The Connecticut State Department of Education implemented a “Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework” for schools in 2021. The framework implements Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and gender ideology into the health and physical education for students. On page twelve of the framework’s document for third grade through the fifth grade, the “sexual health” content includes teaching students “human sexual development and the role of hormones (e.g., romantic and sexual feelings, masturbation, mood swings, timing of pubertal onset)” and “how people are similar and different (e.g., sexual identity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, etc.).” That now appears to be removed.
Parents Defending Education received a report that this framework’s wording was changed almost immediately after a gubernatorial debate in Connecticut on November 1, 2022. During the speed round of the debate, the moderator asked if “sex education in schools [should] include instruction about gender identity.” Despite the state’s curriculum framework, Governor Ned Lamont stated: “It doesn’t and it shouldn’t.” PDE did verify that the wording of the framework has been changed but could not verify if the change occurred right after the debate. The new version of the framework states that it was updated in May 2022 but the link was broken just hours after the debate and that is driving some of the questions and doubt.
The updated “Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework” changed the wording for “sexual health” content for the third grade through the fifth grade. The twelfth page now simply states that students will be taught “human sexual development and the role of hormones” and “how people are similar and different.”
Changes also occurred for “sexual health” content for the sixth grade through the eighth grade. The original document stated that students will learn “sexual activity and their associated risks (i.e., vaginal, anal, oral)” and “the significance of the physical changes in puberty and the potential role of hormone blockers on young people who identify as transgender.” The new version simply states that students will learn about “sexual activity and their associated risks” and “the significance of the physical changes in puberty.”
The definition for the term “sexual intercourse” was also changed in the new version. The original framework stated: “Sexual intercourse may mean different things to different people, but could include behaviors such as vaginal sex, oral sex, or anal sex.” The new version provides the following definition of the term: “Sexual contact between individuals involving penetration.”
Contrary to the governor’s response in the debate, the new version of the framework still includes gender ideology in the “sexual health” curriculum for the sixth grade through the eighth grade. The framework explains that students will “define and explain differences between cisgender, transgender, gender nonbinary, gender expansive, and gender identity.” For the ninth grade through the twelfth grade, the framework explains that students will “differentiate between sexual orientation, sexual behavior, and sexual identity.”
The original framework also listed the organization “Advocates for Youth” as a resource. The organization is known for introducing gender ideology and transgender issues into the curriculum of classes for students as young as elementary school. The organization provides schools with lesson plans that include teaching kindergarteners about “different kinds of families” and first graders about “gender roles.”
Previous “Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework”:
Updated “Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework”: