Washington State Legislature Passes Controversial Sex-ed Bill, Prompting Ire From Parents, School Officials
The Washington State Legislature has passed a bill that, if signed into law, would put in place radical changes to school sex-education plans that will affect children as young as five. Critics contend the new plan amounts to “grooming” by desensitizing young children to overt sexuality and advances a left-wing ideology.
The Washington Senate voted 27-21 over the weekend on a bill for a new “comprehensive” sex-education program for K-12 students. The Seattle Times reports the bill, if signed into law by Democrat Governor Jay Inslee, will be phased in over two years and will require students in grades six through 12 to be taught the new standards beginning with the 2021-2022 school year.
Democratic proponents of the bill contend the new content emphasizes “affirmative consent” and will help to prevent future victimization of young girls, but opponents contend the content will have the opposite effect.
“Some of the approved curriculum is so graphic legislators couldn’t quote it in proceedings without getting ‘gaveled’ or silenced,” said Katy Faust, children’s rights activist with Them Before Us. “Capital television had to run a mature content warning when airing debate coverage, the equivalent of a rated R movie…. Of course it’s heavily lobbied by Planned Parenthood, who has a vested interest in prematurely sexualizing their prospective clients/cash cows. This is not education. This is propaganda, ideology, and grooming.”
Faust took to Facebook to highlight some of the disturbing content approved under the new standards. A sex-education program by the anti-life, pro-LGBT group Advocates for Youth that meets the bill’s standard is called 3R and promotes gender theory, promiscuity, and abortion. Lesson plans in this program including teaching 14-year-olds how to negotiate for sex and educating ninth graders on “condom confidence.”
Other materials that comply with the bill’s standards make negative references to “devout Catholics” and conservative households that leave their children ignorant on the subject of sex. The lessons tout “mutual masturbation” and “bathing together” as risk-free alternatives to sex. Others include instructions on bondage, transgenderism, obtaining abortions, and receiving HPV vaccines without parental consent.
Predictably, the standards were heavily promoted by Planned Parenthood, Faust notes.
Opponents to the legislation raised concerns over the appropriateness of the curriculum standards before the vote.
“Who will decide what is age-appropriate, where there is clearly going to be differences in opinion?” asked Republican State Senator Steve O’Ban. “Should that be a government-mandated decision from OSPI [Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction] or should that be based upon the values of parents as reflected in their school boards and schools? We’ve always believed that the best government is the one that is local.”
“To the age-appropriateness, I saw some of the same material that Senator O’Ban was speaking about,” said Republican State Senator Keith Wagoner, referencing lessons the OSPI had cleared for fifth-graders. “And I can tell you, if it was a photograph instead of a drawing it would be pornography.”
Efforts to eliminate some of the more radical provisions were rejected by Democrats, including amendments to cut content related to sexual roleplay and one that would have allowed parents and teachers to opt-out of the lesson plans.
The bill is on its way to Democrat Governor Jay Inslee’s desk, where it is expected to be signed.
State Senator Curtis King contends the new provisions will do nothing more than “drive more people into private schools or home schooling so parents will have some control over what their kids are taught.”
Parents and teachers are not taking the mandates sitting down. A Facebook group opposing the bill has more than 2,700 members, with parents threatening to do the very thing Senator King predicted.
Parents also showed up at the Spokane Public Schools Building, as well as at the state Capitol in Olympia to protest on Wednesday.
Erin Kranz, one of the organizers of the protest, said the curriculum goes “far and beyond” what is appropriate and that she believes in parental rights.
“We want to keep this conversation at home.…They [conversations about sex] should not be done in co-ed classrooms starting at age 5,” Kranz said.
On Tuesday, the Mead School Board joined parents in sending a letter to Governor Inslee, urging him to veto the bill, KREM 2 reports.
Board President Carmen Green wrote in the letter that the “legislative overreach” violates the need for local control.
“We understand the need for Human Growth & Development education in our schools. However, we strongly believe local school districts should have majority control when it comes to establishing learning standards in the area of sexual health education,” the letter states.
Green also emphasized that there were financial implications to the imposition of the new standards, claiming the bill creates an “unfunded mandate” that would strain school districts already struggling to follow the adoption cycle for new instructional materials.
Image: Oko_SwanOmurphy via iStock / Getty Images Plus
Raven Clabough acquired her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English at the University of Albany in upstate New York. She currently lives in Pennsylvania and has been a writer for The New American since 2010.
Published with Permission of thenewamerican.com