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Sex Ed debate disrupts Chandler Unified School District board meeting

Posted: 6:18 PM, Jan 09, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-09 20:18:33-05

CHANDLER, AZ — Tensions were high and standing room was all that was left at the Chandler Unified School Districts' (CUSD) first board meeting of the year on Wednesday.

Although no major policy or curriculum votes took place, public comment stole the show with people for and against comprehensive sex education.

Parent group Purple for Parents represented the opposition. Purple for Parents gained notoriety during the Red for Ed Movement in 2018 when they supported teachers but opposed the walkouts.

Fast forward to this week, Purple for Parents are taking the mic during the Chandler Unified School District's first Board meeting of the year, opposing comprehensive sex education, and claiming a conflict of interest with Board Member Lindsay Love, whose sister is currently Chair of the Board of Directors for Planned Parenthood Advocacy Group, a lobbyist group.

"We don't want any Planned Parenthood types, comprehensive sex education, brought into this district," said Michelle Dillard, a spokesperson for Purple for Parents. "The way that it is now is fine."

The district has no relationship with Planned Parenthood, and Planned Parenthood does not have any say in the district's sex Ed curriculum. Chandler Unified School District does not have any current plan in place to expand or change sex education in its schools.

Sex education guidelines are set by the State of Arizona. Current guidelines allow for parents to opt-in for their children to take the sex education classes.

"They have been attending meetings for the past year to disrupt anything that involves inclusion," said Lindsay Love, Governing Board Member for Chandler Unified School District in response to members of Purple For Parents' public comments during the meeting.

In Fall 2019, CUSD began a pilot program, sending its curriculum for 5th and 6th graders to parents of those students, looking for data and feedback.

"We wanted to pilot that information online and get some data, and I think after last night we're still digesting and determine what all that means for the district and how we can serve all of our children and their needs," said Love.