Controversial sex ed bill passed by Washington state lawmakers

Mar 7, 2020, 8:39 PM

kindergartner washington state, stolen land, sex-ed...



A controversial sex education bill was passed by the Washington State Legislature Saturday afternoon.

Guns, sex-ed, and death penalty all on the line in Olympia

Despite a passionate fight from Republicans — who at one point added over 200 amendments in the hopes of keeping the bill requiring comprehensive sex health education from coming up for a vote — the legislation cleared its final hurdle and passed in the Senate.

“The hard work that we put into this bill — in both the House and Senate — is well worth it because it will improve safety for children statewide,” said the bill’s sponsor, Democratic Sen. Claire Wilson. “We must ensure that our kids have the tools and knowledge they need to recognize and resist inappropriate behavior.

The bill mandates “comprehensive sexual health education” for grades K through 12. In middle school and especially in high school, the more mature topics of reproduction, STDs, and sexual assault are addressed. These lessons build on concepts taught in previous grades, such as physiology.

In elementary school, sex-ed topics will be limited to protecting the body in cases of physical assault or if somebody is inappropriately touching.

No student will be required to participate in any of these classes, with the bill providing families the ability to opt their children out.

The bill came with a handful of tweaks and amendments. Lawmakers greatly strengthened the ability of parents to opt out, removed requirements for curriculum to be evidence-based, and delayed its implementation.

It was deemed necessary because of increases in STDs and sexual assault among young people.

Reykdal: Grades K-4 won’t teach sexual topics with sex ed bill

“We have got to reduce sexual assaults and sexually transmitted infections, and we know through education we can do that,” State Superintendent Chris Reykdal recently told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show.

The measure will next head to Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk to be signed into law.

MyNorthwest News

Photo: Medics respond to a crash in SeaTac on June 21, 2024....

Julia Dallas

3 nearly lose their lives, another injured in SeaTac crash

Five people and two cars were involved in a violent car crash in SeaTac on Friday, the King County Sheriff's Office told KIRO Newsradio.

16 hours ago

Photo: Lacey police are investigating a deadly shooting....

KIRO 7 News Staff

21-year-old arrested in Lacey double murder after police chase

A 21-year-old man led police on a chase following the murder of two people whom he lived with in Lacey.

17 hours ago

Photo: The exterior of the Boeing Company headquarters on March 25, 2024....

James Lynch

Boeing working with DOJ to avoid criminal charges

After allegedly violating the terms of a 2021 deferred prosecution agreement, Boeing is reportedly working to avoid a criminal trial.

19 hours ago

Photo: Yin May suffered severe injuries when she was hit by a driver in Kent....

Julia Dallas

Deputies searching for person who hit, nearly killed woman in Kent

King County deputies are looking for the person who almost killed a woman in Kent in a hit-and-run on Sunday.

21 hours ago

Photo: Snohomish County bus....

Bill Kaczaraba

Attacks against Community Transit drivers reveal potential troubling trend

Community Transit drivers in Snohomish County face a growing threat from violent passengers. Two drivers have been attacked recently.

21 hours ago

Image: A Seattle Police Department vehicle is parked outside Lumen Field in Seattle....

Steve Coogan

Report: Seattle officer fired after previous racist comments surfaced

A Seattle Police Department officer was fired for calling his neighbor racist and sexist slurs and making other comments in 2022.

22 hours ago

Controversial sex ed bill passed by Washington state lawmakers