ME NAM 7705963

*
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
First Amended Verified Petition for Writ of Mandamus

Kevin T. Snider, State Bar No. 170988 Matthew B. McReynolds, State Bar No. 234797
PACIFIC JUSTICE INSTITUTE

212 9th St., Suite 208 Oakland, CA 94607 Tel. (510) 834-7232 kevinsnider@pacificiustice.org mattmcrevnolds@vacificiustice.org Attorneys for Petitioners

ALAMEDA COVITY AUG 2 8z009

FILED
944-

AP

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA COUNTY OF ALAMEDA ) Case No.: RG 09-468037 AISHA BALDE, JOLENE CHAN, TOMMY CHEUNG, DANIEL CHIN, ) HANFORD CHTU, RICHARD CLARK, ) FIRST AMENDED VERIFIED ) DIANE CLARK, MIKEL DEL ) PETITION FOR WRIT OF ROSARIO, ARCHIE FELIX, PAIME ) MANDAMUS FELIX, WENDY FONG, SUE FUNG, ) MARIA GUADALUPE GOMEZ, JUDY) JOHANSING, DANLIN LI, KERRI ) LONERGAN, MATT LONERGAN, ) ) LINDA MORGAN, JONATHAN ) STAIRS, and VICKI STAIRS, ) Petitioners, ) V. ) ) ) Date: Oct. 5, 2009 ALAMEDA UNIFIED SCHOOL ) Time: 9:00 a.m. DISTRICT, KIRSTEN VITAL, ) Dept.: 31 SUPERINTENDENT, in her official ) Hon.: Frank Roeseh capacity. ) ) ) Respondents. Introduction Petitioners apply for an issuance of a writ of mandate under Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1085 to require Respondent to excuse students, upon written request of the parent or guardian, from that portion of Safe School Community Curriculum that conflicts with their religious training and beliefs and personal moral convictions as per section 51240 of the California Education Code. Parties

I 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

1.

Petitioner, AISHA BALDE, is a parent of children who will be enrolled in a school

which is under the jurisdiction of the Alameda Unified School District ("AUSD") during the 2009-2010 school year. 2. Petitioners, JOLENE CHAN and TOMMY CHEUNG, are the parents of a child

who will be enrolled in a school which is under the jurisdiction of AUSD during the 2009-2010 school year. As parents of said child, they file this petition jointly. 3. Petitioner, DANIEL CHIN, is the parent of a child who will be enrolled in a school

which is under the jurisdiction of AUSD during the 2009-2010 school year. 4. Petitioner, HANFORD CHIU, is the parent of children who will be enrolled in a

school which is under the jurisdiction of AUSD during the 2009-2010 school year. 5. Petitioner, JUDY JOHANSING, is the parent of a child who will be enrolled in a

school which is under the jurisdiction of AUSD during the 2009-2010 school year. 6. Petitioners, ARCHIE FELIX and J'AIME FELIX are the parents of a child who

will be enrolled in a school which is under the jurisdiction of AUSD during the 2009-2010 school year. As parents of said child, they file this petition jointly. 7. Petitioners, RICHARD CLARK and DIANE CLARK are the parents of a child

who will he enrolled in a school which is under the jurisdiction of AUSD during the 2009-2010 school year. As parents of said child, they file this petition jointly. 8. Petitioners, ARCHIE FELIX and PAIME are the parents of children who will be

enrolled in a school which is under the jurisdiction of AUSD during the 2009-2010 school year. As parents of said children, they file this petition jointly. 9. Petitioner, MARIA GUADALUPE GOMEZ, is the parent of a child who will be

enrolledin a school which is under the jurisdiction of AUSD during the 2009-2010 school year. 10. Petitioner, MIICEL DEL ROSARIO, is the parent of a child who will be enrolled in

a school which is under the jurisdiction of AUSD during the 2009-2010 school year. 11. Petitioner, WENDY FONG, is the parent of a child who will be enrolled in a schoo

which is under the jurisdiction of AUSD during the 2009-2010 school year.

First Amended Verified Petition for Writ of Mandamus

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

12.

Petitioners, DANLIN LI and SUE FUNG, are the parent of a child who will be

enrolled in a school which is wider the jurisdiction of AUSD during the 2009-2010 school year. As parents of said children, they file this petition jointly. 13. Petitioners, KERRI LONERGAN and MATT LONERGAN ARCHIE FELIX and

J'AIME are the parents of children who will be enrolled in a school which is under the jurisdiction of AUSD during the 2009-2010 school year. As parents of said children, they file this petition jointly. 14. Petitioner, LINDA MORGAN, is the parent of children who will be enrolled in a

school which is under the jurisdiction of AUSD during the 2009-2010 school year. 15. Petitioners, JONATHAN STAIRS, and VICKI STAIRS are the parents of a child

who will be enrolled in a school which is under the jurisdiction of AUSD during the 2009-2010 school year. As parents of said children, they file this petition jointly. 16. Respondent Alameda Unified School District is a unified school district as defined

under Education Code §83 and is 'a school established pursuant to Article IX, §6, of the California Constitution. 17. Respondent, KIRSTEN VITAL ("Superintendent Vital") is the Superintendent of

AUSD, is an employee of AUSD and serves as AUSD's chief executive officer whose duties include the implementation of AUSD curriculum in accordance with the California Education Code.

Jurisdiction and Venue

18. 19.

This action arises under Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1085. Venue is proper in this Court because the principle place of business of the

Respondent is in Alameda County and the actions complained of occurred within this county.
Statement of Facts

20.

On May 26, 2009, the AUSD Board of Education adopted the Safe School

Community Curriculum — Lesson 9, also know as the Caring School Community supplement,

First Amended Verified Petition for Writ of Mandamus

Lesson 9, for the 2009-2010 school year. (For ease of reference the curriculum will be referred to

as "Lesson 9"). The purported purpose of the curriculum is to teach safety and tolerance on schoo campuses in accordance with the Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 2000 as well as prevent bullying and harassment pursuant to District Board Policies, Education Code § 200 and section 422.6(a) of the Penal Code. (A true and correct copy of the relevant portions of the approved curriculum is attached and marked as Exhibit 1). At issue is what the school has identified as Lesson 9: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender ("LGBT") instruction. 21. The kindergarten portion of the Lesson 9 curriculum begins with instructions on

how to teach students about what makes Other students feel welcome in anew school. (Exhibit 1, pg. 1). However, by grades 1-4 the lesson soon moves on to a discussion about what constitutes a family. (Exhibit 1, pg. 5). 22. The stated objectives for the grade I portion of the curriculum are for students to b

able to 1) "identify what makes a family" 2) "identify and describe a variety of families" and 3) "understand that families have some similarities and some differences." (Exhibit 1, pg. 5). Students are also asked to learn "what family members give or share with each other" and the responsibilities various family members have within their families. (Exhibit 1, pg. 6). In grade 2 students are asked to "be able to identify alternative types of family structures." (Exhibit 1, pg. 9). In grade 3, students are asked to discuss different family structures with particular care to "develo[p] sensitivity to gay and lesbian family structures." (Exhibit 1, pg.13). In grade 4 the students are "introduced to an article by Robert, an 11 year old, whose family has 2 moms." (Exhibit 1, pg. 17, 21-22) 23. By grade 5 students are taught to "increase their awareness of all stereotypes,

including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people" and that "LGBT people are represented among all races, genders, religions, socio-economic classes and professions." (Exhibit 1, pg. 23). 24. Petitioners' religious training and beliefs and personal moral beliefs are

inconsistent with the curriculum's instruction on the characteristics of families. As such, the current curriculum would serve to undermine Petitioners' ability to provide moral and religious

First Amended Verified Petition for Writ of Mandamus

I 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

training to their children according to their own beliefs. As a result, Petitioners provided written notification to the Respondents pursuant to section 51240 of the California Education Code requesting to be excused from Lesson 9. Section 51240 of the Education Code states in full as follows: "(a) If any part of a school's instruction in health conflicts with the religious training and beliefs of a parent or guardian of a pupil, the pupil, upon written request of the parent or guardian, shall be excused from the part of the instruction that conflicts with the religious training and beliefs. (b) For purposes of this section, "religious training and beliefs" includes personal moral convictions." A true and correct copy of Petitioners' requests are attached and marked as "Exhibit 2." 25. The attorney for Petitioners sent a letter to the Superintendent of AUSD,

Respondent 1Cirsten Vital, in which the Respondents were notified that Lesson 9 falls under the

Health Education Content Standards for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve 's definition of Health studies. Because Lesson 9 constitutes instruction that conflicts with
Petitioners' religious training and beliefs and personal moral convictions, Petitioners were entitled to have their children excused from classes in which the above mentioned materials would be covered. (A true and correct copy of said letter is attached and marked as "Exhibit 3"). 26. AUSD has responded by letter from Superintendent Vital in which the request to b

excused has been denied. Respondents have refused and continue to refuse to comply with the mandate of the statute. (A true and correct copy of the letters received is attached and marked as "Exhibit 4"). 27. The letter states in pertinent part as follows: ,`On May 26, 2009 the Board of Education approved the motion to adopt the Caring School Community curriculum supplement, Lesson 9 as part of its Safe School Community program. Lesson 9 addresses issues of sexual orientation / gender identity. The Board's motion and approval did not provide an opt out option." 28. In their letter, Respondents have not contested Petitioners' position that Lesson 9

falls within the scope of Health Education.

First Amended verified Petition for Writ of Mandamus

-5-

I 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17

29.

Petitioners' letters stated that if the request to opt their children out of Lesson 9 was

denied, that AUSD was to "provide a complete description, including forms or other written materials, for exhausting administrative remedies." Said request for written materials was made under the California Public Records Act (Gov. Code. § 6250, et seq.) In that no description or forms for exhausting administrative remedies was provided, Petitioners have exhausted their administrative remedies. In the alternative, because the Respondents have failed to assert that any administrative remedies are available, Respondents have either waived this procedure or have determined that this procedure would be meaningless.

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS

30. forth. 31.

The foregoing paragraphs are incorporated herein by reference as though fully set

Lesson 9 includes instruction that involves health education. As such, pursuant to

section 51240 of the California Education Code, parents have the right, upon written request, to have their children excused from the parts of the Safe School Community Curriculum that conflict with Petitioners' religious training and beliefs and personal moral convictions. 32. Petitioners have submitted the required written requests to have their children

18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

removed from the LGBT instruction within Safe School Community Curriculum that conflict with their religious training and moral convictions and personal moral convictions. 33. Petitioners are beneficially interested in having AUSD comply with section 51240

of the California Education Code. 34. Respondents, and each of them, have refused to comply with Petitioners' request in

violation of section 51240 of the California Education Code. 35. 36. Respondents have the ability to comply with Petitioners' request. Petitioners petition this Court to issue a writ of mandamus, requiring Respondents

to comply with Petitioners' written requests and excuse Petitioners' children from the parts of the

First Amended Verified Petition for Writ of Mandamus

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Safe School Community Curriculum that conflict with their religious training and beliefs or
personal moral convictions. 37. The issuance of the writ is indispensable to the enforcement of the Petitioners' right

in that Petitioners have no plain, speedy, or adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law whereby their rights can be upheld or whereby Respondents can be compelled to comply with Section 51240. If the relief sought by this petition is not granted, great and irreparable injury will be caused to Petitioners.

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, Petitioners therefore request relief as follows: 1. That the Court issue an alternative Writ of Mandamus commanding Respondents to

12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

comply with Cal.Educ.Code § 51240 or to show cause before this Court, at a time specified by Court order, why it has not done so and why a peremptory writ should not issue; 2: That, on the return of the alternative writ and the hearing of this Petition, this Court

issue its peremptory Writ of Mandamus commanding Respondent to excuse students, upon written request of the parent or guardian, from the parts of Safe School Community Curriculum that conflict with their religious training and beliefs, including personal moral convictions. 3. 4. 5. For reasonable attorney fees; For taxable costs of suit incurred herein; For such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.

Dated: August 26, 2009 By

Kevin T. Snider Matthew B. McReynolds
PACIFIC JUSTICE INSTITUTE

212 9th St., Suite 208 Oakland, CA 94607 Tel. (510) 834-7232

First Amended verified Petition for Writ of Mandamus

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

VERIFICATION I, Jonathan Stairs, am one of the Petitioners in the above-captioned matter. I have read the FIRST AMENDED VERIFIED PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS and am familiar with same. The contents are true and accurate and known to me by personal knowledge except for those matters asserted on information and belief As to those matters, I believe them to be true. I declare under penalty of perjury, under the laws of the State of California, that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed this 27th day of August, 2009, in the County of Alameda, City of Alameda, State of California.

than Stairs, Petitioner

First Amended Verified Petition for Writ of Mandamus

-s-

PROOF OF SERVICE Bala v. Alameda Unified School District Case No.: RU 09-468037 The undersigned, being more then eighteen years of age and not a party to this action, whose business address is 9851 Horn Road, Suite 115, Sacramento, CA 95827, declares that the document(s) listed below were served on all parties on August 27, 2009, by mailing a copy, via first-class U.S. mail, postage prepaid, to the following persons: Louis A. Leone, Esq. Katherine A. Alberts, Esq. 2175 N. California Blvd., Suite 900 Walnut Creek, CA 94596 Document(s): FIRST AMENDED VERIFIED PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS I declare under penalty of perjury, under the laws of the State of California, that the foregoing is true and correct. Dated this 27th day of August, 2009, County of Sacramento, City of Sacramento, California.

Terri Franklin

Exhibit 1: Lesson 9 Curriculum


Becoming a Welcoming Classroom Grade K
About Welcoming Class Meetings A welcoming class meeting is an introductory lesson to help students understand what makes children feel welcome. And, to discover what the effect is of unwelcoming behavior, such as hurtful teasing, name calling and exclusion. About Welcoming Use this lesson when a new student enters your classroom, or when you observe students' behavior which is hurtful to others. Lesson Purpose • To create a more welcoming classroom. • To have students understand what makes them and others feel welcome or unwelcome in school. Time Suggested: One 45 minute period Materials: Chart Paper Markers Crayons Drawing Paper

Book The New Girl...and Me
By Jacqui Robbins

Vocabulary: Name calling Exclude Hurtful Teasing Different Similar Comfortable

The Lesson:
1.Gather in a circle and introduce "Welcome" Students come with a partner to the circle. Briefly review the class meeting rules. Remind the students that everyone likes to feel welcome and supported at school, whether they are new to the school or not. Also, remind them that no one likes to be teased or called hurtful words. 2. Discuss what it means to feel welcome at school. Explain that the students will talk about times they've felt welcome and the times when their feelings might have been hurt. Point out that this can be a difficult topic to talk about and that you would like the students to focus on listening and responding in a caring way. • Ask students for examples. 3. Discuss what it means to feel unwelcome at school. • Ask students for examples.

2


4. Read the book aloud The New Girl and Me Discuss, asking these questions: • Have any of you ever been new to a classroom, join a team or gone to an event where you didn't know anyone? • What did DJ do or say that made Shakeeta feel unwelcome or "not at home?" • Has anyone ever seen an iguana? What does it look like? Eat? • What finally made Shakeeta feel welcome?

Activity: • Using the writing prompt, "I can help others feel welcome by..." ask students to respond verbally to this. • Have students return to their desks to draw a welcoming picture. • Upon completion, bring students back to the circle to share and comment • Display pictures around the room or in the hallway.

3

Summarize the Discussion
Summarize what the students have said about why welcoming a new student is important to the class and school community. Encourage students to notice both new and continuing students who might be playing alone on the playground, and to approach them with a welcoming voice and gesture.

Reflect and Adjourn the Meeting Have the students briefly discuss how they did today listening and responding in a caring, welcoming way. Adjourn the meeting and have the students return to their seats.

4

Who's In a Family?
Grade 1
About Who's In a Family? Class Meetinqs Holding Class meetings on identifying families will assist students to understand that the common bond that holds all kids of healthy family together is love and caring. Lesson Purpose • To identify what makes a family. • To identify and describe a variety of families. • To understand that families have some similarities and some differences.

Materials Chart Paper Markers Drawing Paper Crayons

Required Book Who's In a Family? by Robert Skutch

No New Vocaulary Words

Time Suggested One Class period

5

3. Discussing student responses: • Listen closely while recording and responding to students' comments. • If a student responds that one family in the book is made up of a mother, a father and two children and a cat, you may acknowledge that some families look like this, but also ask students for other examples of what a family can look like.

Activity:
• Ask students to return to their seats to draw a picture of their own family. Post and/or share out. Additional Activity: (Optional)

• Ask the students to draw a picture that looks different than their own. For example, a family who has a grandma, mom, two children and a dog may be different than their own.

Summarize the Discussion
Upon completion, bring students back to the circle to share and comment. Display pictures around the room or in the hallway. Review the students' answers to the question, "What do we know about families?" Encourage students to notice all the different types of families that were in the book. Discuss with them what they have learned about families from today's class meeting.

Reflect Reinforce to students that in our school and in our community there are many different types of families that provide love and care to each other. Remind the students that all family structures are equally important.

8


The Lesson
Gather students in a Circle for their class meeting. Introduce the topic, "Caring for the Young". Label a piece of chart paper, "What do all parents/caregivers need to do to take care of a baby?" Prompt students by asking the following questions: • What does a baby need to survive and grow? • What is the parent's responsibility in the care of a baby? • What do you think makes a baby smile? List all student answers/responses. 2. Introduce the book And Tango Makes Three Before you begin the story ask the students some exploratory questions: • Who has been to a zoo? • What did you see there? • How did the zoo care for the animals? • Did any of the animals live in families? • What is a family? • What do all families have in • common?

10


3. Read And Tango Makes Three aloud to students. After the story is over, ask students what they liked best about the story. Then the discussion follows: • How were Roy and Silo like other penguin couples/parents? • How were they different? • Were they a couple? • Why do you think Roy and Silo built a nest? • Roy and Silo were both male penguins. Were they good parents? • What makes a "good" parent? 4. Activity Ask students to return to their seats to draw two (2) pictures, one of Roy and Silo and one of their own family. Remind them that all families look different and all are made up of varying structures. When students have finished, share out or post. 5. Supplemental Discussion Activity • Discuss the following with students, Who are some of the caregivers in your life? Examples might be day care provider, babysitter, grandma, etc. • How are these people important to you?

11


Summarize the Lesson:
Reinforce to students that in our school and community there are many varying family structures. Encourage students to notice that Roy and Silo were two male penguins but still were a family. Discuss with students what they have learned about families from today's class meeting.

Reflect upon what is most important in a family is not who makes up the family but how they care for and love each other just like Roy and Silo's family. Adjourn the meeting and have students return to their seats.

Reflect and Adjourn the Meeting

12

4. Activity - Creating Family Mobiles Share an example of a family mobile, or draw one on the board of a family from the video "That's a Family" • Instruct students to create and assemble their own mobiles, decorating a card for each member of their family to string together for the family tree. They can also make as many cards as they like for the places, things and ideas categories. • Once cards are completed, hole punch each one and thread cards together in categories. Tie to coat hanger. (Category prompts) • People/animals in my family • Places that are important to my family • Things my family does together • Ideas that represent my family 5. Sharing Mobiles Ask individual students to share their mobiles and tell 3 things about their family, using the cards as prompts. • Ask the following questions as appropriate: o What can we learn about families from our mobiles? o What types of family structures are included in our mobiles? o Are there any family structures missing? If so, what are they?

15

Summarize the Discussion & Reflect on Families Acknowledge that we have learned about the different family structures that exist. Some families that we learned of may mirror your own, and others were a window for you to learn about and expand your knowledge of what a family may look like. All types of families should be respected. What binds a family together is their love for each other and their common experiences.

16

Developing Empathy Being An Ally
Grade 4

About Developing Empa thy and Being an Ally
In this lesson students will begin to identify how hurtful name calling can be, and how important it is to become someone's ally. Students will be introduced to an article by Robert, an 11 year old, whose family has 2 moms.

Student Copies of the article "My. School is Accepting — But Things Could Be Better"
by Robert

Materials:

Lesson Purpose
• Students will be able to identify ways in which name calling is hurtful. • Students will learn the importance of being an ally in order to interrupt or stop name calling. • Students will be able to identify helpful strategies in order to become an ally to another person.

Ally Empathy Name Calling Gay Lesbian LGBT student generated vocabulary list of hurtful words

Vocabulary Words

Time Suggested

Two — 30- 40 minute sessions.

17

3. Lead a class discussion about whether your students have ever felt similar to how they imagined Robert felt. Consider prompts to generate discussion such as: • What situations led to those feelings? • How did you respond? • What made you feel better? • If you were Robert what would you do when people said things that felt hurtful? • Do you have empathy for Robert because of these situations that you've experienced?

4. Being an Ally Ally- A person who does something to help or stand up for another

person. For example, if a friend of yours was being teased, you would be an ally if you asked the person doing the teasing to stop being mean. • Ask students to number on a piece of paper: 1. I would be VERY UNCOMFORTABLE 2, I would be A LITTLE UNCOMFORTABLE 3. I would be PRETTY UNCOMFORTABLE 4. I would be VERY COMFORTABLE • Tell students you are going to read some statements about ways they could be an ally to Robert. • When you read each statement they will quietly and individually think which statement most pertains to them. They may then think about the statement that best describes how they would feel. Tell the students that there is not a right or wrong way to respond. Repeat this for each statement. o Talk to Robert individually and tell him that you are sorry that • people are calling him names and using phrases like, "this is so gay". o Talk to Robert and ask him what he thinks would help people stop name-calling, Offer to help him. When you hear a person say something like, "That's so gay" say, "It's not OK to say that Using the word gay like that hurts people's feelings." o Tell a teacher or another adult that you're bothered by the kind of words you're hearing other students use. Ask this adult to do something about the situation.

19

My School Is Accepting - But Things Could Be Better
By Robert

Handout

My name is Robert I'm eleven years old, and I am in the sixth grade. I go to an elementary school in Michigan. I have two moms and a little brother who I love a lot. He is almost five. Our family is one of just a few families with LGBT parents in our community. I am proud to have two moms. My school seems to be OK with people who are LGBT. My friends all know I have two moms and are OK with it. I think they react better if I just tell them when we first become friends. I think that if you don't come out right away when you meet someone, it's like you are not OK with it, maybe kind of ashamed, and it's easier for other kids to say mean things to you or about you. At the beginning of each school year, my moms go and .tell my teacher that I have two moms. I haven't had one teacher that has been obviously uncomfortable with it. The only thing that annoys me at school is when people start saying stuff like, "This is gay" or You're gay." I think that saying these things is a way to bully other kids. When I hear people say that, I tell them to stop, but they normally just keep doing it. The teachers don't do anything about it either, but some of my friends and their parents tell them to stop too. But if only a few people are telling the kids who are saying that to stop, they are just going to keep saying it. (I can't believe they actually think it is cool to say stuff like that!) I think that if the schools would start to pay attention more, they would see that it is a problem too. Sometimes, not as often, some of the boys in my school (always the boys) have started saying stuff like, "Dude, you're •a lesbian," I believe that the children who say this phrase don't understand what they are saying.

21

I think that if some of the kids who have LGBT parents and other kids whose parents support LGBT people would get together and talk to the schools about the things kids say, they might pay better attention. I think one reason I don't do it is that I'm scared the principal or the other sources of power at the school might discriminate against my family. The other reason is that there aren't many other kids and their parents who would speak up. When kids learn that I have two moms, they are normally OK with it, Sometimes I'll come across someone who says it is weird by that doesn't bother me because I'm fine with my family. I tend to not be very good friends with the kids who say it is weird to have LGBT parents because I am almost certain that the kids who say that are some of the few who are not OK with it, I think it helps that my family and I are so out with who we are. Other than that situation, my school is very accepting. I could tell just about anyone that I have two moms, and they would be OK with it. But until the kids stop saying "This is gay, That's gay", I am going to do my best to get them to stop saying that and make my school a safer environment for the other kids with LGBT parents.

Credit: This essay was reprinted with permission from the Colage (Children of Lesbian and Gays Everywhere) Newsletter, Vol. 18, #3.2006

22

Activity 2 1. Write the acronym LGBT. Ask students the meaning of each letter. After ensuring that they are accurate in the definitions, ask students to do the following. • Form groups of three students each. Ask each group• to brainstorm all the words that come to mind when they think about LGBT people. Have one student from each group record. • Ask a member of the group to read aloud their list and post them on the board. Review the whole list. Ask the class: a. What do you notice about the words on this list? b. Where did you learn the things you brainstormed? Review the class definition of stereotypes. Review how stereotypes can be hurtful. Ask the group to identify why some things on the list are stereotypes. Discuss why these stereotypes are incorrect and hurtful to LGBT people and people with LGBT family members. Ask the students, "Looking back at our definition of stereotypes — is there anything you would add or subtract?"

• • • • •

Activity 3: 1. Famous LGBT People Share the names on the list of some famous LGBT people without mentioning that these people are also LGBT. Now read the brief biographies of each. • Which people were you most surprised to learn were LGBT? • What does learning something about these people tell us about stereotypes?

25

Time to Reflect: We have learned that a stereotype can not only be inaccurate but can be hurtful and unkind. It can make a person or persons feel excluded and unhappy. We all may have different beliefs and a wide range of experiences and opinions regarding LGBT people, but we are now better informed as to how important it is to provide for the safety and well being of each and every person in our lives. Assignment: Write a short essay on: How have your views about any stereotypes changed?

26

27


Famous Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People LGBT
1. James Baldwin: 1924— 1987
African-American novelist, playwright and civil rights activist. Baldwin's work deals with issues related to being black and gay. He is best known for his novel Go Tell It on the Mountain.

2. Elton John: 1947— present

An English popfrock singer, composer and pianist. Elton John, who is openly gay, wrote the music for "The Lion King" and is one of the most successful musical artists of all time.

3. Ellen Degeneres: 1958— present

An openly American lesbian actress, stand-up comedian, and currently the Emmy Award-winning host of the syndicated talk show "The Ellen DeGeneres Show".

4. Chistiana Aguilera: 1980— present

An openly bisexual American pop singer and songwriter. She came to prominence following her debut album Christina Aguilera, which was a critical and commercial success. First American woman elected to Congress from the state of Wisconsin. She was also the first ever openly gay politician to be elected to the House of Representatives.

5. Tammy Baldwin: 1962— present

6. Walt Whitman: 1819 — 1892

A gay American poet, essayist, journalist and humanist. He was proclaimed the "greatest of all American poets" by many foreign observers a mere four years after his death.

7. Lance Bass: 1979— present

An American singer best known from the former pop group N*Sync. He came out in 2006 on the front page cover article of People magazine.

28

Vocabulary Words
Ally: A person who does something to help or stand up for another person. Birth Mother, Birth Father: Someone's natural mother and father. Bisexual: A person who has a romantic relationship with either a man or a woman. Bully: One who talks or acts in a mean spirited way to another person. Caretaker/Caregiver: One who cares for or ensures the safety of another. Comfortable: To make someone feel free from stress or anxiety. Couple: Two people who are married, are living together, or have an intimate relationship. Empathy: The ability to identify with and understand somebody else's feelings or difficulties. Exclude: Somebody who prevents one from entering or participating. Somebody who prevents one from being considered or accepted. Different: Not the same as something or somebody else. Family: A family is a group of people living together and functioning as a single household. Blended Family: When two separate families join together to live as one single family unit. Divorced Family: When the parents in a family are no longer married. The children live with one or the other of the parents in an agreed upon decision. Grandparent Family: When a grandparent is the primary caregiver of the children in a family. Mixed Family: When two or more cultures and ethnicities join together to form one family. Gay: Both men and women are romantically involved in a committed relationship with someone of the same sex. Hurtful: To cause emotional pain or suffering to another person. LGBT: An acronym that stands for the words, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender Lesbian: A woman who has a romantic relationship with women.

Name calling: To call someone, in a hurtful or bullying way, a name that is unkind or mean.
Parent: A person's mother, father or legal guardian. Adoptive Parent: One or two people who legally

Teasing: (Good natured) Teasing in a playful back and forth,

with a friendly tone of voice or laughter. It may also be accompanied by affectionate gestures.

adopt a child to whom one or both of them did not give birth. Foster Parent: On a temporary basis, one who legally provides a home and cares for a child. Grandparent: The parent of a child's mother or father. This grandparent may also be the legal guardian and caretaker of the child. Guardian: In the absence of a parent, a guardian is a person that the State allows to legally care and provide for a child. Single Parent Family: When only one parent raises the children in a family. Step parent: A person who becomes a parent through the remarriage of a parent to someone who has children. Two Moms: Two women who live together as a family and are parents of a child. Two Dads: Two men who live together as a family and are the parents of a child.

Teasing: (Hurtful) Teasing in a hurtful way is more often

accompanied by an angry or sarcastic tone of voice and angry body language. Hurtful teasing can feel like being made fun of, or a put-down.
Transgender: A person whose gender identity and/or

expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth.

Additional Vocabulary Words

Similar: When something or someone is more alike than

different.

Stereotypes: An oversimplified idea or generalization about a group of people. Labeling an entire group based on the actions of some.

Exhibit 2: Petitioner's Requests See
h p://www.scribd.com/doc/18557000/Balde-v-Alamedia-Unified-School-District

Exhibit 3: Petitioners' Letter to AUSD


CAP/TAL OFFICE Pa Boa 3 76600 • liaison-nut. CA 95E27 • 91(, S57.(i900 • FAX 916E57.6901 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA OFFICE Pa Fox 11630 • Santa Arm CA 92711 71096.7150 • FAX 714.796.71R2

PACIFIC JUSTICE
INSTITUTE

BRAD W DACUS, EsQ, President EDWIN MEESE, /sumer Attorney Central Advitory Board Chu' ail

June 26, 2009

Kirsten Vital, Superintendent
ALAMEDA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

2200 Central Avenue Alameda, CA 94501 Re 1) Excusal Notices for Safe Schools Community Lesson 9 re LGBT Instruction 2) CA Public Records Act Request Dear Ms. Vital, Please be advised that this office represents the parents. guardians and pupils whose names are indicated on the enclosed letters. Kindly direct all responses to those letters to this office. I) Excusal Notices for Safe Schools Community Lesson 9 re LGET Instruction My clients are requesting that their children be excused from portions of the Safe Schools Community Lesson 9 relative to LGBT instruction. The authority for opting out of said instruction comes from section 51240 of the Education Code which states M as follows: (a) If any part of a school's instruction in health conflicts with the religious training and beliefs of a parent or guardian of a pupil, the pupil, upon written request of the parent or guardian, shall be excused from the part of the instruction that conflicts with the religious training and beliefs. (b) For purposes of this section, "religious training and beliefs" includes persona/ moral convictions. As per Educ. Code. § 51210.8, the California State Board of Education has adopted standards for instruction in health education. Those standards have been memorialized in Health Education Content Standards for California Public Schools. Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (March 12, 2008) and thus said publication provides the parameters for what constitutes health instruction. hi pertinent part, the State Board has determined that Health Education includes the following:

e "Describe the characteristics of families." pg. 4
Page 1 of 2 June 26, 2009 "Raising the Torch °Eunice for Our civil Liberties" wwwparifirjustire.org

"Describe how members of a family have various roles, responsibilities, and individual needs," pg. 6 • "Discuss how to show respect for similarities and differences between and among individuals and groups." pg.I2 • "Demonstrate the ability to support and respect people with differences." pg.I6 "Examine the effects of bullying and harassment on others." pg.I9 e "Recognize that there are individual differences in growth and development, physical appearance, and gender roles.' pg.25 A review the Safe Schools Community curriculum reveals that the above items are present in Lesson 9. Hence, my clients are exercising their right to have their children excused from said instruction. Please respond directly to this office as to whether the District will comply with the optout requests submitted by my clients within ten days of the receipt of this letter.
2) CA Public Records
Act Request

Finally, please be aware that the enclosed letters by my clients also include requests for records under Gov. Code § 6250, et seq. Kindly send the responsive documents directly to this office. Very truly yours,

Kevin T. Snider
Chief Counsel

PACIFIC JUSTICE INSTITUTE

Page 2 of 2 June 26, 2009

Exhibit 4: Sample Letter From AUSD

Alameda Dulled Salt cat'ithWrict.
Equity & Excellence for Al! Students
Margie Sherratt, Interim Assistant Superintendent 2200 Central Avenue — Room 206E Alameda, CA 94501 (510) 337-7063 Ms. Aiesha Irene Balde' 737 Eagle Avenue #D Alameda, CA 94501 July 20, 2009 Dear Ms. Balde', The Alameda Unified School District has received your letter dated, June 22, 2009, indicating your intention to opt your children, Tamba, Ibrahim & Maryama Balde', out of the District's Caring School Community supplement, Lesson 9 during the 2009-2010 school year. On May 26, 2009 the Board of Education approved the motion to adopt the Caring School Community curriculum supplement, Lesson 9 as part of its Safe School Community program. Lesson 9 addresses issues of sexual orientation / gender identity. The Board's motion and approval did not provide an opt out option. The Alameda Unified School District is obligated to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all students. This effort is in accordance with legal mandates set forth in the Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 2000, the District's Board Policy 5145.3 (Nondiscrimination/Harassment), Education Code Section 2000, and Penal Code Section 422.6(a). These laws and policies require that public schools prevent discrimination and harassment against all legally protected categories of students. A support guide is being developed by teachers to ensure that the District's policies and practices protect all legally protected categories. Lesson 9 will be taught within the first trimester of the 2009 — 2010 school year. Specific dates and times are not available. Providing them would be impracticable, as teachers in different grades will integrate Lesson 9 into other educational objectives throughout the trimester. For example, many teachers will teach Lesson 9 with the HAIR reading series unit on the Family. Kindergarten teachers may find it appropriate to teach the Welcoming lesson at the beginning of the school year. Lesson 9 will not be taught on the same date in all grade levels. As professional educators, I am confident that our teachers will educate all of Alameda's children in a sensitive manner.

en VI Superintendent

Margie Shen-a Interim Assistant Superintendent

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful