“There’s a teacher at El Dorado who’s been accused of teaching inappropriate material to her children – I’m here to support that teacher, unequivocally,” said a speaker at the Tuesday Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District.
They were referring to Judy Rehburg, a California high school teacher who can be seen in a now-viral internet video explaining anatomy, anal sex and sex toys. According the Orange County Register, some parents filed an official complaint about the lesson and Rehburg has been placed on administrative leave.
“I want you to know this is a student-asked question,” said the speaker Tuesday. He said that Rehburg answered it “in as good of faith,” as she could with a “complete and well-thought out answer to keep them from having to go home and Google it.”
A course syllabus for an anatomy and physiology class posted online by Rehburg includes reproductive and urinary systems and pregnancy as topics. In the video, Rehburg explains how sex toys – which she noted are sold over the counter at popular retailers such as Target and CVS – stimulate the “g-spot” and prostate gland.
A spokesperson confirmed that Rehburg, was placed on administrative leave, the Orange County Register reported.
“District employees are trusted to exercise professional judgment when deciding whether or not a particular issue is suitable for study or discussion,” said school spokesperson Alyssa Griffiths. “In the classroom, employees act on behalf of the district and are expected to follow the adopted curriculum, and they should not advocate personal opinions or viewpoints.”
According to the Register, the California Board of Education approved statewide comprehensive sex education laws to include inclusivity for health education under the California Healthy Youth Act in 2016. Three years later, it was modified to include education for LGBTQ+ sexual health.
However, the outlet said the PYLUSD board “has become known for taking action against what it views as progressive integration in the classroom.”
For example, the board banned the teaching of critical race theory from the classroom last year. It was the first district in Orange County and Cal State Fullerton decided to pull its student teachers from the district afterwards.
Another speaker at the Tuesday meeting who identified himself as a former student of Rehburg’s, and a current Cal State Fullerton student, also defended the teacher.
“She is one of the most amazing teachers I’ve ever had,” he told the school board.
A person who identified themselves as a parent activist said “that was a question to refer to a child’s parent,” regarding Rehburg’s answer.
On social media, the clip of Rehburg has garnered positive and negative responses. While some claim the video is an example of “grooming,” others note that her answer should not be taken out of context.
The Orange County Register said the Association of Placentia-Linda Educators, which represents Rehburg, declined to comment. It also said Rehburg could not be immediately reached.
Clashes over education in the U.S. – particularly the coverage of race and LGBTQ+ issues – have been hot button topics across the country in recent years. One particularly notable case is the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, also known as “Don’t Say Gay” bill, in Florida.
“I don’t think that it is reasonable to believe that any student that would have these questions would go to their parents asking about these,” said another Tuesday speaker who identified themselves as a junior at El Dorado High School. “Mrs. Rehburg created a safe situation for us students to ask questions and she answered them anatomically correctly in her anatomy class, which is available to juniors and seniors.”