Parents battle ‘Teen Talk’; embrace ‘Heart’ Sex Ed curriculum

By Michael Hernandez

SANTA BARBARA—Local parents are prepared to battle the school district’s expected choice of ‘Teen Talk’ as the sex ed curriculum for secondary students at Tuesday’s school district board meeting (at 6:30 p.m. at 720 Santa Barbara Street) and are proposing the ‘Heart’ curriculum written by Skip Hellewell instead (co-founder of United as meeting the requirements of the California Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Act (California Healthy Youth Act or CHYA) signed into law in 2015.

 “’Teen Talk’ is a curriculum—one of the five state approved curriculums—that clearly indoctrinates our children with a sexual agenda,” states parent spokeswoman Barbara Batastini.   “Because of our work with Informed Parents of California, we were able to research and find another curriculum that could be used in our district.   This curriculum is straight forward, family friendly, and is as morally sound as can be, while still meeting the requirements of AB329.”

Local parents are taking offense to the resources for teachers in ‘Teen Talk’ such as: and along with a three-page list of additional resources they disapprove that they will be sharing with board members. The same parents also do not like the district’s expected second choice for the sex ed curriculum which is ‘Rights, Respect, Responsibility’ by Advocates for Youth.

The ‘Heart’ sex-ed curriculum which stands for Health Education and Relationship Training is offered as a non-profit service to California secondary schools at a minimal cost (the curriculum is free; but there are nominal costs for required teacher in-service, printing, if desired, and optional access via an internet platform) and was created as a non-profit project, guided by a board of subject experts (MDs and PhDs) which grew out of a citizens campaign in the Capistrano Unified School District.

The curriculum teaches sex ed over three years (7-9th grades); is based on teaching inclusive relationships of mutual trust and affection; and is now available for use on an internet-based platform available to teachers, students, and parents.

“Our previous kids and unknowing parents need us this month.  Sadly, there were only handfuls of parents attending the four curriculum presentations (made by Anne Roundy, Director of Secondary Education). Our parents are very unaware,” said Batastisni.


Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service; editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He has worked 25 years as a middle school teacher in Monrovia and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected].

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