Commentary: Proposition 8 an issue of rights, not schools

If you only watched TV ads, you might think Proposition 8 had something to do with sex education in public schools. It doesn't. It says nothing about education.

If you don't like the way sex education is taught now in your local school district, you'll still have to fight with the local school board to get changes, whether the measure passes or fails. Under current state law, school districts "may" provide sex education (and 96 percent do). The curriculum is decided by local school boards. The state only directs that local boards meet certain broad criteria. Instruction must:

• "Be appropriate for use with pupils of all races, genders, sexual orientations, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and pupils with disabilities";

• "Encourage a pupil to communicate with his or her parents or guardians about human sexuality"; and

• "Teach respect for marriage and committed relationships."

School districts across the state take very different approaches. What students learn in Sacramento City Unified may be different from Western Placer Unified. Some districts don't offer sex education at all.

Your vote on Proposition 8 won't change any of this.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Sacramento Bee.