of LGBT.
           5.   That this is going to be Lesson 9. LGBT will be the only subgroup to receive its own lesson
                in this curriculum.

       Please be fair in representing what this curriculum is about and the amount of lesson time it's
       given in the context of the entire Caring School Curriculum.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

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       The quality of education in our schools has been gradually eroding since falling under union
       control. Despite the almost universal failure to teach our children, "educators" now think they can
       do a better job "teaching" our children about sexual issues than their parents? Now you're trying
       to give parents no choice in the matter threatening them legally?...95% of Americans are being
       "bullied" by the 5% of Americans who are not heterosexual!...To pass these regulations will be a
       slap in the face to parents who love their children and an infringement on their First Amendment
       rights!...You should be ashamed to even consider such a measure! Liberalism is reeking with
       arrogance!

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/22

       I am a teacher at Bay Farm School and an AUSD parent.

       Next week, you will be making the decision if our district will add one lesson per grade level to
       our Caring Schools curriculum.

       I am writing to voice my support for this curriculum.

       I believe that adding this one, 45-minute lesson to our school year is a good idea.

       I have briefly reviewed the materials and think they are a nice way to encourage our students to
       be more accepting and tolerant students and citizens.

       I am sad that so many members of our community have reacted so defensively to the idea that
       we, as educators, see a problem and are trying to help solve it.

       It is my understanding that the argument by many is that this is a lesson which should be taught
       only at home in the schools.

       Bullying, gender based name calling and same gender parents are a reality in our schools,
       therefore it should be addressed at home AND in our classrooms and not ignored.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/22

       As Alameda parents, professionals and members of a local church community, we are writing to
       express our strong support for the Caring Schools Community LGBT Curriculum soon to be
       implemented within the Alameda Unified School District’s public schools.

       A student’s ability to function optimally at school is a product of an interaction between that
       student and his or her learning environment. The environment’s role in labeling, causing or
       maintaining the harmful or discriminatory treatment of any member of its community – directly or
       indirectly – serves only to spread and grow an increasingly uninformed and reactionary
       community at large. Hence the appropriateness for early intervention within school settings!

       Experiences with diverse people and families, along with education, has proven helpful in
       promoting mutual respect and understanding between dominant majority groups and those of
       minority backgrounds. There is no possibility of safe, fair or equal treatment of minority group
       members where exclusionary or discriminatory attitudes are allowed to persist.
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       members where exclusionary or discriminatory attitudes are allowed to persist.

       Our highly qualified educators and curriculum specialists cannot realistically teach tolerance to
       students without the support of parents and others who share this fundamentally American value.
       Furthermore, when hate crimes, name calling and other forms of mistreatment known to occur
       on school campuses it is critical and, in fact, mandated that schools assume an active and
       preventive role against such truly destructive forces in our community.

       Thank you all for your consideration of the multiple perspectives concerning this curriculum. You
       have our ongoing support in working to cultivate a climate of compassion and understanding of
       the experiences of LGBT family members in our local schools.

       TOP

       Grossmont Union High School Teacher 5/22

       No wonder people want to limit funding to state education!!! The fruitcake agenda will only make
       it worse. Teach, don't recruit.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/22

       Capital Resources Institute provided the following letter.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/22

       Please vote against the curriculum. In light of all of the different voices of opinion, it is clear that
       the most equitable route would be to allow a more transparent and inclusive process to create a
       curriculum that would best meet the needs of our students. Furthermore, reviewing the last two
       meetings, the concerned public was not at all at a consensus about this curriculum. On a side
       note, to pass a curriculum of such suspect quality with the most basic grammatical errors
       overlooked would be quite embarrassing and troubling.

       In addition, I want to clarify that the goal of the curriculum is TO STOP BULLYING as stated by
       the Safe Schools initiative. If this is the case, below are some guiding principles regarding the
       most effective bullying-prevention strategies
       (http://www.drthrockmorton.com/respectandthefacts/documents/bullyingprevention.pdf), a
       research-based resource for schools. As an educator, I see in this resource clear learning goals
       and activities and vocabulary that are aligned to meet those stated learning goals. This stands in
       stark contrast to what we find in the Lesson 9 of the Safe Schools curriculum. Here are some
       findings from the research:

       "Successful bullying prevention programs most often require collaboration between school and
       home. "

       Therefore, a successful curriculum or plan would be one in which Alameda parents and teachers
       alike are supportive of what is being taught.


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       "No group or student should be marginalized or maligned to promote another group...Further, if
       the objective is to create a social situation where students are truly accepting of differences, it
       does not seem reasonable to marginalize any group based on activity preferences or ability
       levels. "

       "Bullying policies should provide protection for all students."

       "Action objectives that have been derived from research regarding bullying prevention
       include...To provide skills for students to deal with bullying."

       Please, on behalf of our students, parents and schools, decide upon the most educationally and
       fiscally responsible choice and reject this curriculum (or lesson) in favor of lesson plans that
       actually meet the needs of our schools.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/21

       I wasn't able to get a place at the mike over the last 2 mtgs, but I wanted to register my strong
       support for proceeding with this curriculum in the elementary grades.

       Truly, it was my grade school kids who changed my mind. I had been uncertain about having
       conversations that introduced the entire LGBT spectrum to young children. But when I asked my
       2 kids (5th and 7th grade) if they had any idea what the "I DO" placards that appeared in some
       Alameda yards meant. Independant of one another, they both correctly identified the issue, and
       when asked their opinion, both spoke strongly to the basic fairness of the issue. They had
       classmates with 2 moms or 2 dads. It was no big deal, and their feeling was that the kids
       deserved parents who were united in the same way as other parents.

       They convinced me with their sincerity and basic values approach to the issue.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/21

       I just wanted to point out that the attorneys who wrote in opposition to the curriculum have an
       average of 3.5 years experience with 3 practicing less than 1 year.

       In contrast the attorneys who wrote in support have an average of 14 years experience one with
       over 32 years.

       If I were to hire a team of lawyers to represent me I would chose the firm with the most
       experience not the firm with mostly junior associates. Wouldn't you?

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/21

       I just received an automated phone survey about the AUSD school curriculum. It was sponsored
       by the Capital Resource Institute. It seems that there are so many people from outside of
       Alameda that have taken on this cause. It is very unsettling and makes me wonder if we even
       know what the residents of Alameda want. This have become a very destructive and divisive
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       know what the residents of Alameda want. This have become a very destructive and divisive
       process.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/21

       As I sat in the audience at Kofman Auditorium, I wondered where the Spanish speaking and
       black residents/parents/teachers/students were. They certainly were not there.

       While Trish Spencer spoke, I agreed with every point she made.

       I do not think think separate lessons based on this "curriculum" are best for the students,
       teachers, or parents.

       Put the books in the library for anyone to read at any time. Let the students take them home if
       they want to read them with their parents. Do NOT force any students to read/study this
       "curriculum"Instead, teach the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto
       you.

       If the adults do this, the children will follow

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/21

       As Roman Catholic persons and citizens of Alameda, as well as senior citizens, we urge you to
       approve the Caring Schools Curriculum to address LGBT.

       YOU can help people who need all of us to extend our hands to them or "FOR GOD'S SAKE" at
       least leave them alone.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/21

       I am writing to you as an Alameda parent of two school age girls (Kindergarten and 2nd Grade)
       and a proud supporter of the initiative of the Alameda School Board to place this curriculum of
       education and enlightenment in the Alameda Schools. The reality is whether or not the Initiative
       passes next Tuesday, children will still receive an 'education' on what it means to have different
       families in their lives. The problem is that this education will be taught in the playground, the mall
       and anywhere else children can torment those who do not subscribe to what the very few, but
       very vocal have deemed to be 'normal'. The Alameda School Board has the opportunity to
       correct this and offer a positive, well rounded view on what it means to be part of a family, all
       families in the year 2009--without the traditional bias and prejudices of small minded individuals.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/21

       Those individuals opposed to the implementaion of the Caring Schools curriculum have engaged
       consevative right wing politcal interest group Capital Resource Institute based in Sacramento to
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       consevative right wing politcal interest group Capital Resource Institute based in Sacramento to
       conduct a biased phone survey of Alameda residents in an effort to bolster for their fight against
       tolerance and inclusion in our district. A robo-survey has been calling residents this evening with
       questions designed to create an appearance that Alamedans are opposed to this curriculum.
       Please do not fall for the dishonest tactics of this group.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/21

       My husband and I are writing because we support the LGBT curriculum and are very disturbed to
       have just received two phone calls with an automated, biased survey designed to falsely
       document opposition to this proposed curriculum. The phone survey, funded by Capitol
       Resources Institute, reflects a one-sided, biased campaign that is being mounting against AUSD
       and does not reflect the values and beliefs of our Alameda community.

       Regardless of a person’s philosophy or beliefs about homosexuality, same-sex marriage, or
       words like gay, lesbian, or transgender—

       ALL STUDENTS in the Alameda school district should learn to respect and treat one another
       kindly regardless of their family structure, their parents’ sexual orientation, or their own sexual
       and gender identification.

       We are parents of xxx Elementary and xxx Middle School students. I am also a former teacher,
       and am currently a professional educator involved in health education research. I have carefully
       reviewed the proposed LGBT curriculum. It is age-appropriate and has the potential to help
       create a more caring school environment for all children in Alameda . My husband and I believe
       that ALL children should learn about respect and diversity in their school environment. No one
       should opt out.

       We are very sorry that AUSD and the Board of Education is the target of such a one-sided
       campaign by Capitol Resources Institute. Their campaign appears to be designed to incite and
       misrepresent the issues. During this time of fiscal crisis we should be able to focus on educating
       our Alameda children and not be fighting an out-of-town group with money and power to
       misrepresent the important issues and misrepresent the views of our community.

       Thank you for your hard work and your attention to this very important topic. We urge you to
       support the LGBT curriculum for all students.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/21

       have reviewed the lessons on line and I support them being used in the Alameda Schools. I am
       the parent of a 9th grader, a former PTA president and Girl Scout leader and currently a teacher
       in Alameda. They look age appropriate to me. This evening I received a disturbing robo-call push
       poll from the Capital Resource Institute which was very misleading. I am sorry that our school
       board has been put in the middle of this highly emotional debate but I hope you stand up to these
       bullies. I am sure you must feel you are in a no win situation but I wanted you to know I
       appreciate all the hard work you have put in on the school board and thank you for representing
       the families of Alameda.

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       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/21

       Please vote no on the subject curriculum for our schools.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/21

       I received an automated call today from an outfit calling themself 2009 Survey. At the end of the
       survey they thanked me for my participation on behalf of the Capitol Resource Institute. Since
       my home phone numbers are on the do not call list, I don’t know how they are able to robo call.

       In researching this organization, I found myself angered. I do not share the viewpoints of this
       organization and resent the fact that someone from Sacramento needs to involve themselves in
       the raising of our children in our community. Living in California, our children are enjoying an
       enriching life with various cultures and lifestyles. I don’t believe that we should ignore sections of
       our society because we don’t agree with how they live their lives. We need to show everyone
       respect and kindness. I don’t believe that this organization is doing that. I believe that our school
       district is trying to help the children understand tolerance and acceptance. I also believe that it is
       a tough subject for parents to accept and teach their children. There have been hot issues that
       our society has had to face and I hope that you don’t allow the bullying tactics of an organization
       to stop you from helping our children get along in the world.

       I do thank them for angering me enough to pass this information along to you. Your contact
       information is listed on their web site and I wanted to make sure that my views were heard.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/21

       I was on your website last night and I noticed that there is an error. The website stated that
       Monday's meeting had 60% speakers in favor of the curriculum and 40 % opposed. If I read the
       website correctly, then that is an error for sure. I listened very carefully to all the speeches on
       Monday night, except for missing the first 9 speeches. According to my count for Monday night
       minus the 9 speakers, there were 63 speeches opposed and 14 speeches in favor of the
       curriculum. I hope you will correct the percentages written on the website, and make them reflect
       what really happened on Monday night.

       Editor Note: You are correct about the recap of speakers. However, my statement is
       correct based on attendance.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/21

       Thank you very much for continuing the public hearing last Monday, which I attended. As a first-
       time attendee of these meetings, I was appalled by the way people who opposed the curriculum
       were booed and intimidated. After hearing the arguments, I'd like to state my strong
       OPPOSITION to the passing of this curriculum. Thank you and I hope you will make the right
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       OPPOSITION to the passing of this curriculum. Thank you and I hope you will make the right
       decision.

       As an Alameda resident and a father of a 3rd grade student, I strongly oppose the proposed
       LGBT curriculum.

           1. Its controversial contents surely cause split of the society and community.
           2. It's not reasonable to transfer such kind of knowledge, with which even adults have
              conflicting and confusing viewpoint, to young children.
           3. for more than rather safer or better feel someone make will school elementary into
              curriculum such of introduction the sure really you are curriculum, supporting those

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/21

       I am overall appalled at the behavior of those who wish push the agenda from this past week's
       meeting--booing, hissing, and the anger that came because one young Alameda resident
       showed up before he did and filled out a speaker slip during last week's meeting. And sadly, I
       feel that this is the sort of "tolerance" that will be pushed on my daughter.

       I also wanted to respond to some points in an email I saw posted on President McMahon's
       website:

       1. People need to stop co-opting the word "bully". You, the opposition, are speaking from a place
       of privilege. You are the apparent majority at these meetings. You are NOT being physically
       threatened, pushed around, taunted, or assaulted. MY DAUGHTER HAS BEEN BULLIED. She is
       5 and has been picked on, teased, and physically assaulted by classmates all school year (ftr,
       we have spoken with the teacher, the principal, written letters to the school board members, and
       the superintendent). It started because some kids decided she is more like a boy than a girl. So
       when you stand up there saying YOU FEEL BULLIED it makes my skin crawl and my heart
       ache. My daughter has been bullied. So just stop with that. It's offensive.

       I am sorry, but I have been bullied for being Asian-American (by both whites AND asians), for
       not looking Asiatic (and been called all sorts of races), having an odd hairstyle that is purely
       genetic and not commonly Asian, for being overweight, etc etc. I have too. You are blowing hot
       air right now. Many of us, myself included, know what its like to be bullied. We dont like it. But we
       dont agree with this curriculum either. It's that simple. You dont know what you dont know, and I
       havent played the sympathy card on this side because I didnt think it as relevant to the issue at
       hand.

       2. I keep hearing people opposed to the curriculum say that they have been called "haters".
       Really? You are the only people that I have heard use that term in YEARS and only at the
       podium. It strikes me as disingenuous. I believe you are trying to make yourselves out to be the
       victim here. Again, STOP. It is offensive.

       Just read the Nat'l Center for Lesbian Rights email. Our opposition is called "hate". Look at the
       Prop 8 campaign. Who is being called "unfair" and "wrong"? We are. For exercising rights as
       citizens and voters who have reasonable disagreements. So who is offensive here?

       3. One speaker for the opposition alluded to a possibility of being assaulted on his way out. Well,
       have you ever heard of "gay bashing"? It is real. It is deadly. I can not tell you how many young
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       have you ever heard of "gay bashing"? It is real. It is deadly. I can not tell you how many young
       people I have known who ended up in the hospital with broken ribs, punctured lungs, black and
       blue faces because they actually WERE ASSAULTED for being LGBT or perceived as LGBT.
       Even more have had to at least physically defend themselves or run to find safety because they
       were clearly no match for a bunch of dudes with 2x4's. Do you get this? YOU ARE NOT THE
       VICTIM.

       The numbers are revealing that racism is far worse. We have been victimized far more than you.
       Funny, Asian Americans have faced far worse scandals, but no one thinks twice about it. Like
       the Sunset murders in SF. Like Vincent Chin. I wont even pretend to represent African
       Americans because they have suffered far worse than any of us. Again, get your facts straight.

       4. Your children will learn anti-gay slurs as soon as they hit the elementary school playgrounds. If
       you think your children are too sweet for this, guess what. They aren't. I thought that about my
       own children but they learn from their peers. I had to reteach my kids everything I have taught
       them and will continue to do so as long as needed. So you can let your kids learn hateful words
       without any context or understanding or you can teach them about what these words mean and
       who they really hurt. I kind of have a feeling that this isn't your dinner table conversation. Maybe
       it's time for schools to step in.

       No, I agree. Thats why I think the school needs a 0 tolerance policy because kids--even yours--
       pick up garbage all the time. And no, schools are not parents, and that is not their role.

       5. Someone spoke about the difficulty of explaining how two moms could have a baby. I can tell
       you from experience that It's not that hard. If you can say "daddy planted a seed in mommy" you
       can say a doctor planted a seed in one of the mommies. Or the mommies adopted. Or whatever
       applies. Kids get it. It's not hard to grasp. You underestimate your children.

       I dont want to teach my kids that this is proper. I dont underestimate them. I want to wait until
       they are a proper age to reason for themselves, and then I can teach them sexuality, ethics,
       philosophy, etc. And then they can decide for themselves.

       6. Please remember that you are the vocal majority here. Please stop acting persecuted with
       your claims of how your children will be bullied for not agreeing with the teacher or how confused
       your child will be when the teacher says something different than you do. I had to explain to my
       kids that Christopher Columbus was responsible for the genocide of my ancestors rather than a
       super-coool hero. You can surely handly this, no?

       We are not. In fact, as another astutely pointed out, we are the minority since Prop 8 opposers
       far outnumbered the supporters. Get your facts straight. I dont even like this debate and wouldn't
       be here if there was an opt-out, but YOU have advocated for an even stronger original curriculum
       without an opt-out.

       7. GLBT people are not unicorns or gnomes living in mushroom houses. It is not something you
       can "believe" in or not believe in. They are real. No matter what you think of them. It's time to
       stop pretending they don't exist in your schools. They do. Your children will meet them. How do
       you really want that meeting to happen? With misunderstanding and contempt for a "lifestyle" or
       understand and acceptance. WWJD, afterall.

       Yes, they are real. No, I am not saying make them invisible. But yes, it is a lifestyle and a
       conduct until science shows it is natural, which it has not. And as someone who knows many
       who have had this issue, I assure you, so much of is environmental. Its no reason to discriminate,
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       who have had this issue, I assure you, so much of is environmental. Its no reason to discriminate,
       but you will not tell my daughter that all lifestyles are equally viable. They are not. A lifestyle that
       is cruel toward babies is not viable. A lifestyle that has domestic violence is not viable. Let's get
       this straight. I dont want to teach my daughter about this lifestyle being viable. Period. WWJD, I
       dont even want to go there.

       I get the sinking feeling that I will need to pull my daughter out and homeschool or find a private
       school. And if this passes, I am seriously reconsidering an offer I was about to put in for a house
       in Bay Farm. I am opposed to this curriculum and ask you to oppose it as well.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/21

       I am writing in strong support of the LGBT tolerance curriculum as a step towards understanding
       and reduced bullying in our schools. As a Marriage & Family therapist specializing in child
       therapy and a certified school counselor, I have seen the devastating effect of bullying on kids,
       especially when their family is different from the mainstream. We adults need to better protect
       these children from the hatred and humiliation aimed at them, often in ignorance or tacit
       permission.

       At the same time, I am a realist and feel that the Board should consider the opt-out option for this
       curriculum in order to get more support from the community. This option allows most students to
       be exposed to the curriculum while not enraging the parents who feel forced to present their
       children with values with which they disagree. If the focus is on tolerance and respect, more
       students than not will attend and benefit.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/21

       You've done a wonderful job appearing fair and equal during the discussions you've held for the
       CARE curriculum.

       My question is, how will you and the other board members come to a decision?

       Although I've been told of the many meetings you've held in establishing the curriculum, and I've
       sat through PTAC meetings and gotten updates, and listened to nine hours of 3-minute
       arguments in favor or against the curriculum.

       I really do not understand how you all will make your decision.

       Throughout this entire school year, I was under the impression the program would be adopted,
       and the pre-meetings were to establish it's form.

       Will you just tally the number of people against and for? Will you use email letters or speakers as
       a count?

       And, if you decide not to implement this program, what will happen to it?

       Will it not be reconsidered or will it be changed in it's format?

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       It's all quite confusing to me as I was under the impression that the program had been accepted
       in general, and that the meetings you've held over the past year were to revise and review it.

       If you have time in your busy schedule, can you please let me know how the decision will be
       made?

       Thank you very much for your time with this subject, and at least seeming to look at all views
       impartially.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/21

       I'm writing to urge you to support the LGBT lessons. I understand that you and the other
       members of the Alameda Board of Education would like to know about people's experiences
       with similar curricula in other districts.

       My daughter is currently in 4th grade in San Leandro Unified School District. She attended
       grades K-3 in San Francisco Unified School District, so we have a fair amount of experience with
       elementary school curricula that are inclusive of families with LGBT parents. I cannot express
       strongly enough that without the family diversity lessons my daughter's classes have received
       over the years, her experiences in school would have been much, much more difficult,
       compromising her learning and her relationships with her peers. Families like ours already are in
       our pubic schools. Their peers already have questions about how a child can have two mothers
       or fathers, or why a child is adopted. Chidlren like mine, from families that differ from the norm,
       often have to handle questions from other students that adults, including teachers, ought to be
       handling. The lessons proposed for schools in Alameda responsibly address some of those
       questions, leaving more room for children like mine to focus on learning rather than worrying
       about how other students are reacting to their families.

       We are a conspicuously different family: two white mothers and an African American daughter.
       Our daughter, who spent most of her early life in foster care, came to us just six weeks before
       her first day of kindergarten. Our family attracted lots and lots of questions from students, both
       her age and older, from the beginning. Our experience is that after a lesson or two about how
       there are different kinds of families, our daughter got fewer intrusive questions from other
       students. I understand that one of the concerns opponents of the LGBT lessons in Alameda have
       is that those lessons might provoke questions about sex. That has not happened in our
       experience, since the lessons have reassured children that all families, including theirs, deserve
       respect. When we finalized our daughter's adoption in the spring of her kindergarten year, her
       whole class celebrated with us, revisiting the theme that love is the most important thing in a
       family.

       In her San Francisco public school, my daughter and her classmates watched parts of the movie
       "That's A Family!" and discussed some of the themes in the film. It helped a lot that there was
       discussion and acknowledgment of multiracial families and families with adopted children in
       addition to families with lesbian and gay parents.

       We moved to San Leandro at the beginning of her 4th-grade year. We were all anxious about
       being such a different and visible new family. The lessons that her peers had done in previous
       years, and that they all did this year, have made a big difference. Without lessons like these, our
       children end up doing the educating. That's simply not fair. This is an adult responsibility.
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       children end up doing the educating. That's simply not fair. This is an adult responsibility.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/21

       I was reading Mr. McMahon's lesson 9 site, I am bothered by how facts from public hearing is
       presented. Someone could view BOE as trying to hide something or lean toward one way or
       another. If you are listing an internal accounted statistics of % of all attendance in favor or
       opposed to the curriculum, you should list the more openly accountable (to those attended)
       statistics of % of all speakers who were in favor or opposed. Not everyone attended the Monday
       meeting and TV broadcasting was not available either. I trust board's capability to get all facts
       right and square.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/21

       I've been silent on this issue because it's been well-covered in the community already, from all
       sides. However, people are pressing me for an opinion.

       Clearly we need a way to address these bullying issues. But it sounds like we need to specifically
       address issues of race and religion-based bullying/harassment too. I'm not opposed to the LGBT
       curriculum, but unless I see it expanded to also address discriminatory behavior on the basis of
       race or religion - for example, a book with a story about a black penguin mom and a white
       penguin dad with a mixed-race penguin child, reflective of my family, which some people would
       consider "different" - I won't be voicing support for it either. It seems that a more comprehensive
       program - one that specifically addresses racial, religion and LGBT-based harassment - is
       needed.

       I also want to suggest that you make sure not to ignore the voices of parents of inter district
       transfer (IDT) students who go to AUSD schools but live outside of Alameda. It seems to me that
       there are indeed people who live outside of Alameda who have a legitimate claim to be heard by
       the board.

       Interesting to note - a high proportion of IDT students are likely non-white. It was well-
       documented in the local press at the time of the closure of Harbor Island Apartments that they
       were largely occupied by non-white residents, and AUSD's 2007 demographic study notes that
       roughly 15% of the 500 K-12 students that lived in Harbor Island Apartments "left Alameda and
       became inter-district transfer students" after the evictions. As a result, it may be inadvertently
       racially discriminatory to ignore the concerns of IDT parents on the basis that they don't live in
       Alameda. Don't throw the baby out with the "don't live in Alameda" bathwater.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/21

       I'm sorry to even do this but this person responded to my email point by point and I just can't let it
       stand as is. This is long.

       To the person who tried to twist and dismantle my email-

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       1. You- I am sorry, but I have been bullied for being Asian-American (by both whites AND
       asians), for not looking Asiatic (and been called all sorts of races), having an odd hairstyle that is
       purely genetic and not commonly Asian, for being overweight, etc etc. I have too. You are
       blowing hot air right now. Many of us, myself included, know what its like to be bullied. We dont
       like it. But we dont agree with this curriculum either. It's that simple. You dont know what you
       dont know, and I havent played the sympathy card on this side because I didnt think it as
       relevant to the issue at hand.

       Me- I am not saying no one has ever been bullied for any reason not relating to LGBT issues. I'm
       not white and have dealt with racism myself. I totally get that. I was talking specifically about
       people standing at the podium saying they feel bullied by the people who disagree with them. I'm
       sure there has been plenty of dirty looks and eye rolling (I'm surprised my own eyes have come
       back to the front and I can still see) but these things are not bullying. I'm sure you get this given
       your own experience. What is happening here is two groups of people are standing up for what
       they believe in and being challenged by the opposite belief. Not bullying.

       2. You- Just read the Nat'l Center for Lesbian Rights email. Our opposition is called "hate". Look
       at the Prop 8 campaign. Who is being called "unfair" and "wrong"? We are. For exercising rights
       as citizens and voters who have reasonable disagreements. So who is offensive here?

       Me- Again, I am speaking about specific comments made by speakers at the podium who have
       claimed to have been called "haters" by "members of the LGBT community" at the meetings. Not
       the word "hate" on a website. Not being called "unfair" over prop 8. Trust me, we have been
       called many things and told we are going to hell. There was name calling on both sides of prop
       8. Have you seen the hateful signs outside of the meetings? The devil, for one. And those, I think
       we can agree, were hateful and not representative of your whole movement. I don't think anyone
       was too thrilled with that guy.

       3. You- The numbers are revealing that racism is far worse. We have been victimized far more
       than you. Funny, Asian Americans have faced far worse scandals, but no one thinks twice about
       it. Like the Sunset murders in SF. Like Vincent Chin. I wont even pretend to represent African
       Americans because they have suffered far worse than any of us. Again, get your facts straight.

       Me- I don't disagree that racism is the cause of massive amounts of violence. Truly I do not.
       More attention should surely be paid to this issue. My facts are not wrong as I did not say any
       one group suffers more than the other. I don't think that should disregard the suffering of LGBT
       people (by the way I'm straight just to clarify). Yes. The sunset murders, the disappearances of
       women in Juarez along the U.S. Mexico boarder, etc. Yes. People should certainly pay more
       attention to these issues and it is a disgrace in this day and age (or any past) that people do not.

       4. You- No, I agree. That's why I think the school needs a 0 tolerance policy because kids--even
       yours--pick up garbage all the time. And no, schools are not parents, and that is not their role.

       Me- We agree on zero tolerance (and, as I said, my own children have learned many hateful
       slurs, it's true). I just disagree that this one curriculum prevents a zero tolerance policy.

       5. You- I dont want to teach my kids that this is proper. I don't underestimate them. I want to wait
       until they are a proper age to reason for themselves, and then I can teach them sexuality, ethics,
       philosophy, etc. And then they can decide for themselves.


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       Me- I guess we just completely disagree on children's understanding of this issue. Teaching
       them that these families are okay does not mean they will abandon everything you teach them.
       They will continue to learn beyond one forty minute lesson. This lesson is a drop in an ocean. A
       much needed drop, in my opinion.

       6. You- We are not. In fact, as another astutely pointed out, we are the minority since Prop 8
       opposers far outnumbered the supporters. Get your facts straight. I dont even like this debate
       and wouldn't be here if there was an opt-out, but YOU have advocated for an even stronger
       original curriculum without an opt-out.

       Me- I said you are the majority at these meetings. I also agree that you are not the majority in
       Alameda and hope other people can see that. But really, you must admit that at the meeting the
       VAST majority of speakers are in opposition. There has even been a group from Sacramento
       called in along with the robo-call survey. Your side is extremely well organized. I don't like this
       debate either. We can agree on that for different reasons.

       7. You- Yes, they are real. No, I am not saying make them invisible. But yes, it is a lifestyle and a
       conduct until science shows it is natural, which it has not. And as someone who knows many
       who have had this issue, I assure you, so much of is environmental. Its no reason to discriminate,
       but you will not tell my daughter that all lifestyles are equally viable. They are not. A lifestyle that
       is cruel toward babies is not viable. A lifestyle that has domestic violence is not viable. Let's get
       this straight. I don't want to teach my daughter about this lifestyle being viable. Period. WWJD, I
       dont even want to go there.

       Me- Trans is still listed in the DSM 4, this is true. Under the title of gender identity disorder. This
       is debated greatly among scientist, the psychiatric community and others. It is the only disorder
       that has the recommendation of accommodating it as treatment. Treatment involves helping the
       person feel more comfortable in his or her body (hormones, surgery, etc) rather than changing
       the way the person sees him or herself. Homosexuality was removed from the DSM and gender
       identity disorder will surely follow.

       Okay you are really losing me with the "cruel to babies" thing. What? This makes zero sense. If
       we are going to talk about domestic violence we should be talking about heterosexual couples
       as well. Domestic violence crosses all boundaries of sexual identity, orientation, race, culture,
       and class. it knows know bounds.

       If people don't want to discuss religion they should stop invoking it as a reason to opt out of this
       curriculum.

       You- I get the sinking feeling that I will need to pull my daughter out and homeschool or find a
       private school. And if this passes, I am seriously reconsidering an offer I was about to put in for a
       house in Bay Farm. I am opposed to this curriculum and ask you to oppose it as well.

       Me- Funny I have felt the same way about pulling my daughter out of school. It seems to be a
       hostile environment all around. My daughter is certainly not the only child dealing with violence
       and name calling at school (and I agree with your previous statement that it happens for many
       and almost any reason). It's sad when we can not feel safe sending our children to school.

       Good luck in your house hunt.

       TOP

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       Alameda Resident 5/21

       My husband and I have four boys, ages 12, 9, 6, and 4.

       We have read the curriculum and find nothing age-inappropriate in the teachings.

       PLEASE vote to pass these teachings.

       If you oppose these lesson plans, the one church that sent the majority of speakers to City Hall
       and AHS these past two weeks will have won. Their singular voices will have prevailed, versus
       the general public, in favor.

       Please take that scary step and pass these lesson plans. You will help so many people; gay and
       straight will be enlightened, as we have been these past three years when lesbian and gay
       families have become true friends.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/21

       I can be silent no longer. This issue is not about religion.

       As a youth group leader at a local church for the past two years, I have gotten to know how
       young minds think. My experience showed me that the youth are happy to accept the fact that
       families are different. More than accept it, I saw time and time again that they celebrate each
       other because they are different, and unique people.

       I am now an Ordained Minister, working at a hospital as a Chaplain. And there I give care to
       many children and youth in our Pediatric unit. These kids are usually scared, because they have
       discovered the world to be a dangerous place, full of disease, abuse, and needles that hurt.

       I believe this cirriculum can help make the world less scary.

       The least we can do is pass this cirriculum which will help every child to feel safer at school, and
       understand that LOVE is our common gift, no matter what our family looks like.

       Please listen to your heart.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/20

       Just a quick message to let you know that our family fully supports the safe school curriculum

       TOP

       I am the mother of a child entering Kindergarten at Franklin School this Fall. I have read the Safe
       Schools Curriculum in its entirety the wholly support its implementation. I applaud your patience
       in hearing out the reactionary concerns of individuals who have neither read the curriculum nor
       have children in the Alameda Unified School District, and I have faith that you will do the right
       thing and adopt the proposed curriculum as written.

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       The misinformed and malevolent speeches I witnessed at the Board of Education meetings
       underscore the tremendous need in the City of Alameda for the teaching of respect and
       consideration toward ALL people. Clearly, the "traditional values" of fear of differences, hatred
       and divisiveness linger in our community but have NO place in our schools. Outdated notions
       that being gay is amoral, an aberration or a choice must be addressed with the age-appropriate
       education of a Caring Curriculum to oust harmful stereotypes so that our schools can be safe for
       ALL children.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       I want to let yo know that I support the inclusion of accepting the concept of including the
       discussion of different kinds of families. I taught in AUSD for a long time, from 1965 until 2003. In
       one of my last third grade classes at Otis School, I had a little girl who had two gay mommies.

       On an class activity when parents were invited to assist, both of the mom's had volunteered to
       come to help out. The little girl looked at me with a panicked look on her face for fear that the
       kids might laugh at or tease her for having two mothers. One mother was a regular looking
       woman , but the other mom was very heavy, had short hair, wore jeans, with keys on the the belt
       and had a tattoo. My welcoming and the expression on my face told the children that this woman
       was welcome to the class. Both mom's relaxed, and had a good time working with the children.
       The little girl came up and hugged me and when the bell rang, the larger mom cried with relief
       and appreciation that they were both welcome in my class and that the children were so nice to
       them. . It's a matter of attitude, respect and common decency.

       I'm sorry to say that in my past I may have had students with gay parents who were too afraid to
       come to help at school. And I'm also concerned that those children mayhave suffered bullying
       and teasing as they got older.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       Our very conventional family (mother, father, daughter, son) supports the proposed LGBT
       curriculum for the A.U.S.D. Our very connected, caring, committed neighborhood community in
       the east end includes numerous wonderful families that vary from our personal Leave-It-to-
       Beaver model, and we want to do everything possible to ensure the safety, comfort, and support
       of those parents and children in the context of our local public schools. Our daughter will be
       attending Otis school in the fall, and our young son will start there in a couple years. We believe
       that this curriculum will be to their benefit, too.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       I listened to the meeting last Monday. I think one thing that people who are proposing to use this
       curriculum is that they want to be heard, and that people opposing this curriculum are trying to
       silence them. This is not true. They are trying to silence the people who disagree with their
       values and forcing their values on other people.

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       My husband and I are an interracial couple. I know many people who believe that you should not
       marry interracially, including our own parents. Eventually our parents grew to love the other
       person, and we had their blessing when we married. Should we propose a curriculum that
       teaches kids what "interracial" is, so that they don't grow up to be racist? Let my voice be heard!!
       (how self-centered am i?)

       The curriculum teaches this lifestyle, brings in a lot of slang words, or words that lose their
       original meaning (queer, gay, partner), and if you just don't agree with this value, you are called
       "intolerant." How ironic on who is the one being intolerant. This issue is causing division and not
       bringing people with different viewpoints together

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       Thank you for your dedication and many long hours hearing both sides of the LGBT curriculum
       controversy. I have only been able to be a participant from afar since I have a very young
       daughter BUT I'm in support of the languages changing so that by the time my daughter gets to
       school it will be a kinder and more gentle environment.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       Based on the Master Plan Meeting tonight, it is clear that AUSD is in need of funding for our
       schools for basic educational needs. In the past 7 years, more than $7 MILLION cuts have been
       made to our schools. Chipman Middle School students are suffering from lack of programs
       desperately needed to help these kids in basic reading, math, and science skills that are needed
       to build a solid academic foundation. Why would the AUSD spend money on this LGBT special
       interest group curriculum when there are some very very basic needs that are deplorably unmet
       in our district? Please oppose this curriculum and put the money where it's really needed. These
       kids who are not even performing at grade level will be suffering the rest of their lives and will not
       have the opportunities other children have. Basic reading, math, science skills are so important.
       How can we justify using tax dollars to pay for the LGBT curriculum when basic educational
       needs right here in our school district are not met?

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       Thank you for allow everyone to speak on Monday night. Special thanks to Trish Spencer for
       raising key questions and concerns over the curriculum. Clearly you are a woman interested in
       details because you care deeply about children and understand what its like to raise children...its
       all in the details.

       I want to point out something about the vocabulary used in the curriculum. My 2 daughters, ages
       4 and 5, frequently ask my husband and I to define words they hear used by adults around them.
       Their keen little ears to pick up on words they don't understand even at ages 4 and 5. How will a
       teacher define "intimate relationship" for my kids in the second grade when that is used to define
       a couple. Is it really necessary to define "Couple" for second graders? Based on the definition in
       the curriculum, I can easily see children saying "my mom and I are a couple" or "my best friend
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       the curriculum, I can easily see children saying "my mom and I are a couple" or "my best friend
       and I are a couple". The rest of the vocabulary and definitions are on the same level of
       vagueness and will only trigger more questions. And I don't have any confidence that all teachers
       will properly, age-appropriately define these for my children. These are things that parents
       (heterosexual and lgbt) should teach their children, based on their own value of familial
       relationships.

       Please reject this curriculum.

       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/19

       I am an Alameda resident and parent of 2 children in the district, w/ another incoming this fall. I
       DO NOT support the LGBT curriculum for the schools. Please do not adopt this curriculum

       As tax payer and resident of the Alameda county, I am writing to you to express my opposition to
       the LGTB curriculum. Most of the reasons of opposition had been discussed during the Tuesday
       hearing. In addition to what has been said at the hearings, I believe the book they use in 2nd
       grade, And Tango Makes Three, could teach children who like to play with same sex friends that
       they could be gay. It has the potential of bringing more sexual identity disorder. Hence not
       suitable for 6-7 year old children. As a parent of young kids, these concerns are not
       unreasonable.

       Not only because the elementary school kids are impressionable and not prepared for this,
       giving out only the positive side of homosexuality and hiding the negative side of it from children
       is unethical. If they are to be taught about the heroes of LGTB, they should also be taught the
       disproportionate number of diseases that have been brought to the society:
       http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5326a1.htm

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       I attended both hearings on the LGBT curriculum and an disturbed by your apparent inabilty to
       realize what happened on both occasions. On what basis do you make the statement on your
       webpage that 350 people attended the hearing, 10% were from out of town (how do you know
       this?), 40% were opposed and 60% in favor of the LGBT curriculum? Where did you get those
       figures? I was at the hearing the entire time and at no time did I hear anyone ask people where
       they were from. If you are going on the basis of the people who signed the lists out front, you are
       making a mistake. People were signing in whole families - I witnessed two adults sending about
       4 minor (I mean young, like 5, 6, 8 at the most) children to sign up, saying "you have a right to
       speak too!" I do not recall being asked to give my address on that sheet so am unclear as to how
       you know who were Alameda residents, unless you are counting those who told you their
       residence when they spoke. I signed in to speak because I already had a slip turned in last week
       - many people signed in thinking they might get to speak. Many people DID NOT sign in
       because they did not have a slip in already, and did not realize you were going to be making
       such incorrect statements based on who signed in. Those lists out front are an inaccurate way of
       deciding who is for and against the currculum and you should take that statement off your
       webpage. You have no way of knowing who signed those sheets and where they were from, and
       to make any statements regarding the number of people opposed or for the proposed curriculum
       using those sheets is simply misleading and wrong.
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       using those sheets is simply misleading and wrong.

       Based on the speakers last week, May 12, and last night, May 18, the overwhelming majority of
       those in attendance oppose this curriculum, your efforts to confuse the facts notwithstanding. I
       note that the Muslim community has weighed in and are in opposition. The media, the AUSD
       staff, the Supt., and many vocal members of the LGBT community assume that the politically
       correct position will be taken in spite of the overwhelming numbers of Alamedans who spoke
       against adopting this curriculum. The people have spoken. You're not listening - or do you
       discount the voices of those who say things you don't want to hear?

       Editor Note: If there was not a overcrowding problem and a lack of speaker slips at the May 12
       meeting the list of speakers used for Monday night would have been different.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       I want to write to express my vote of no-confidence for Superintendent Vitale and her staff. The
       LGBT Curriculum is an embarrassment. i cannot believe that it's filled with grammatical errors
       and that the wording of its sentences and definitions are so loosely constructed that they can
       cause confusion for our children. Aside from the politics and arguments from both sides, the
       curriculum as it stands, is not worthy of the Alameda School District, unless of course you think
       poorly of our schools and our district. Furthermore, I thought it was quite embarrassing for
       several attorneys to point out that the curriculum with it's no opt out clause violates California
       education codes. Your attorneys did not do their homework! Superintendent Vitale and her staff
       did not do their homework. What bothers me is that we're paying her $185,00 to $200,000 for
       shoddy work and research.

       Having heard all the arguments from both sides, it seems that the curriculum does not have any
       legal ground. Unless you and your attorneys demonstrate otherwise, I don't see how you can
       possibly approve the LGBT Curriculum, violate California Education codes AND represent the
       AUSD school board.

       I would like to see some investigation into Superintendent's competence to fulfill her post. In
       addition, I would like to see the LGBT Curriculum voted down and sent back to the drawing
       board

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       My partner (cc'd here) and I attended the Monday evening meeting; he has 3 children in Edison
       School, we are homeowners and of course we vote. We had not signed up to speak and were
       quite distressed to listen to so many speakers, including some educators, opposing the proposed
       curriculum. I'm writing, in part, to thank you for asking us to stand up. This gave us the
       opportunity to feel like we were being counted and also to see how many others support this
       thoughtful approach to discourage and, hopefully, prevent prejudice and intolerance.

       I just finished reading the revised Safe Schools lesson plan. While my teaching and
       stepparenting experience is limited, I found and feel very strongly that the lessons outlines and
       the goals are all age-appropriate and do not "promote LGBT lifestyles". They are politically quite
       neutral and promote an understanding of and critical thinking about family diversity and LGBT
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       neutral and promote an understanding of and critical thinking about family diversity and LGBT
       identity. With friends who have adopted and maintain relationships with birth parents and family
       who have grandparents playing a major parenting role, in addition to same sex friends who have
       had children, I particularly appreciate inclusion of all types and styles of families.

       Finally I have to add that I found a couple of typographical errors in the lesson plans posted on
       the AUSD website. Please let me know if there is an appropriate person to whom I can send the
       details.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       I am the Godparent of a child in the Alameda School System and also have a same sex partner.
       My Godchild knows that diverse families are normal and wonderful. I thank you for having
       diverse cultural curriculum. Children need to be taught that diversity is a good thing and hate
       should never be tolerated. It is a great thing that AUSD is suggesting putting this curriculum in.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       I'm an Alamedan parent of a 7th grader at Lincoln Middle School. I support teaching tolerance. I
       support the Safe Schools curriculum.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       I am an Alameda resident, voter, and taxpayer. My wife and I have lived in Alameda for over 10
       years.

       More importantly, I am a parent of an AUSD K-5 student, with another on the way.

       I want – no, I expect – that my children will be able to go to Alameda public schools and be
       protected against attacks. I have no idea whether my children will be straight or gay, and whether
       AUSD adopts this curriculum or doesn’t, whether it’s a lifestyle “choice” or not, I expect my
       children to graduate from AUSD knowing that discrimination based on sexual orientation or
       gender identity is not OK. I support the proposed curriculum.

       Some speakers last night seemed to be saying that we should enact a “don’t ask, don’t tell”
       policy – that no one should be bullied for any reason, but that we also shouldn’t acknowledge
       that our children’s classmates may have one mom, two moms, one dad, two dads, a divorce,
       foster parents, etc.; that we should pretend we don’t see families all around us of many different
       kinds. I saw the incredible pain that these comments were causing, a pain that I think that the
       speakers with the message of “tolerance” or even “respect” did not comprehend.

       Some speakers seemed to be saying that having a curriculum to prevent bullying of one
       protected class, would preclude AUSD from having curriculum to prevent bullying other protected
       classes. Or that it would prevent AUSD from having curriculum to prevent bullying of non-
       protected classes (e.g., weight). As far as I know, what the Board would be adopting does not
       have to be exclusive; nothing prevents AUSD from having additional diversity/respect/anti-
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       have to be exclusive; nothing prevents AUSD from having additional diversity/respect/anti-
       bullying/etc. curricula.

       Some speakers seemed to be saying that by making students aware of a protected class, that
       AUSD would cause issues with the parents’ belief system. That issue has come and gone. This
       is the law.

       Perhaps most disturbingly, some speakers seemed to be encouraging AUSD to reject the
       curriculum on the grounds that it is “divisive.” We have a school named Ruby Bridges here in
       Alameda. I suspect that when she started school, her presence was “divisive.” Sometimes we
       expect our elected officials to be able to take actions that are decisive, because they are right. I
       hope that is what you vote to do.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       I fully support making our schools welcoming for all children and to that end I have
       recommended age-appropriate books representing gay families to be included in the classroom.
       I also endorse anti-bullying programs that train teachers and kids how to respond to bullies.
       However, I have grave concerns about the open-ended nature of the proposed lessons for
       grades 2-5. AUSD’s staff have already shown that they do not have good judgment and can not
       remain neutral regarding this topic.

       In the Spring of 2008, Franklin School’s Principal hired a man who had had a sex change to
       come speak to the children. His co-presenter suggested the children could alter their sexual
       identity as well, saying “[we all need to] find out what works for us… you can do whatever you
       wanna do … look however you wanna look…” These presentations were made to children ages
       5 to 11, without parental notification.

       Many parents were deeply upset by this and voiced their concerns. In an email dated April 7,
       2008, then-Board President Bill Schaff wrote “…we understand that we need to make parents
       aware when these topics are discussed. We …will make every effort to make these processes
       more transparent in the future.”

       Yet AUSD did not make things more transparent. In fact, they concealed their plans from the
       community. In the June 2008 School Board meeting, AUSD staff promised to solicit input from
       the community to help develop the curriculum. Instead, Debbie Wong gathered a group of like-
       minded educators and one gay parent to create it.

       Then they booked two rooms for community meetings but did not invite anyone from the
       community to attend. It was only because a District employee “leaked” the information that the
       community became aware of it.

       Ms. Wong made various statements about the curriculum but when parents investigated for
       themselves, they discovered those statements were misleading, even completely false. At a
       community meeting, a first grade teacher presented what she had done during the pilot program.
       She proudly displayed a Venn diagram “proving” there are no differences between boys and
       girls. I could not find it anywhere in the curriculum. Finally I realized she had developed the
       activity on her own that related to Lesson 7, which was intended for grades 4-8.


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       At another Community Meeting, a parent asked what a teacher will say to a student who says
       that his parents told him homosexuality is wrong. The teacher said she would tell the child that
       there is nothing wrong with homosexuality.

       These are the things that teachers are saying openly at Community Meetings. What will they say
       behind closed classroom doors?

       After the way the Staff have handled this, it is very difficult to trust them. Once something
       inappropriate is said, you cannot unsay it. We must not forget that "the firsts" in a child's life often
       leave a permanent impression and affect how they feel about the subject for the rest of their
       lives. Parents should be the ones to discuss these issues with their children.

       If you pass this curriculum, you will open a Pandora’s Box. Please respect parents’ rights and
       reject this curriculum.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       With all due respect as a family we respectfully ask you to please vote NO to accepting the
       proposed curriculum.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       I am the parent of a 3rd grade student in AUSD, and I am writing to express my support of the
       proposed Safe Schools curriculum.

       I attended the meeting at Kaufman last night, and listened to speaker after speaker express their
       opposition to this fact-based curriculum (which most of them had seemingly not read). They were
       all “on message,” speaking from the same script, and one of the arguments we heard over and
       over was that the board should not adopt this curriculum because it is divisive. Please do not be
       intimidated by their thinly veiled threats to sue the district and to vote you out of office if you
       support this curriculum. I am sure you don’t need to be reminded that many of the most important
       steps our country has taken to protect civil liberties and free speech, and to promote social
       justice for all were divisive at the time, but they were the right thing to do. My husband and I
       support this curriculum because it is the right thing to do. We believe that the majority of parents
       in this district, gay and straight, believe there is a critical need for this program.

       I do not agree with everything my daughter learns in school (starting with the Pledge of
       Allegiance). But she is a smart, curious, and engaged child, and when an issue arises, we
       discuss it as a family and try to understand how it relates to our own family’s beliefs and values.
       One of the greatest gifts of education is the exposure to a diverse student body and to a diverse
       set of ideas, and I genuinely feel sorry for children whose parents are afraid of and unwilling to
       expose their children to ideas different from their own.

       Please vote to include this curriculum in our schools.

       TOP


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       Alameda Resident 5/19

       I am reiterting my support for the Safe Schools Curriculum, and I hope the school board will
       stand up to the organized tactics of the opposition.

       It seems odd to me that 80% of the oponents at last night's meeting were Asian and that 75% of
       that subset were women. While I know Asian females are a significant component of the
       Alameda community, my daughter among them, the speakers did not reflect the composition of
       our community.

       Either a coincidental passion has emerged among that demographic group, or a network with
       many such members has spearheaded the anti-Safe Schools curriculum.

       It also seems odd and unfair as far as how the speakers were given opportunities to participate.
       From what I hear, the opposition arrived at the City Hall meeting early and took the vast majority
       of speaking slots. This made last night's meeting biased towards those who showed up early. I
       admire their puncuality, but a better system should have been used.

       I commend board president McMahon's request for a show of those in favor and support of the
       curriculum. The result showed a 50-50 split in the audience. Looking further, one would see
       greater diversity among the proponents of the curriculum.

       My hope is that the board looks beyond the electoral ramifications and the false and misleading
       arguments of the opponents and does the right thing. One speaker said that this curriculum could
       not be accepted in Alameda because we are not Berkeley. Then what are we, Topeka? San
       Leandro has the curriculum. Are we not as progressive as our neighbors with the big box retail to
       the south?

       He also said there would be Hell to pay. What kind of threat is that? Honestly, I think if the
       curriculum is instituted, the members of the network who packed the auditorium will vote against
       you and nobody else will care. It's the same as the "slate" of city hall candidates who were shut
       out in our recent municipal elections. A lot of passionate opposition against progress, which most
       people don't agree with.

       Whether or not the majority agrees with the curriculum is not the main point. The key is keeping
       kids safe. This is where the curriculum emerged from, and what it is intended to do. I'm not
       happy that one father said he would show his son the back of his hand if his son used an anti-gay
       slur. We need to keep gay kids, gay parents of kids, and kids who might get hit by their parents
       for using anti-gay slurs safe. Let's do it in a responsible and organized fashion. Let's do it.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       I did not have a chance to speak last night, but would still like to communicate my thoughts. I will
       most certainly follow through with legal action if the proposed curriculum is adopted.

       I must ask - how does the District propose to equip teachers and administrators to handle
       concerns from students and parents who feel negatively impacted by this curriculum? The
       problem that has been alluded to as the reason for the introduction of this curriculum sounds like
       it came from the school yard, yet the proposed response veers away from correcting behavior
       and focuses on philosophical and religious differences. I for one would like to know what practical
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       and focuses on philosophical and religious differences. I for one would like to know what practical
       steps were taken to correct the problem, and why they were found insufficient, before this
       change in curriculum was proposed. I am a stakeholder, but find myself completely uninformed
       about this.

       A reasonable person can be tolerant and respectful, yet still be opposed to the teaching of the
       LGBT curriculum to our children. Tolerance is defined in Webster’s as “sympathy or indulgence
       for diversity in thought or conduct.” It does not include a provision that one’s personal beliefs be
       made subservient to that diversity in thought. No one would dream of teaching intolerance or
       bullying against LGBT children or families in today’s environment, yet the proposed curriculum
       WILL set aside children whose personal religious beliefs are not in alignment with it. In effect, it
       will teach them that they are wrong, and that is not the right of the public school system. For
       example, children who answer “incorrectly” during the Stereotype exercise, regardless of their
       private and protected religious beliefs, will be labeled in the minds of their classmates as
       insensitive and bigoted. How will teachers counter that perception?

       Remedial efforts to correct the bullying or offensive behavior of students, regardless of the
       protected class at which it’s directed, should be guided by the provisions already in place, and
       should include practical consequences already used for behavior modification in the classroom
       and on the school yard.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       I heard about the Alameda Safe School Curriculum. I am against this curriculum.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       Please have lessons about two moms and two dads. It makes me happy!

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       It was good to see the meeting move so quickly last night, and Koffman auditorium was a much
       better location for this meeting. Thank you. It is clear that there was a vast majority of people
       who spoke against the adoption of the curriculum both Tuesday (5-12) and Monday (5-18)
       nights. I was at both meetings till the end. And yet, it seems as if only one person on the Board of
       Education was listening to all of us! Can you not see how hundreds of families are grieved over
       the proposed curriculum???

       Ron Mooney, you mentioned that you personally do not have any problems with the words, gay
       and lesbian. How will you teach my 10 year old about the words, "bisexual" and "transgender"?
       Those words are also in the lesson plans. The vocabulary word "romantic"--how do you explain
       that--usually by saying that people are "falling in love". Do you think it is appropriate for teachers
       to be introducing these concepts of falling in love with either gender? changing genders? How
       does this material make any kind of reasonable sense to you???? Don't belittle our concerns
       over this curriculum. You say it's just the words, gay and lesbian, and it is NOT! The committee
       must revise this curriculum. LGBT does not belong in elementary school. Kids may be able to
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       must revise this curriculum. LGBT does not belong in elementary school. Kids may be able to
       handle LG, but BT is absolutely inappropriate for this age group. Can we not agree on this?!
       Don't allow this type of confusion to infiltrate our school curriculum. I am angry that you have
       minimized the concerns of hundreds of reasonable families that spoke and thousands that did
       not speak.

       Trish Spencer, you heard everyone. You seem like the only board member up there that cares. I
       have attended several school board meetings this year, and you are consistently the only one
       who ever questions the status quo. You are working towards improving our schools in Alameda,
       not rubber stamping everything the Superintendent and District sends forward. You are not a
       puppet of the District like the other board members seem to be. Thank you for being courageous
       and willing to challenge our District staff to do better for the children they serve. You may often
       stand alone amongst the other members, but you stand tall and you are the voice of reason. I
       listened very carefully to the many questions and concerns you had about the LGBT curriculum,
       and I think the District needs to find a way to answer those questions. Why are we putting the
       burden on all our teachers to teach a curriculum that is filled with errors: all families are not
       viable like you pointed out--some are riddled with abuse and neglect, etc....

       Tracy Jensen, the District keeps telling us that the teachers have been asking for this kind of
       curriculum. And you were concerned about what would happen if the Board didn't pass this and
       give some sort of tool to the teachers. I have spoken to several Alameda elementary school
       teachers, and they do not concur with the District's statements. NONE of them were asked if they
       wanted this curriculum, and certainly none of them were asking for it. It looks like the District
       said, "This is what we're going to do, so get on board." Did you ever attend any of the district's
       public forum meetings in the community? I attended two of them--Otis and Bay Farm. From
       those public forums, it looked pretty obvious that the only teachers who were asking for this
       curriculum were teachers with a gay or lesbian background. How does that translate to "ALL THE
       TEACHERS" asking for these lessons?? The teacher's union rep said she spoke for all 600
       teachers in AUSD in support of this curriculum, so when did they take a poll of every teacher in
       the district over this curriculum? The answer is, they haven't. Unfortunately, most elementary
       school teachers in Alameda haven't even seen the curriculum, eventhough it is on the website. I
       am tired of hearing the same lie spoken over and over again as if it were fact. Just how many
       elementary school teachers in our district have seen this curriculum, approved it, and want to
       teach it? Teachers currently have the CSC curriculum as a tool. The proposed Lesson 9 addition
       to the CSC is riddled with problems. Don't pass something just because you want to pass
       something. Make the District strive for something that will bring our community together and that
       will protect all families.

       Mike McMahon, you are supposed to be the leader of the Board of Education, but you seem like
       just another District employee. The Board of Education should be a body of governance that
       works as a checks and balances with the School District and the Community. The majority of
       speakers who came out in large numbers are asking you to CHECK and BALANCE a curriculum
       that needs revising. A new committee needs to be formed to put together a curriculum that would
       address Lesbian and Gay family concerns along with the other 4 protected classes of at risk
       people. No one is saying to ignore lesbian and gay families in the curriculum. Let's work together
       to make something that works for all our children and families. You asked Kirsten Vital to
       comment on what the legal exposure would be if you voted for or against the curriculum; I believe
       you could avoid legal exposure by sending Lesson 9 back for a revision by a new committee. If
       AUSD can improve the process of creating a curriculum, I believe the natural outcome will be a
       far superior Lesson 9 that would have the community's full support.

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       Neil Tam, I hope you will take the time to thoroughly study the curriculum and view all the
       arguments for and against that were made at the last 2 board meetings. I realize that the Board
       has all the speaker slips in hand, but according to my count at the May 12th meeting, there were
       around 44 speakers opposed and 26 speakers for. I missed the first 10 speakers at the May 18th
       meeting, so my count for that meeting is not precise; however, I was there to count 63 opposed
       and 14 for the curriculum. In all, 73% of community speakers were opposed to this curriculum
       and 27% were in favor of it.

       You all have a tremendous responsibility and decision to make. I believe you can serve the
       LGBT community in Alameda without disregarding parent's rights (give people an opt out) and
       neglecting to protect all 5 classes of at risk groups. Send Lesson Plan 9 back to the drawing
       board, and this time have a group of educators that represent all 5 classes present and
       accounted for. ALAMEDA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT CAN DO BETTER!!!!! WE NEED TO
       DO BETTER!!!!!

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       As a parent of a child who will be in an Alameda school this fall, I think it is outrageous that an
       opt out of the curriculum instructions will not be allowed.

       To impose one particular, controversial view on everyone is not what America is about.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       As a long time resident of Alameda, and as a parent of a child who will be attending kindergarten
       in Alameda this coming fall, I am against the caring schools (LGBT) curriculum.

       I am for creating safe environment for our schools, and I am for teaching our children how to
       treat other people respectively regardless of their background and beliefs. However, this
       curriculum takes away my right to teach my child what I consider to be the right values regarding
       this sensitive topic.

       I respectively urge you to vote against the curriculum.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       Thank you very much for hearing us out yesterday, and for your patience in taking each person's
       opinion seriously. I want to again voice my opposition to this curriculum and instead urge for a
       new one to be created that can encompass values of respect and kindness that all sides can
       agree with. I think what will speak volumes to the children of Alameda is if they see their parents,
       whether they are LGBT or heterosexual, being able to work with others who may have opposing
       viewpoints and do so in a civil, respectful manner to achieve the goal together of keeping our
       schools safe for ALL. Seeing their parents live out tolerance and work together is what is going to
       impact these children and serve as a model for how they should behave towards each other.

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       TOP

       Out of Town Resident 5/19

       live in Oakland, and my mother and several close friends (and their children) live in Alameda. I
       attended last night's meeting from around 7 til its adjournment, and wanted to share some
       thoughts with you that I wrote after returning home. Thank you for your time.

       After hearing people talk for many hours both in support of and against approving an addendum
       to the Safe Schools curriculum which explicitly affirms the existence of gay and lesbian families, I
       have a million thoughts running through my mind. The theme that I feel compelled to write about
       is that of the "other protected classes," which were never fully defined, but seem to include race,
       disability, religion, and a fourth unnamed category.

       The arguments against the curriculum that were most powerful to me (and I should make clear
       that like many who spoke in favor of its adoption, I doubt that it is perfect, but an imperfect
       beginning is better than nothing!) were those that genuinely expressed a sense of sorrow or
       outrage about the continuing inequalities faced by people of color and other minorities. These
       arguments against the curriculum's adoption are, I think, ultimately flawed, but they are powerful
       because they contain an important truth: blacks, Latinos, Asians, people with disabilities,
       Muslims, poor people, and others who were not mentioned by name continue in this country to
       be systematically disenfranchised. The under-representation of racial, ethnic, and religious
       minorities in school curricula is real; the 'achievement gap' is real; the continued "tolerance" in
       this country for the blatantly unequal distribution of educational and other resources is real.

       But the argument that therefore the curriculum in question should not be adopted fails on two
       counts. First, as several people pointed out tonight, it assumes a zero-sum universe, wherein
       one minority's gain is another's loss. Second, and I think even more importantly, it implies that
       people are uni-dimensional: they are gay OR Asian, disabled OR Muslim, black OR Latino.

       Given the number of times that speakers tonight invoked the "I have gay friends" line, perhaps I
       will be forgiven for saying: I have dear friends, colleagues, and neighbors who identify as black
       AND lesbian, Indian AND queer, Chinese AND gay, Deaf AND transgendered. As a white queer-
       identified woman I absolutely do not claim to be able to speak on behalf of anyone else, but the
       implication that my friends do not exist - or that only one part of them could exist at a time -
       saddened me. The mainstream gay movement(like the feminist movement) has been the target
       of powerful and necessary criticism for representing the white, middle-class gay experience as
       universal. One had only to look at those who stood when the school board asked supporters to
       stand up to know that in Alameda as in the rest of the country (and the world) the LGBT
       community - and here I include allies - is wildly diverse.

       I end this train of thought by reiterating that a step, however small, in the direction of recognizing
       and affirming the many and multiple ways we inhabit this stretch of earth is a step in the right
       direction.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       I have been a resident of Alameda city for past 7 years. I have been a voter and tax payer. I
       would like to voice my opinion on LGBT curriculum. I oppose to the LGBT revised curriculum.
       Our children should be protected from the skewed view, which is imposed by one single group of
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       Our children should be protected from the skewed view, which is imposed by one single group of
       people. Our children should have a right to learn our values that our country was found, at least
       they should have "opt-out" out.

       Please consider Alameda residents' voices.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       Thank you once again for listening to all of our concerns and comments, new and old, last night.
       It is heartening to hear that the Board is carefully considering the different arguments and
       questioning the viability and validity of the curriculum before making its difficult decision.

       I really believe that some of the tension, frustration, and emotion can and should be worked out
       apart from this curriculum debate and that we must carefully weigh the strengths and
       weaknesses of the curriculum and its repercussions on our city, schools, and students - apart
       from how opposing sides may react as a result of its passing or rejection.

       This is a difficult issue and so I very much appreciate your balanced judgment of the issues and
       likewise on the part of the rest of the Board.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       As an Alameda Resident, I would like to voice my opposition for this curriculum. I was there last
       night to hear all the different viewpoints. After hearing everyone's side I still feel this curriculum is
       the wrong way to go. Though there are many arguments, there is one primary one that has held
       me in this position.

       This curriculum is impeding the rights of the parent. The right of a parent, a mother, father,
       guardian, to chose the WHEN and the HOW when it comes to addressing personal matters such
       as family, family structure, sexuality, relationships, sexual orientation and so on. These are 6-10
       year olds! The last thing I would want is for a child to come home suddenly exposed to whole
       new set of information with perhaps a bunch of very personal questions that a parent perhaps
       would not have wanted the child to be exposed to at that age. High school maybe, but K-5,
       absolutely not.

       I agree with many of the Alameda Parents who came forth urging the board to rather focus on
       prevention and zero-tolerance. For the kids that do bully, train the teachers to deal with them
       sternly and how best to approach the matter. Show zero-tolerance. Intervention, the way it
       always has been. To bring a curriculum (that seems to address bully perhaps 30% of the time...
       which is another problematic issue) that will expose all kids to topics as personal as these is not
       right. The school has no right to take that right of a parent.

       I am also concerned about the legal imprecations that are to follow if this curriculum is passed. It
       is abundantly clear this is a controversial issue that has heavily charged topics. Is the school
       district ready to take on the lawsuits? Do we have the money to fight against them? Are they
       ready for the outrage of many parents? School districts are already short handed on funds,
       please don't go down this road that could further cripple our funds.

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       The sheer controversy this has caused should raise a lot of concern. It goes against common
       sense to pass something that seemingly more than half of the group (according to turnouts to
       meetings, emails sent in) disapproves. Either axe it altogether or form a curriculum that is 100%
       bullying focused that a clear majority can agree on. But again personally I rather the funds and
       time be allocated to a preventive & intervention training for the teachers.

       Please do not let personal bias have the final say, I am very concerned and hope you make a
       good sound decision based on facts.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       I attended last night's meeting at Kofman auditorium and was appalled at the hissing and booing
       of those in favor of the curriculum, which repeatedly interrupted the speeches of those in
       opposition. Although I recognize that it was an isolated incident, i felt very upset over the
       physical intimidation that one young lady faced, and I feel that you or staff members could've
       done more to prevent the situation, given that when the man was approaching the young lady,
       only members of the audience stood up.

       Once again, these incidents show how this curriculum has so thoroughly divided our community,
       and that instead of uniting schools and teachers and the community together, it will create more
       tension and an adverse environment for our children. I feel that the LGBT community does have
       a lot of visibility in our society at large without such a curriculum, particular since the Bay Area
       has a more diverse, open, and welcoming culture than most parts of the country. I appreciate the
       questions that the Board Members posed to the staff, particularly with regards to the exclusivity
       of the emphasis offered to one particularly subgroup of society. I understand that there's a need
       for teachers to have tools to address bullying with regards to LGBT, but I seriously wonder if this
       is the right approach to address that and I once again want to state my opposition to this
       curriculum.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       Thanks so much for the continuation hearing last night, for ensuring a safe space for everyone to
       come forward to express their opinions.

       I hope that given the bounty of statements made against the opposition, and the obvious legal
       and curricular pitfalls that were brought up, you will vote against adopting the curriculum.

       TOP

       Dear board members I am a voter and tax payer of the city of Alamede. I have already emailed
       you in regards to the Safe Schools curriculum, but I would just like to add on my opinion of last
       night's meeting. I think it's evident that families hold very diverse values. As one speaker had
       mentioned, we love America so much because of such diversity and our ability to express our
       diversity. Passing this curriculum would work against what our country has worked and fought for
       because it would intrude on the values of those families who are raising their children on the
       traditional marriage. My opposition to this curriculum is by no means of ill intention to the LGBT
       community, but like many community members have said, there are many flaws to this
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       community, but like many community members have said, there are many flaws to this
       curriculum. I'm sure we can come up with a better one that would be acceptable by all sides and
       be of utmost respect to those who hold on to the values of traditional marriage and the LGBT
       community.

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       Thank you so much for your hard work in educating our children. I'm writing to you because I
       was not able to speak during yesterday's meeting.

       I have 2 elementary boys attending AUSD currently. I believe creating safe educational
       environment is very important. I like to ask your to reject current LGBT curriculum. I believe
       these curriculum will not achieve district goal to create safe educational goal.

       As I was growing up in elementary, I have experienced both end of being bullied and to bully
       others. As a parent and looking back now, I am regretful and ashamed to say that I was bully at
       school. But I want to share with you my past experience and hopefully give you little different
       view. If these curriculum were instated in my elementary school, I would not have learn to
       respect others people and accept them at all. This will only have provide my young mind with the
       ammunition to attack against the people that I want to make fun of and torment them. This will
       only make the environment even more unsafe for children. Only time I would stop bullying
       someone is when the bullied kid stands up for him/herself than I will eventually stop bullying. If
       we want to provide safe educational environment from bullying, we need to teach and equip our
       children with ways to standing up for themselves and self-esteem. But when I've review all these
       lessons, I didn't see lessons on how to deal with bullying.

       Also to address bullying, I believe we as parent and teachers need to work together. How I come
       to understand bullying is not acceptable was not from some curriculum and lessons from school.
       It's from my parents and teachers telling me what I have done is wrong and disciple I have
       received. I really believe getting parents and teachers involved to address bullying is best way to
       address it. I would like to see training, provide teachers with procedures on how to address
       bullying and working with parents to create safe educational environment.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       Thank you so much for working to bring diversity into our school curriculum. Our children live in
       an area where many different populations are represented and they see families with one parent,
       separated parents, and two parents of the same gender frequently. This past year, my two
       children (one currently enrolled in Edison and one who will join him in 2 years) were dealing with
       our divorce. The fact that there are diverse family make-ups within their immediate social circle,
       classroom, sports teams, etc was enormously helpful in helping them to feel like belonged in the
       community, that family doesn't have to mean mom, dad, and kids, and that the community is
       going to supportive of families no matter how they are made up.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       My husband and I are not gay. We have two children in 2nd and 4th grades at Amelia Earhart
       School.
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       School.

       I would like to write about the topic of “Opting Out” which has come up at various discussions
       that I have attended.

       I will begin with the definition of what it is to “opt out”. We all know the most common use of the
       term lately which has to do with receiving marketing calls or materials and emails. By deciding to
       “opt out”, the recipient no longer has to “deal with” the nuisance of receiving unsolicited
       marketing. The dictionary and thesaurus refer to “choose or select, leave, pull out, and reject”.

       The lessons (one per grade level) to be added to the Caring Schools curriculum deal with the
       social fundamentals with which we embrace in our public school system; inclusion, tolerance,
       equality and respect. These are such critical elements of the daily social fabric of our schools.
       Such core elements are not “electives” which can be selected for attendance. Every child
       deserves to have the same basis with which to seek harmony and achieve respect in relating to
       others. More importantly, our teachers need a consistent manner with which to approach issues
       which come up relating to “intolerance and lack of respect”. I have had to speak to both of my
       kids teachers due to others calling them hurtful words such has “gay”, “faggot” and “woman” and
       the first two came from second grade. I doubt the child who was calling these names out truly
       knew the meaning of them or that he or she could be causing hurt to another child.

       We all want to do the best for our kids. We take whatever “productive” measures we can to
       ensure they are safe, healthy and happy and to enable them to have the best opportunities we
       are able to offer them. The additional curriculum component at the center of this discussion is a
       “productive” measure that our school district feels will be a beneficial element of providing a
       “safe” environment to ALL of our children. Opting out or avoiding this issue is only going to lead
       to further detriment. It sends the wrong message regarding the core of this issue which is
       inclusion. Not everyone will agree that a gay or lesbian lifestyle is what would chose or condone.
       However, this issue is not about condoning or approving, it is about offering fairness, equality
       and inclusion to all kids regardless of their particular family dynamic. We live in a world full of
       conflict, rivalry and elitism. As individuals, we can decide to subscribe to specific beliefs, groups
       and clubs. Private schools can adopt certain views due to their “elective” status. Public school on
       the other hand embrace the dynamic and by not assuming specific views maintains a sanctuary
       for everyone regardless of their beliefs or family dynamic. The public school population is a
       collective. We have a common goal of providing a valuable education to any and EVERY child.
       Opting out sends the message of separatism which is what this curriculum is trying to avoid. I ask
       you to use your “collective” mind in thinking about this issue.

       In response to the opposing group, I have had my children tell me on several occasions that they
       have been told by classmates that “you are going to go to Hell because you don’t go to church”.
       My response to them is, “Well, some people and their families believe that and that is their right.
       However, our family does not believe in that and that is our right. Both are valid because they are
       important to each person and their family. It is better however to talk about our commonalities
       rather than accentuate what makes us different.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       I was there last night. it was pretty upsetting but i'm hopeful for a positive outcome. the folks
       speaking in favor of the curriculum were very eloquent. fingers x'd for next tuesday's decision.
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       speaking in favor of the curriculum were very eloquent. fingers x'd for next tuesday's decision.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       As representative of the Muslim population in Alameda, as well as a concerned parent, I have
       been following the board meetings specifically addressing this proposed tolerance curriculum.
       Alameda has a very large population of Muslim families and we hope that you would consider the
       needs of NOT just one group of population but the many different constituents that you serve.
       Please take the time to read the letter we submitted. To ensure that you all are able to access it,
       I am also sending it in e-mail format. In the future, we would be more than happy to be part of
       the committee to study issues that are culturally sensitive and relevant to our community. Thank
       you for your time & consideration.

       First of all, let me commend you all on the wonderful job that you have been doing in light of the
       many challenges facing our school district. I appreciate that you, the School Board
       Commissioners are taking the time to acknowledge and listen to your constituents’ concerns in
       this widely diverse and dynamic city. On behalf of the Muslim community here in the city of
       Alameda, I am writing to let you know that we strongly oppose the proposed LGBT
       Tolerance curriculum for K-5th Grade. Along with this letter, we are submitting a five-page
       signed petition from our community supporting this motion.

       Accordingly, the School District has already adapted a “NO-BULLYING” policy in Alameda
       schools K-12. Hopefully, this policy is being vigorously implemented on the different campuses of
       the city, and that the incidences of bullying would be at a minimum. Bullying or intimidation is not
       to be tolerated -- respecting one another as individuals with rights to human dignity is what
       should be taught at all grade levels. We do not agree that certain groups should be highlighted
       over others in terms of respect and dignity, and that we do not condone the idea that our young
       children, ages 4 ½ to 11 should be subjected to accept these lifestyles as correct or acceptable.
       We are further informed that with the proposed curriculum:

           1. parents will not given the right to be notified when the subject matter will be introduced or
              taught to their children
           2. there will be no requirement to provide the parents with curriculum materials
           3. there will be no option for parents to remove their children from this instruction

       As Imam and representative of the Muslim population of Alameda, many parents come to me
       with concerns, especially those with children attending public schools. The most recent incident
       is of an immigrant Muslim family whose daughter is in the 4th grade.

       She had transferred from Ruby Bridges to Washington Elementary which is her school site. In
       the beginning of the school year, this 4th grader came to school wearing “hijab” (head scarf).
       Unfortunately, she became a target of ridicule by two specific students from her classroom that
       now, according to her parents, she no longer wears her hijab and have no desire to do so. To this
       day, she refuses to tell her family who are the instigators of this bullying for either fear of
       retribution or being labeled by her peers as a “tatel-teller.”

       The above incident clearly demonstrates that the issue of bullying extends further than the
       proposed target population of LBGTs. Bullying should be addressed on the grounds of
       universality, crossing gender-lines, ethnicity, religion, lifestyle and culture. We should hope that
       respect for human dignity should be the foremost priority in instilling values and morals to our
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       respect for human dignity should be the foremost priority in instilling values and morals to our
       children and that these are best taught at home and reinforced in the schools. With the proposed
       curriculum and no room for choice for dissenting opinions, Muslim families as well as others are
       faced with the difficult decision of removing their children from attending Alameda Schools,
       enhancing further the possibility of declining enrollment and less money for the school district. I
       thank you once again for the school board’s openness in addressing this issue and hope that
       consideration be given on the grounds of what is correct and fair for everyone.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       I fully support tolerance and the "Safe Schools" curriculum. As an Alameda resident for almost 60
       years, we must be inclusive and respect the rights of others.

       I have been a resident of Alameda for 17 years. I was out of town and unable to attend the
       hearing on this issue last Tuesday, and wanted to express my support of this proposal.

       Lessons on diversity and on tolerance of persons different from ourselves are an extremely
       important part of the educational process. It helps not only LGBT students, but all students.
       Speaking as someone who was bullied because of their sexual orientation while in school, it
       would have really made a difference to me and to my classmates to have had this kind of
       program in place when I was growing up.

       Thank you for proposing this change - please implement it!

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       I have a few points to make regarding last night's Safe Schools meeting and some of the things
       that were said there.

           1. People need to stop co-opting the word "bully". You, the opposition, are speaking from a
              place of privilege. You are the apparent majority at these meetings. You are NOT being
              physically threatened, pushed around, taunted, or assaulted. MY DAUGHTER HAS BEEN
              BULLIED. She is 5 and has been picked on, teased, and physically assaulted by
              classmates all school year (ftr, we have spoken with the teacher, the principal, written
              letters to the school board members, and the superintendent). It started because some kids
              decided she is more like a boy than a girl. So when you stand up there saying YOU FEEL
              BULLIED it makes my skin crawl and my heart ache. My daughter has been bullied. So just
              stop with that. It's offensive.
           2. I keep hearing people opposed to the curriculum say that they have been called "haters".
              Really? You are the only people that I have heard use that term in YEARS and only at the
              podium. It strikes me as disingenuous. I believe you are trying to make yourselves out to be
              the victim here. Again, STOP. It is offensive.
           3. One speaker for the opposition alluded to a possibility of being assaulted on his way out.
              Well, have you ever heard of "gay bashing"? It is real. It is deadly. I can not tell you how
              many young people I have known who ended up in the hospital with broken ribs, punctured
              lungs, black and blue faces because they actually WERE ASSAULTED for being LGBT or
              perceived as LGBT. Even more have had to at least physically defend themselves or run to
              find safety because they were clearly no match for a bunch of dudes with 2x4's. Do you get
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                find safety because they were clearly no match for a bunch of dudes with 2x4's. Do you get
                this? YOU ARE NOT THE VICTIM.
           4.   Your children will learn anti-gay slurs as soon as they hit the elementary school
                playgrounds. If you think your children are too sweet for this, guess what. They aren't. I
                thought that about my own children but they learn from their peers. I had to reteach my
                kids everything I have taught them and will continue to do so as long as needed. So you
                can let your kids learn hateful words without any context or understanding or you can teach
                them about what these words mean and who they really hurt. I kind of have a feeling that
                this isn't your dinner table conversation. Maybe it's time for schools to step in.
           5.   Someone spoke about the difficulty of explaining how two moms could have a baby. I can
                tell you from experience that It's not that hard. If you can say "daddy planted a seed in
                mommy" you can say a doctor planted a seed in one of the mommies. Or the mommies
                adopted. Or whatever applies. Kids get it. It's not hard to grasp. You underestimate your
                children.
           6.   Please remember that you are the vocal majority here. Please stop acting persecuted with
                your claims of how your children will be bullied for not agreeing with the teacher or how
                confused your child will be when the teacher says something different than you do. I had to
                explain to my kids that Christopher Columbus was responsible for the genocide of my
                ancestors rather than a super-coool hero. You can surely handly this, no?
           7.   GLBT people are not unicorns or gnomes living in mushroom houses. It is not something
                you can "believe" in or not believe in. They are real. No matter what you think of them. It's
                time to stop pretending they don't exist in your schools. They do. Your children will meet
                them. How do you really want that meeting to happen? With misunderstanding and
                contempt for a "lifestyle" or understand and acceptance. WWJD, afterall.
           8.   Mr. McMahon, you must be exhausted.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       I was at the meeting last night with my son, a student at xxx Elementary School here in Alameda.
       I'm an Alameda homeowner and volunteer in my son's school.

       I am more convinced than ever that we need this curriculum. If some families are so intent on
       treating queer-parented families as "other," it can only end in bullying or worse. My son was
       musing that he might be gay last year, as he holds a lot of love for his best friend, William. To
       suggest that elementary-aged schoolchildren do not need this vocabulary is preposterous! How
       can kindergartners process a schoolmate having two moms without it?

       I told my son that he has plenty of time to figure it out. But we do not have plenty of time to lay a
       foundation of respect and tolerance. The time is now.

       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       I strongly support the Caring Schools Curriculum. I am a parent of a child in Alameda public
       school system. My son attends Edison School. I applaud your efforts and your patience and look
       forward to seeing you stand up to those who are fearful and/or hateful. You are courageous and
       doing groundbreaking work here.

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       TOP

       Alameda Resident 5/19

       I attended last night's school board meeting and was shocked and saddened by the ignorance
       and intolerance that I heard. I was unable to sleep last night thinking about the fact that this
       group of people are out there representing the community that I live in and love.

       I do not feel that a highly organized, highly scripted group of like minded people fairly represent
       the children, families and community of Alameda. Our children attend Edison school, and from
       the many conversations I have had, I have yet to meet 1 person who is opposed to this
       curriculum. I hope that you will keep that in mind as you make your decision.

       I hope the board has the courage to do the right thing and move Alameda forward one more
       step. We have a past history of racism, intolerance and a "raise the bridge" mentality that I think
       most are wanting to leave behind. Please don't listen to a vocal few and listen to your heart and
       your conscience.

       TOP

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