Letter: Return local control over sex ed to schools, families

Editor,

A recent letter to the editor sought to address Referendum 90. The author described the current sex ed requirements for Washington state schools but failed to explain what Ref. 90 actually does.

Nor did she include what the original law stated before ESSB 5395 was passed: “School districts may choose to provide, or not to provide, sexual health education.”

Until last spring, school districts had a choice. Now that choice has been eliminated. By rejecting Ref-90, voters will give back that choice.

The rejection of R-90 will NOT affect three-quarters of the school districts that already teach Comprehensive Sexual Health Education (CSHE).

The referendum simply returns the freedom to choose to the districts that disagree with the CSHE philosophy.

The superintendent requested ESSB 5395 Comprehensive Sexual Health Education of Public Instruction, not a state legislator nor a citizen.

Over 21,000 phone calls were made, thousands of emails sent, and thousands came to Olympia to oppose the bill.

But these citizens were ignored.

Refusing to be ignored, these citizens collected twice as many signatures needed to put this referendum on the ballot, breaking a state record.

And they achieved it while the entire state sheltered in place.

This new law mandates that all school districts must teach CSHE even when the curriculum violates the moral values of a school’s community. But shouldn’t all children be taught sex ed?

Why would anyone be opposed to having students learn about their changing bodies and their sexual health?

ESSB 5395 defines CSHE as “Recurring instruction in human development and reproduction that is medically accurate, age-appropriate and inclusive of all students.”

But it teaches a whole lot more.

The curricula contain graphic materials that the opposition couldn’t show at hearings due to obscenity laws.

It also encourages premature sexual experimentation, declaring that children — even young children — have the right to seek sexual pleasure. Teaching children to be sexually active at a young age is neither “age-appropriate” nor “medically accurate.”

CSHE damages the minds of developing children and puts their health at risk.

State Office of Superin-tendent guidelines only allow schools to use curricula that adhere to the worldview of SIECUS and Planned Parenthood. The Healthy Youth Act of 2007 only allows “risk reduction” concepts to be taught.

It outlawed traditional “risk avoidance” curricula.

With many students failing core subjects, why isn’t the state superintendent focusing on improving the instruction on the 3Rs?

Why instead is the OSPI forcing ALL school districts to teach CSHE?

The OSPI is following SIECUS’s new motto, “Sex Ed for Social Change.” Do you want our society based on the perverted values of Alfred Kinsey?

ESSB 5395 has removed control from parents and school boards. Now unaccountable, unelected state bureaucrats control what our children learn in sex ed.

Reject Ref. 90 to return local control over sex ed to the schools and families.

Lorinda Newton

Clinton

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