Have we gone crazy? WA’s SB5395, SSB5689, SB5082
By Leanna Benn
Senate Bill 5395 is mandating every school in Washington State promote gender fluidity, transgenderism, the normalization of sexual activity of various kinds to under age, unmarried students and contraception with Planned Parenthood as the community resource. It grants special protection to a “protected class” when generally, all children are or should be a protected class.
“Comprehensive sexual health education must be consistent with the Washington State Health and Physical Education K-12 Learning Standards” but the standards change, have changed and will change again. They will change based on the election of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Effective until January 1, 2019, the definition of “protected class” includes, “Sexual orientation” means heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and gender expression or identity. As used in this definition, “gender expression or identity” means having or being perceived as having a gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression, whether or not that gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth.” But this RCW 49.60 does not protect people because of their creed or religion.
The bill requires that by September, 2019, the superintendent of public instruction must develop comprehensive sexual health education instructional materials review tools. The legislature is now approving control over materials that haven’t even had the required content defined.
Senate Bill 5689 relates to preventing harassment, intimidation, bullying, and discrimination in schools. It purports to make schools develop uniform policies to prohibit harassment, intimidation, or bullying by January 31, 2020. Seems odd that wouldn’t already be happening. As you read the bill, it is specifically for transgender students who require an expanded policy because additional situations facing students and schools.
No one wants any student harassed so the bill gets a pass. I contend the real reason for the bill is a New Section 4 at the end of the bill regarding teacher evaluation. This section protects teachers from negative evaluations if they bring in explicit materials. If they are “related to sexual orientation including gender expression or identity so long as the subject matter is age-appropriate and connected to the teacher’s content area.”
Under the current curriculum offerings, much of the material is totally inappropriate for the students. Most teachers can use any material to teach almost any subject if it is of interest to the teacher. You can teach measuring with micrometers the thickness of a condom or calculate the volume of a condom as a math class. This is one of the most devious education bills this session.
Senate Bill 5082 creates a 19 member committee to promote and expand social emotional learning to determine if your child is appropriate and record it in their permanent record. This record will follow them into college and potentially, the work place. I remember a shenanigan that I pulled in 7th grade. Never did it again but I certainly wouldn’t want it on my record. Haven’t you done something silly or inappropriate?
There will be Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) staff involved and committee members who will have reimbursed travel expenses. “The report must include accomplishments, state-level data regarding implementation of social emotional learning, identification of systemic barriers or policy changes necessary to promote and expand social emotional learning, and recommendations.” And “The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall align the programs it oversees with the standards for social emotional learning and integrate the standards where appropriate.”
Children develop at different ages. It is unfair to leave a negative mark that could be detrimental for an entire educational career. This “puts every child in the same mold” violating family values. For all the talk of inclusion this bill ignores different cultures, values and religions. Based on the values, which are completely suspect in Senate Bill 5395 and SSB 5689, would you want these agencies to mold the emotional learning, which are the values that guide your child’s behaviors?
Most egregious is that potentially, the collection of this hurtful data can be hacked. School records are accessible by many and youthful hackers who find schools records a delightful challenge.
Do legislators realize the expansive cost of sophisticated systems for each school district? The servers, the data entry time and salaries? And who would run the reports? Why would someone need a report about emotional/familial issues four to ten years from now? Due to cost, small districts would be pressured to have a larger system control the data. It would be even more harmful, if the OSPI took over the permanent emotion and social records of the families of Washington children.
OSPI asked for two of these bills and the Early Learning Committee the other. Are legislators at the beck and call of executive branch agency workers? Where is citizen input? Are we run by political pressure groups and agencies that make money from these policies? Legislators are to solve problems from their districts for their constituents. These bills are not from the families of Washington. They are not crafted to solve problems that citizens are having. The sponsors of these oppressive, immoral bills need to answer to their constituents or feel the pain in elections.