CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – Parents are trying to push back against a controversial decision in the Parkway School District.
In March, school board members decided to update the district’s sexual education curriculum for the first time since 2008.
According to board president Chris Jacob, the goal is to help ensure all students have healthy and safe relationships.
The update now includes subject matter material including LGBT and sexual identity issues.
They are topics that some parents feel are medically inaccurate and too progressive for children in the classroom.
“This is indoctrination, not education. Suspend this dangerous curriculum,” one opponent said at Wednesday night’s board meeting.
A handful of opponents showed up with signs and wearing white clothing to symbolize purity and innocence.
Some demanded publicly that the board take up the issue again or step down from office.
One opponent said, “As we all pay our taxes, you belong to us. So you should revote or resign.”
But Jacob announced to the crowd that the March decision, though not unanimous, was final and not up for reconsideration.
A district spokeswoman told NewsChannel 5 that parents have had nearly two years of opportunity to provide feedback and understand the changes that were being made.
The district chose to update the curriculum, in part, because of certain materials and subject matter that students are already exposed to on a daily basis through social media and pop culture.
It’s a move that has garnered praise and support from some students and parents.
Many advocates attended the meeting Wednesday wearing green and also addressed the board.
“When they (students) go out into the world, they are not going to be in an environment where everybody believes the same thing they do,” one supporter said.
Andrew Bennett, a sophomore at Parkway Central High, said he had become the target of the opposition’s online threats and bullying as they pushed their own agenda.
The 16-year-old said he was glad the board wasn’t going to change its mind and hoped everyone could move on.
“I’m just ready to move on and study and not have to worry about this,” he said.
Parkway will be holding an open house on Monday night for families wishing to learn more about the new curriculum.
Those who are uncomfortable with the changes have the opportunity to opt out.