Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Despite opposition from thousands of parents, teachers and school officials around the state, the majority party in the House passed a bill to mandate comprehensive sex education for ALL grades, K-12.
If you recall, over 600 people came to Olympia to testify in the House Education Committee against Senate Bill 5395. You can watch a short video of that here. You can also watch a video we released earlier today to address some of our concerns with the bill.
Giving students accurate and informed resources in this area is extremely important. But these decisions – especially for our young elementary students – should be made locally with ample input from parents. The standards, morals, priorities, ethics and values in Olympia or Seattle are not the same as we have in Republic, Deer Park or Cusick.
This bill takes away local control. Whether to have sex education – and what's in that curriculum – is currently decided at the local level with input from parents. And while proponents of this bill like to talk about choice, the fact is, there is currently only ONE approved curriculum for elementary students and any new curriculum would still have to meet the standards set by the Office of the Superintendent of Instruction (OSPI).
As a mom and former school board member, I am appalled that the majority party would ignore the will of the majority of school officials, parents and teachers on an issue like this.
As the floor leader for my House Republican colleagues, I helped manage the introduction of over 200 amendments to the bill to address citizen concerns. However, in the end, Democrats only allowed 15 of those to be heard on the House floor. They defeated all of them and the bill eventually passed with no Republican support.
Today is a sad day as parents and local control lost out to the bureaucracy, values and morals of Olympia.