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Washington State Governor
Secretary of State
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Commissioner of Public Lands
By the Associated Press
Democrats in the Washington state Legislature thought they had passed a routine sex education requirement for public schools earlier this year. But a coalition of Republicans and religious conservatives launched a swift, historic backlash that’s led to a bitter partisan fight and an effort to overturn the measure on the November ballot.
Democrats say they want to protect young people from sexual abuse, diseases and infections. But Republicans have taken issue with the content of the standards. The resulting referendum on the November ballot marks the first time in the country that such a decision on sex ed will be decided by voters.
Under the wide-ranging bill, kindergarteners would be taught how to manage feelings and make friends, while older kids will learn about consent and how to respond to violence. The curriculum must also address issues faced by LGBTQ students.
At least 29 states plus Washington, D.C., require public schools to teach sex education, but the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Education Commission of the States — two organizations that track policy trends — said it has never appeared on a statewide ballot. Instead, the curriculum has been debated at school boards and statehouses.
Read more about R-90:
Family health physician: WA sex-ed curriculum ‘will help keep all students safe’