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Sex Ed… and the Reds? Reconsidering the Anaheim Battle over Sex Education, 1962-1969

  • Natalia Mehlman (a1)

Two weeks before the Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD) broke for Christmas vacation in 1968, district secretary Alice Lupiano typed a phone memo for Superintendent Paul Cook: “Abusive telephone call at 1:00 p.m., 12/9/1968.” She matter-of-factly described the caller's death threats and allegations of her own promiscuity, and, before pulling the sheet from the roller, added a final line: “I didn't lose my cool.”

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1 Except public figures, all names are pseudonyms; this secretary signed “A.L.”

2 Alice Lupiano [pseud.] to Superintendent Paul Cook, phone message, December 9, 1968, correspondence file, AUHSD Board of Trustees (BOT) papers.

3 Association for Decency in California to Paul Cook, letter, 1969, correspondence file, BOT Papers.

4 Ibid.

5 Breasted, Mary, Oh! Sex Education (New York: Praeger Books, 1970).

6 “Watered down” is how the curriculum's fate was widely described. See “Mrs. Pippenger Takes a Stand on a Major Issue,” Los Alamitos Crusader, February 13, 1970; Cook, Paul, interview by Michael Jackson, KABC, January 17, 1970, correspondence file, AUHSD BOT Papers.

7 FLSE Course Outline, Fifth Revision, June 1968, i, FLSE box, Local History Room, Anaheim Public Library (LHR-APL).

8 Schulz, Esther D. and Williams, Sally D., Family Life and Sex Education: Curriculum and Instruction (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World Inc., 1968). Foreword by Mary Calderone.

9 See Moran, Jeffrey, Teaching Sex: The Shaping of Adolescence in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000); Irvine, Janice M., Talk About Sex: The Battles Over Sex Education in the United States (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002); McGirr, Lisa, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001); Martin, William, With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America (New York: Broadway Books, 1996); Hottois, James, and Milner, Neal A., The Sex Education Controversy: A Study of Politics, Education, and Morality (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1975); The discussion of sex education in Jonathan Zimmerman's acclaimed Whose America? Culture Wars in the Public Schools (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002) is omitted from the historiographical discussion, since he does not discuss Anaheim specifically.

10 Moran, , Teaching Sex, 174,213. Talk About Sex focuses primarily on the discourses and silences surrounding sex education and how it has been a fulcrum for right-wing mobilization.

11 Martin, , With Godon Our Side, 112–15.

12 McGirr, , Suburban Warriors, 15–16.

13 Breasted, , Oh! Sex Education

14 A second source on the Anaheim battle dots the bibliographies of historians: Hottois, James and Milner, Neal A., The Sex Education Controversy: A Study of Politics, Education and Morality (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1975). Scholars of organizational behavior, they cite the Anaheim case as one of two prototypes of sex education controversies. Their evidence derives almost exclusively from Breasted.

15 Nortronics, Northrop, North American Aviation, and Kwikset Locks followed General Electric in relocating to Anaheim.

16 Booth, Louise, interview with author, 2004.

17 Findlay, John, Magic Lands: Western Cityscapes and American Culture after 1940 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), 92. In the first two months of operation, profits of local enterprise grew by 22 percent. Anaheim Bulletin, “Survey Shows Big Business Gain in Anaheim Since Disneyland Opening,” August 17, 1955.

18 Westcott, John, Anaheim: City of Dreams: an Illustrated History. (Chatsworth, CA: Windsor Publications, 1990), 72.

19 Ibid., 82–83.

20 “GOP Women to meet at Knott's Berry Farm Tuesday,” Anaheim Gazette, February 23, 1961; American Free Enterprise Association, headquartered at Knott's Berry Farm, “The American Way” pamphlet, n.d., Knott's Berry Farm file, LHR-APL.

21 Queen of Halloween to be Chosen,” Anaheim Gazette, September 15, 1955.

22 Westcott, City of Dreams, 52.

23 “City's Halloween Festival Opens Saturday: Event Opens with Kickoff Breakfast in Downtown Area,” Anaheim Gazette, October 29, 1961.

24 Hunter, Waldo, “Oblong Views From an Egg-Shaped Head,” Anaheim Gazette, July 7 1955.

25 “Kwikset Announces Public School Week,” Anaheim Gazette, April 21, 1955.

26 Advertisement, “Kwikset Salutes the Community,” Anaheim Gazette, May 5, 1955.

27 “Anaheim to Pay Homage to Industry; ‘Industrial Queen’ to Be Selected,” Anaheim Gazette, March 24, 1955.

28 AH Boys State Opinions on Short Skirts, Hairdos,” ANORANCO, February 17, 1961.

29 “Anaheim's Dress Board Presents Year's Rules,” ANORANCO, September 21, 1962.

30 Booth, Louise, One to Twenty-Eight: A History of the Anaheim Union High School District (Anaheim, CA:AUHSD, 1980), 106112, 197.

31 Ibid., 153; “Polite Connies Honor Boys at Sadie Hawkins,” ANORANCO, May 3, 1963.

32 Davis, Natalie Zemon, Society and Culture in Early Modern France: Eight Essays by Natalie Zemon Davis (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1975), 131.

33 Second Beatnik Ball Scheduled,” ANORANCO, March 9, 1960.

34 Want After Game Dances?,” ANORANCO, November 4, 1960; “Are you an Interdigitator?” ANORANCO, December 2, 1960; “Munching in Class Regarded as Downfall of AH Grades,” ANORANCO, January 3, 1961.

35 Retraction,” ANORANCO, January 3, 1961.

36 Anti-Red Program Planned by School,” Anaheim Gazette, March 23, 1961.

37 McGirr, , Suburban Warriors, 54.

38 Attitudes Toward Communism Outlined to Committee of 150,” Anaheim Gazette, February 9, 1961; “Youth Target of Reds, Claim,” Anaheim Bulletin, February 28, 1961; “Anti-Red Rally Slated,” Anaheim Gazette, August 24, 1961. Disneyland itself continued to nurture considerable links with the AUHSD, hosting school drama and choral performances. Tellingly, the student body of one school voted to change its name to “Walt Disney,” and Disney continued to hire teachers and coaches as security staff rather than police officers, continuing to blur the boundaries between park and community.

39 Jessica Wendell [pseud.], email interview with author, January 14, 2004.

40 Dudziak, Mary L., Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000).

41 Local Women Mark World Community Day at Church,” Anaheim Gazette, November 19, 1955; “Keynote Talk Will be Given by Imhoff, Dr.,” Anaheim Gazette, March 2, 1961.

42 Unsigned editorial, Anaheim Gazette, February 16, 1956.

43 “This Day of “Labels,” Anaheim Gazette, April 27, 1961.

44 David Wells [pseud.], email interview with author, January 2004. Wells also wrote a short story about this year later.

45 Jones, Lowell B., Director of Curriculum, to Cook, Paul W., Superintendent, memorandum re: Sex Education—A Brief Survey of What Is Being Taught in Orange County High Schools, December 28, 1962, FLSE box, LHR-APL. In 1962, no surrounding communities had comprehensive programs, and most curricula were even sparser than that in Anaheim. Moreover, it is important to note that Superintendent Cook had introduced other progressive curricular reforms to the AUHSD: multimedia foreign language instruction and a creative writing program met little opposition. The attempt of several schools to implement “flexible scheduling” in the late 1960s, however, sparked significant criticism, though not nearly to the same extent as sex education.

46 Public memorandum by Superintendent Paul Cook, W., “Family Life and Sex Education Program in the Anaheim Union High School District,” n.d., FLSE box, LHR-APL. The film in question was As Boys Grow, screened at Magnolia High School.

47 He emphasized the breadth of this endorsement in a later memorandum ostensibly directed toward opponents: “THIS OVERWHELMING SUPPORT HAS BEEN THE FOUNDATION OF THE SUCCESS OF OUR [FLSE] PROGRAM (emphasis in original).” Survey, “Public Opinion Study Concerning Sex Education in Junior and Senior High Schools of Anaheim Union High School District,” November, 1963, Mrs Harold J. McAferty folder, FLSE box, LHR-APL.

48 Course evaluations, Senior Problems class, 1965, FLSE box, LHR-APL.

49 Ibid.

50 Calter, Janice, email interview, January 28, 2004.

51 Breasted, , Oh! Sex Education, 25.

52 Westcott, , City of Dreams, 77.

53 AUHSD and City of Anaheim, “Amendment to Lease of Facilities,” May 28, 1964, BOT Papers.

54 Westcott, , City of Dreams, 78.

55 Ibid.; John Steinbacher, “The Child Seducers Revisited” American Mercury (Fall 1970): 5–8.

56 Anaheim Police Officers Association, A History of the Anaheim Police Department (Dallas: Taylor Publishing Company, 1992).

57 Booth, , One to Twenty-Eight, 122, 220.

58 Ibid., 106.

59 Ibid., 222.

60 Ibid.

61 “School Board Recognizes ASTA as ‘Official’ Group,” Anaheim Bulletin, September 25, 1965; Ibid., 276.

62 “High School Supt. Cook Reported Leaving Post,” Anaheim Bulletin, September 23, 1969. Cook introduced multimedia instruction into language classes and a creative writing program in the 1960s. Under his administration, the district's first female principal was also selected in 1962. He did, however, resist unionization. Cook came to the high school superintendency in 1957, after six years leading the elementary schools.

63 Anonymous, email to Los Alamitos High School Alumni message board, 2003, Los Alamitos, where flexible scheduling remained in place until 1977, also supported FLSE most strongly. Los Alamitos left the AUHSD in 1979.

64 Booth, , Fulfilling A Dream: The History of Chapman University (Villa Park, CA: Donald R. Booth and Associates, 2001), 189; Booth, interview with author; “Girls Join All-Male 4-H Club,” Anaheim Bulletin, October 8, 1962.

65 Wigginton, Mark, “Do You Want Johnny to Do Dirty Things? Heaven Forbid!” Los Alamitos Crusader, November 7, 1969.

66 Priscilla Feld [pseud.], email interview with author, January 2004.

67 Booth, , One to Twenty-Eight, 221.

68 Avery small sample of such articles, all from the Anaheim Bulletin, include: “Glue Sale Jails Fullerton Youth,” September 25, 1962; “Multiple Charges Jail Two Youths,” September 25, 1962; “BP Girl Charged with Lewd Life,” October 5, 1962; “VD Epidemic Amongst Us,” September 24, 1965; “Birth Control Issue Lurks Behind Scenes at Council,” September 25, 1965.

69 “Hoover Hits Rising Teenage Crime,” Anaheim Bulletin, September 2, 1965; “It's Up to the Parents,” Anaheim Bulletin, September 8, 1965.

70 Anaheim Drive-In Rowdyism Studied,” Anaheim Bulletin, September 24, 1965.

71 “Fischetti” cartoon, Anaheim Bulletin, September 8, 1965.

72 Bryson, Mary, “Points for Parents,” Anaheim Bulletin, January 3, 1969.

73 Jump in Unmarried Pregnant Girls in OC,” Anaheim Bulletin, October 25, 1968; Mrs Raymond Burns, L., letter to the editor, Anaheim Bulletin, November 11, 1969; “First OC Home for Unmarried Moms Delayed,” Anaheim Bulletin, January 3, 1969. Ventura, Stephanie J., Matthews, T. J., and Hamilton, Brady, “Births to Teenagers in the United States, 1940–2000,” National Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 49, No. 10, September 25, 2001.

74 Feld, email interview.

75 Melissa Finch [pseud.], email interview with author, February 2004.

76 Martin, , With God on Our Side, 106. James Townsend exhibits this equation of mention with advocacy: “There were more homosexuals made in that sex-education classroom than would have ever been here today, if they hadn't told them, ‘if you haven't tried it, don't knock it; it's just an alternative lifestyle.’ Well, they tried it, and they didn't knock it, and a lot of them became homosexuals as a direct result of being taught in that classroom. That's a fact.” Martin, Irvine, and Moran have all commented on this tendency to conflate discussion with espousal.

77 Kuchel Family Receives Honors,” Anaheim Gazette, April 20, 1961.

78 Committee Urges Kuchel to be Demo,” Anaheim Bulletin, September 3, 1965.

79 Capitol News Service, “Newsman Tells How: Officials Rigged Senator Kuchel ‘Whitewashing',” news release, September 1965. Thomas Kuchel biographical file, Local History Room, APL.

80 The State Department in 1950 authorized a formal inquiry into “homosexuals and other moral perverts in government.” These investigations, one of which allegedly apprehended Senator Kuchel, operated on the premise that homosexuals, already “morally enfeebled by sexual indulgence… would readily succumb to the blandishments of the spy” and betray the United States. See John D'Emilio and Estelle Freedman, Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America (New York: Harper & Row, 1988), 292–93.

81 By 1968, most workers on the Convention Center payroll were not from Anaheim; nor were nearly half of attendees to Stadium events. Anaheim Stadium and Convention Center, One-Year Update (Anaheim, 1968). Table 1, “Geographic Origin of Baseball Fans as Indicated by Mail Order and Season Ticket Purchases and Requests, 1968 Season, Table 11, “Convention Center Payroll.” Anaheim Stadium and Convention Center file, LHR-APL.

82 McGirr, , Suburban Warriors, title.

83 D'Emilio, , “Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin” (lecture, Modern Times Book Store, San Francisco, CA, January 18, 2004).

84 McGirr, , Suburban Warriors, 88.

85 Findlay, , Magic Lands, 64.

86 Advertisement, Union Oil Company of California, Anaheim Gazette, repeated through 1955.

87 McGirr, , Suburban Warriors; Bart Barnes, “Barry Goldwater, GOP Hero, Dies at 89,” Washington Post, May 30, 1998.

88 Allyn, David, Make Love Not War, The Sexual Revolution: An Unfettered History (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2000), 48.

89 D'Emilio, and Freedman, , Intimate Matters, 279, 287; Booth, discussion; Booth, One to Twenty-Eight. These changes in public discourse were acutely felt in Anaheim. Booth often shows the decay of youth culture that the social revolutions of the 1960s wrought by pointing to impoverishment of the public discourse. “Discourse became less formal, as students dispensed with ‘yes’ for ‘yeah man,’ or ‘bitching’ for ‘complaining,’ and accelerated their speech “in imitation of TV, where time cost money.” Interview with author, 2003.

90 D'Emilio, and Freedman, , Intimate Matters, 303–5.

91 Patterson, James, Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945–1974, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), 443. See U.S. Bureau of the Census, Urban Atlas, Tract Data for Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas: Anaheim—Santa Ana—Garden Grove, CA (Washington: U.S. Government Print Office, 1974). 0.01 percent of Anaheim's population was African American, according to 1970 census data.

92 Wendell, , email interview.

93 Feld, , email interview.

94 Wells, , email interview.

95 See email interviews, Wendell, and Finch.

96 Breasted, , Oh! Sex Education, 24.

97 Ibid. In 1974, the Melodyland theater became the Melodyland Christian Center.

98 McGirr; Irvine, Talk About Sex, 77.

99 Throughout the 1960s in California, right-wing groups circulated pamphlets depicting the communist threat as a revolution “in which Negroes are to play a major role.” See, for example, Americans for Civil Harmony, Violence or Reason?, pamphlet (San Jose, CA: September 3, 1966): Box 5, Folder 11, Margaret Meier Collection of Extreme Right Ephemeral Materials, 1930–1980, Special Collections, Stanford University Library.

100 Breasted, , Oh! Sex Education, 69.

101 Ibid., 68.

102 Ibid., 66.

103 Irvine, , Talk About Sex, 54.

104 Martin, , With God on Our Side, 111.

105 For Goldwater coffee Hatches, see McGirr.

106 John Steinbacher reported this meeting as a “clandestine meeting of leading sexologists,” in a series circulated nationally as evidence of the highly organized perversity of sex educators. Steinbacher also wrote the widely read Child Seducers (Fullerton, CA: Educator Publishers, 1970).

107 Breasted, , Oh! Sex Education, 136.

108 Ibid., 137.

109 Williams, Sally, quoted in Martin, With God on Our Side, 110.

110 Opponents of curricular reform often linked controversial curricula to outside intruders, frequently pointing to the federal government or other externally funded entities as threats to community and parental control of local schools. Whereas programs such as the inflammatory “Man: A Course of Study” (MACOS) curriculum did indeed benefit from federal funding, the traction such criticism of FLSE gained is notable, since the program was entirely homegrown. The criticism targeting both MACOS and FLSE, however, reflected similar themes: the denigration of American patriotism and the nuclear family, and the incursion of alien values to the local schoolhouse.

111 Williams, Sally, quoted in Martin, With God on Our Side, 110.

112 Ibid., 60.

113 Breasted, , Oh! Sex Education, 227.

114 Ibid., 206.

115 Schulz, Esther D. and Williams, Sally R., Family Life and Sex Education: Curriculum and Instruction (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1968),” vi.

116 Rafferty, Dr. Max, “Who Needs More Sex Education?” Anaheim Bulletin, December 28, 1964.

117 Breasted, , Oh! Sex Education, 114–15.

118 State Board Warns on Use, Ruling Deals Staggering Blow to New York Publishing Houses,” Anaheim Bulletin, April 11, 1969. Indeed, the headline of the Bulletin's article on the SIECUS ban in California speaks to the organization's symbolism for the “Eastern money power.”

119 Transcript, , Board of Trustees AUHSD Workshop meeting, October 17, 1968, 23–25, BOT Papers. Dr Reeves, speaking, referred to the California Liberalized Abortion Law, which allowed doctors to perform an abortion if the woman was in a state of impaired judgment, and the Sieroty Assembly Bill 656, which allowed children as young as twelve to receive treatment for venereal disease without parental permission.

120 Ibid., 31.

121 Ibid., 30–31.

122 Breasted, , Oh! Sex Education, 34.

123 Boettner, Jack, “Revised Sex Class Program Delayed by Anaheim Schools,” Los Angeles Times, October 24, 1969.

124 Boettner, Jack, “Anaheim Schools Revise Sex Studies,” Los Angeles Times, September 26, 1969.

125 Boettner, Jack, “Sex Education Leader's Fear of Firing Proves Groundless,” Los Angeles Times, September 25, 1969; Bell, Joseph N., “Speaking Out on Sex Education,” Los Angeles Times, November 20, 1987.

126 Sex Class Foes Take Fight to Washington,” Anaheim Bulletin, September 16, 1969; Emmons, Steve, “Foes of Sex Education Aim at Social Studies,” Los Angeles Times, April 11, 1970.

127 Transcript, , workshop meeting, 8.

128 Martin, , With God on Our Side, 104.

129 Parlour, Richard, quoted in Larry Schulz, “Call it What you Want—it leads to ‘trouble.”’ Arcadia News Post, November 19, 1969.

130 Cook Deplores FLI Conflict,” Anaheim Bulletin, December 4, 1969.

131 Family Life and Sex Education Course Outline, Grades Seven through Twelve, Fifth Revision, June 1968, ii.

132 Consultant Defends Sex Classes, Hits Right-Wingers,” Santa Ana Register, March 13, 1969.

133 FLSE Course Outline, 240.

134 Ibid., 240.

135 Ibid., 215.

136 Course Evaluations, 1965, LHR-APL.

137 Feld, , e-mail interview.

138 Transcript, , workshop meeting, 1.

139 One indication is the quantity of letters to the Bulletin from across the nation. On December 6, 1969, for example, the Bulletin printed letters from Tennessee, Texas, and Connecticut.

140 Foucault, Michel, The History of Sexuality, Part One: An Introduction (New York: Random House, 1978), 8.

141 Breasted, , Oh! Sex Education, 74.

142 Mayer, Lynette, letter to the editor, Anaheim Bulletin, December 6, 1969; Anonymous, letter to the editor, Anaheim Bulletin, September 6, 1969.

143 Transcript, , workshop meeting, 22.

144 Trustees Under Fire From Citizen Group,” Anaheim Bulletin, October 18, 1968.

145 “Silent Majority Should Stand Up and Be Counted Before It's Too Late,” Los Alamitos Crusader, November 7, 1969; “Mrs. Pippenger Takes a Stand on Major Issue,” Los Alamitos Crusader, February 13, 1970; “Premarital Sex Discussed Openly,” Los Alamitos Crusader, April 10, 1970.

146 Mrs. Pippenger Takes a Stand on Major Issue,” Los Alamitos Crusader, February 13,1970.

147 Sex Education Foe Confronts Students,” Los Angeles Times, May 12, 1970.

She has presented an earlier version of this paper at the History of Education Society annual meeting. Throughout the process of crafting this article, the author benefited immensely from the insight of her colleagues. In particular, she would like to thank Professor Estelle B. Freedman and the rest of the “co-authors” in Professor Freedman's 2004 graduate research seminar, Kari Zimmerman and Brenda Frink. Email:

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