Brenda Fam, a Florida school board member from District 6 demanded to know on behalf of concerned parents how a proposed sex education curriculum defined the term “woman.” In a school board meeting, Fam wanted a clear answer to her question so that parents can decide whether to pull their children out of the district.
Due to pressure from the Florida Department of Education, Broward County Public Schools has reworked their sex education curriculum and is presently debating on the same. The debate heated up during a school board meeting on March 28, on what the meaning of a woman is. Fan said that BCPS’ parents have asked her.
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“Some of my parents have had some questions that I actually posed and didn’t get a response for. They want to know what the definition of a woman is for sexual education curriculum in Broward County,” Fam said. “They want to know what individuals can get pregnant and what individuals can give birth. They want to know those definitions as well. I think this, especially, with school vouchers and school choice, this is going to weigh heavy on them in whether or not they choose to leave the school system or whether they stay based on some of these responses. And they are very serious, and they want answers to these questions.”
According to the superintendent, there is “no clear-cut answer.” “They want to know what the definition of what a woman is in the sexual education curriculum for Broward County. That question is more than a question. It is a thought process, it’s an examination, a lot of laws based on a lot of things,” Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Earlean C. Smiley said.
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Fam pressed on asking why the board is not able to define clearly “what’s a man and what’s a woman.” Sarah Leonardi of District 3, another school board member, responded to Fam.
“This curriculum, the policy, the support guide, the goal of all of us being here is to support children and to educate children,” Leonardi said. “And not to engage in a political line of questioning that distracts from that mission. I just think it’s very important that we stick to the purpose of, again, the curriculum, the policy, the support guide, which is to support children and not get distracted by other agendas.”