LGBTQ+ students in the Conejo Valley Unified School District but are still overlooked in the curriculum and on campuses. CVUSD parent, Megan Goebel, recognized this and decided to form Unity Conejo.
Unity Conejo’s several subcommittees are working towards a curriculum and school district that offers a safe space for all LGBTQ+ identities.
Many students and parents alike have expressed that the outdated curriculum is one of the main contributors to the stigma surrounding these identities. The curriculum subcommittee of Unity Conejo is dedicated to making sure the district finds a new curriculum that complies with the California Healthy Youth Act, later renamed the California Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Act, and the FAIR Education Act.
The California Healthy Youth Act, which first took effect in 2016, ensures that all school districts must integrate a curriculum that provides accurate information on topics such as gender identity and sexual orientation. Conejo Valley Unified School District must also comply with the FAIR Education Act, which makes it so curriculum, more specifically history curriculums, must include contributions from minority groups. This includes historical contributions from the LGBTQ+ community.
“I think it will help us understand each other more,” Goebel said,” and understand that it’s not just something that we hear about in movies or from our peers who have only heard things a certain way, but it will actually give us the opportunity to learn about these things scientifically, medically accurate, age-appropriate”.
Besides calling into school board meetings and amplifying student voices on their social media, Unity Conejo is also working with the Southern California representative within ACLU to get updated curriculums into Conejo Valley schools.
“She’s offering to give information on language and how we interact with our district as well as our teachers and our staff to make us more compliant and inclusive as a district,” Goebel said.
Unity Conejo is all focused on allowing student voices to be heard and acknowledged. Students who are a part of the student subcommittee have the opportunity to speak at school board meetings on behalf of the organization, as well as write letters to The Acorn. The student subcommittee works to share experiences of discrimination on school campuses and have a public Google form to submit those experiences here.
“Our student’s that have experienced or been apart of or seen some sort of discrimination whether that’s in the classroom or within the curriculum that they read,” Goebel said, “ we need them more than ever to help drive the narrative and the work of what we do for Unity Conejo”.