FREMONT, Calif. – The growing divide between Americans with traditional values and those with secular-progressive values is on full display in one California school district.

At the center of this particular ideological battle is a sex ed textbook for ninth-graders that contains references to oral sex, masturbation, bondage, vibrators and other erotic toys, along with diagrams of male and female sex organs in different stages of arousal.

“There is also information and safety guidelines regarding dating websites, descriptions of sexual positions and a section on ‘atypical sexual behaviors and paraphilias, or sexual mental disorders,’” SFGate.com reports.

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Some 2,300 parents in the Fremont Unified School District – which is not too far from San Francisco – are circulating a petition to ban “Your Health Today,” the 392-page text they deem “pornographic” and inappropriate for 14 year olds, the Washington Post reports.

The book’s description of “erotic touch” provides a good example of what parents are concerned about:

Touch is a sensual form of communication that can elicit feelings of tenderness and affections as well as sexual feelings. It is an important part of foreplay, touching that increases sexual arousal and precedes sexual intercourse. Some areas of the body are more sensitive to touch than others. Skin in the nonspecific erogenous zones of the body (the inner thighs, armpits, shoulders, feet, ears, and sides of the back and neck) contain more nerve endings than do many other areas; these areas are capable of being aroused by touch.

Skin in the specific erogenous zones (penis, clitoris, vulva, perineum, lips, breasts and buttocks) has an even higher density of nerve endings, and nerve endings are closer to the skin surface. The landscape of erotic touch includes holding hands, kissing, stroking, caressing, squeezing, tickling, scratching, and massaging.

“Your Health Today” also addresses bondage and discipline “in which restriction of movement (e.g. using handcuffs or ropes) or sensory deprivation (using blindfolds or masks) is employed for sexual enjoyment.”

The textbook isn’t all about sex; it features chapters on nutrition, fitness, stress, body weight, body image and other issues, SFGate.com reports. 

In a letter to the Fremont Unified school board, mother Asfia Ahmed said she was “shocked” by the book’s contents and said she was “willing to pursue legal action,” presumably to get the book removed from classrooms, SFGate.com reports.

The threat of a lawsuit got school leaders’ attention, and they recently decided to temporarily suspend the use of “Your Health Today.” Fremont Unified officials are considering going back to the district’s previous health textbook, the Washington Post reports.

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“Your Health Today” publisher, McGraw-Hill, has promised to revise future editions, presumably to tone it down fro high-schoolers. The book is mostly used at the college level.

Americans with traditional values see this resolution of the controversy as proof that local control of schools works. Since taxpayers own the schools, they are well within their rights to raise concerns about the appropriateness of any instructional materials and to petition their elected representatives (the school board) to make changes.

Progressives and secularists, on the other hand, view the removal of the explicit text from Fremont Unified classrooms as a victory for knuckle-dragging conservatives who are afraid of letting children enjoy their sexuality.

A recent article on TheFrisky.com provides an example of the snarky comments being made by leftists:

If there’s one thing we gotta be sure about when it comes to sex education textbooks, it’s that they can’t be too sexy. We wouldn’t would impressionable children getting any ideas that sex can be pleasurable, right?! Teachers and parents in Fremont, California, gave input leading to the purchase of Your Health Today …. But other parents are griping about the book being “pornography,” cranky that the sex ed book is more appropriate for the college level thanks to drawings of anatomy and topics like birth control, foreplay and masturbation. And God forbid, it even mentions orgasms!

Slate.com – a site run by the “smart set” – also ridicules critics of “Your Health Today” as being uncomfortable with the “book’s forthrightness about the fact that people have sex for fun.”

“It’s narcissistic of parents to put their own discomfort with their children’s emerging sexualities in front of their children’s need for useful and empowering information,” writes Slate.com’s Amanda Marcotte. “Hopefully, the Fremont school board will let this parental tantrum die down and reinstate Your Health Today in classrooms.”

In other words, hopefully school leaders ignore their employers (the parents and taxpayers) and do whatever they want.

This is the “we know best” mindset that traditional Americans are up against in the Education Establishment, which controls everything from the Head Start program all the way up to the nation’s Ivy League colleges.

Hopefully, more Americans are waking up to the fact that public schools have been highly politicized by left-wing activists and have emerged as Ground Zero in the ongoing left-right culture wars.