Vancouver resident Julia Dawn Seaver shares her thoughts on Referendum 90 on Tuesday’s general election ballot
Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author alone and do not reflect the editorial position of ClarkCountyToday.com
The nearly two-year statewide battle over sex ed — two and one half years for those of us who started with the battle in Battle Ground — will soon be over.
The law mandating every public school to provide K-12 comprehensive sex ed (CSE) will go into effect unless enough people turn out to vote Reject R-90, to repeal the law. Planned Parenthood and their cronies outraised the CSE opposition four-to-one. CSE proponents were given cover by a media that refused to question their vague generalizations about what the bill would do, about who gets to determine what’s age-appropriate (it’s not parents), and absolutely refused to print any of the curricula examples despite them being readily available.
But parents and allies were resourceful and used social media to share examples of OSPI reviewed/approved curricula that clearly show their idea of age-appropriate and medically accurate are not in line with those of most families. And we must have hit a nerve. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has been removing links from their website. The direct link to The 3 Rs curriculum that was highlighted in posts revealing its explicit content, disappeared along with several other controversial sites.
OSPI also changed their talking points, trying to convince us little will change. They say they don’t have the authority to approve or deny curricula, that it’s ultimately up to districts. This is news to those in Battle Ground who were told OSPI wouldn’t allow the district to use the KNOW curriculum they’d previously been using. The law clearly states schools must use a curriculum on OSPI’s list or work with them using OSPI’s standards (that they can change at any time) and their guidelines review to create another one — at the district’s expense since it’s an unfunded mandate.
They claim CSE won’t be required for K-3 despite it being specified twice in the bill. The new talking points say only the social emotional learning standards are required for K-3. For months we’ve heard how essential it is to teach proper names for body parts to young children to keep them safe. That would be found in the sexual health standards. So, which is it?
One part of the law that ensures change is the requirement to include lessons on consent. If you think that means kids will be taught how to say “no,’’ that would be wrong. Consent is taught using role-play scenarios that feature scenes like kids who’ve known each other for just a week and are now going to “make a decision” on whether or not to have sex; kids who drink and watch porn; kids with religious and/or conservative parents who never talked to them about sex; kids being goaded by friends into having sex by questioning their sexual orientation; kids with numerous friends already having sex, etc. And these start in 6th grade. In other words, they’re teaching kids below the age of consent how to say “yes” to sex while normalizing underage sex.
Don’t fall for it. This isn’t business as usual. They didn’t wage a two-year campaign and spent over $1.1 million to keep the status quo. Vote Reject on R-90, then sign Initiative 1109 to bring healthy, common sense sex ed into schools. We can do much better for our kids.