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Tipsheet

Washington State Senate Wants Sex Ed for Kindergarteners

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

The Washington State Senate passed a proposal Wednesday that will require all grades, including kindergarten, to learn about sex.

SB 5395 passed in a 28-21 vote, according to the Associated Press. It passed with no Republican votes.

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“By September 1, 2020,” the proposal reads. “Every public school must provide comprehensive sexual health education as an integral part of the curriculum that is evidence-informed, medically and scientifically accurate, age-appropriate and inclusive for all students regardless of their protected class status.”

The proposal doesn’t define what is “age-appropriate” for each grade, but it states that the “superintendent of public instruction, in consultation with the department of health, shall develop a list of comprehensive sexual health education curricula that are consistent with the 2005 guidelines for sexual health information and disease prevention, the Washington state health and physical education K–12 learning standards, and this section.”

Mandatory lessons will include ways of preventing unintended pregnancy, how to recognize behaviors that can lead to sexual violence and the importance of consent, according to the proposal.

A sponsor of the proposal, Washington State Sen. Claire Wilson (D), said that the youngest students will learn lessons such as what constitutes as “good touch” and “bad touch.” The bill doesn’t mention this.

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If parents wish to take their children out of the curriculum, the bill says that they can do so, “upon filing a written request with the school district board of directors or, or the principal of the school their child attends."

Wilson added that she was motivated to pass the bill because of the girls she came across when she was a teacher in Tacoma, who were "pregnant and parenting while not having training."

Republican senators strongly opposed the bill, claiming that it forces a Seattle’s social ideals on the rest of the state.

"This legislation is not about sex education, but about a social agenda . . . a social agenda with a world view," Sen. Doug Ericksen (R) said. “Why is Seattle allowed to tell me in Ferndale how our school is to be run?"

Sen. Mike Padden (R) said that, “What they (constituents) don't like is people jamming Seattle values down their throats and that is what they are doing here."

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