Under the bills, Kraft says educators would be required to provide instruction to children that teach values that may not align with the values of parents and families
Rep. Vicki Kraft is calling on parents across Washington state to be on alert for at least three bills making their way through the House Education Committee that she says would usurp parental rights in the education of their children.
“Legislation just moved into the House from the Senate that is very concerning to parents. It’s the classic case of government telling parents it knows what’s best for their children,” said Kraft, R-Vancouver, who serves on the House Education Committee.
Under the bills, Kraft says educators would be required to provide instruction to children that teach values that may not align with the values of parents and families. Included in that list is Senate Bill 5395, a measure requested by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal, that would require comprehensive sex education in public schools, starting as early as kindergarten and first grade.
“It’s shocking to me and many parents across the state the Superintendent of Public Instruction is pushing a curriculum that discusses sex acts in lessons to very young children. These are terms and details that even make adults feel uncomfortable,” said Kraft. “Proponents say parents can opt their children out of these classes. However, parents have expressed concern that may not be the case.’”
In addition, Kraft called attention to Senate Bill 5082, a measure that would create a committee to promote and expand “social emotional learning” from kindergarten through the 12th grade.
“Section Three of this bill is most concerning. It discusses ‘cultural competency’ as including ‘knowledge of student cultural histories and contexts, as well as family norms and values in different cultures.’ It mandates that standards for cultural competency be integrated within a curriculum of social emotional learning,” noted Kraft.
“In other words, under this bill, public schools would teach their definition of ‘family norms and values’ to your children, which may not line up with your family values,” added Kraft. “Essentially, state government would push its agenda on your kids with its definition of social and emotional values, as identified by a governor-appointed committee — beliefs that may deeply conflict with your own family values. That’s just wrong.”
The third measure is Senate Bill 5689 that would require school districts to adopt an anti-harassment, intimidation and bullying policy to protect transgender students.
“Obviously, there should be no tolerance in our public schools for any kind of harassment, intimidation and/or bullying of any student. Every school district in the state is required to have policies in place against harassment, intimidation and bullying. Those policies cover every student, regardless of gender,” said Kraft. “So why are we singling out one designation of students over other students? Shouldn’t all of our children be protected against discrimination, bullying, intimidation and harassment?”
Public hearings were held Thursday in the House Education Committee on Senate Bills 5082 and 5689. Tuesday, a public hearing was held in the same committee on the comprehensive sex education measure, Senate Bill 5395. Hundreds of people filled several committee rooms and nearly 100 people signed up to testify on the bill.
“Many of those who came to these public hearings are from Clark County. A lot of them are parents courageous enough to speak out. However, we need to hear from even more people to stop these bills,” said Kraft.
“If you are a parent who wants to preserve the right to teach your child your own morals and family values, and not allow government to step in between you and your child, it is time to speak up now! I ask you to call your legislators in Olympia — and especially those who serve on the House Education Committee,” added Kraft. “Tell them it’s you, the parents, who have the right to raise your children the way you see fit — with your own morals, values and social training — not the government’s values.”
Legislators may be reached through the toll-free legislative hotline: 1 (800) 562-6000. For more information, call Kraft at (360) 786-7994 or go to the legislative website: www.leg.wa.gov.
Information provided by Washington State House Republican Communications, houserepublicans.wa.gov