TRI-CITIES, WA – As the election heads our way one bill about comprehensive sexual health education is gaining a lot of attention and making history.
Referendum 90 marks the the first time citizens will vote on sex education mandates. Up until now, the school board made those decisions.
Now let’s break down Referendum 90: According to votewa.gov right now the law says public school districts can choose to provide sexual health education to students and parents have the ability to excuse their child if they choose.
The upcoming vote on the sexual health education bill, referendum 90, would change things by requiring all public schools in Washington state to provide age-appropriate sexual health education. However, parents would still have the choice to excuse their children from those classes.
Here’s the type of sexual health education students will get if the bill passes:
First, the instruction would cover human development and reproduction at an age-appropriate level for each grade.
All students will also be taught about consent and what to do if they witness something happen without consent.
It breaks down like this- Kindergarten to third grade will be taught about social emotional learning with programs established by the office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Fourth grade to twelfth grade will be taught about different topics ranging from relationships, affirmative consent, physical and mental developments individuals go through, healthy behaviors and healthcare and prevention. The bill also says sexual health programs must be taught once a year to kindergarten aged children through third grade, and once a year to students in fourth and fifth grade.
However, the bill mandates that older students from sixth grade all the way up to twelfth grade are taught sexual education health twice a year. If the bill passes it will begin to phase into schools between 2021 and 2023.
For a more in-depth look and a full explanation of the bill, including arguments for and against it click on the links below: