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The Roots of Sex Ed Reform in Washington Schools

"This legislation is not just about safety above all-else like is being hammered in discussions, posts on social media, and 90-second interviews – it is about culture change. It is about developing a normalized culture of sexuality beginning in kindergarten. This framework is the root of this push, and that needs to be realized in this discussion."

AARON M LANG·THURSDAY, MARCH 19, 2020


‘Comprehensive Sexual Health Education’(1) sounds much different than ‘Comprehensive Sexuality Education,’(2) doesn’t it? Is that just semantics, or is there a reason that specific words were chosen for the title of the legislation?


Are you aware that the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has an entire Framework for Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)?(2)


How about that Planned Parenthood is who brought this legislation to Washington State and sought sponsorship from our elected lawmakers and Administrators?


Planned Parenthood has been very open about their ownership of this bill(3, 4, 6) in our legislature. When the bill passed both houses of the legislature they said, “We did it y’all!! 📷📷📷“(3) so why is discussion around their motivations shut down so quickly by people? I’ve been told by many individuals that bringing these things up is biased, anti-women’s rights, irrelevant, and “just a polarizing talking point.” Discussing corporate backing in any other law-making context is not so easily dismissed, so I fail to understand why this is.

We always have questions when new legislation is pending. One is naturally begged: What does this bill do, and how does it impact us? When corporations are behind a bill, we must ask: How do they benefit if this passes? These are often clear for people to derive, but they’ve been a lot more difficult for some to address on this particular bill. Both of these questions have rattled me and drive deep convictions; it seems like many are ignoring those questions and only discussing what they’d like to see from this bill. What is missed in all of this is the root of this reform and the very real strategy behind its advancement:

“Why a Framework? … Our approach includes an emphasis on sexual expression, sexual fulfillment and pleasure. This represents a shift away from methodologies that focus exclusively on the reproductive aspects of adolescent sexuality. (2)

“…IPPF believes that sexual taboos as a result of culture and religion are not insurmountable barriers to broadening the scope of sexuality education.” (2)

Re-read those excerpts. The root is Planned Parenthood and a fifteen-year-old framework for intentional reform. Read that framework for yourself and try to convince me that this legislation is really just about safety, consent, boundaries, and healthy relationships.(4, 5) Those are the talking points that are hammered on because they’re the only points of this framework that could be argued as acceptable, even in today’s world.

Let me be clear: I am not opposed to sex ed, nor am I a proponent of abstinence-only teaching. I believe it’s wise to expose children to the realities of this world early in life as a means of protecting them and fostering a trusting relationship. If they don’t hear it from you, they’ll certainly hear about it from others. However, with that, I am partial to the stance that parents need to step up and be the ones to teach their children about things that can harm them and be the ones to foster that trusting relationship. As well-intended as many teachers are to be the responsible adult for kids who don’t otherwise have one in their life, it’s not a public educator’s responsibility to foster that relationship. But let’s remember: that’s not what this reform is really about or I’d have no problem with this. Let me be even more clear: This legislation is not just about safety above all-else like is being hammered in discussions, posts on social media,(4, 5) and 90-second interviews – it is about culture change. It is about developing a normalized culture of sexuality beginning in kindergarten. This framework is the root of this push, and that needs to be realized in this discussion.

We need to be asking about this elephant in the room: The Framework for Comprehensive Sexuality Education, first published in May of 2006 and last updated in January, 2010. What is their goal? What does Planned Parenthood have to gain from passing this legislation? Why after 15 years are we only now seeing the fruits of this framework? If this were really just about consent and safety, why was this not driven 15 years ago? -Not everything is coming to the surface about the motivations of this reform, and you need to read in to that for yourself. People will say that this is “misinformation” but I’d challenge your ignorance with an hour’s worth of reading.

We’ve got to examine why this took 15 years to act on. I believe that 15 years ago this framework would have been shredded apart by educators and parents everywhere; this is coming out now because we’re experiencing a paradigm shift in what is culturally acceptable. It’s taken over a decade to groom our society for this moment, and now people are afraid to stand on their beliefs because they’ll be so quickly labeled a bigot if their belief stands against mainstream ideas. This is a fight against ideals with other ideals, and that’s not going to yield anything positive - for anyone.

At the core of this issue are belief systems, and IPPF acknowledges that. While we can try to make this stuff about scientific fact and safety all day for talking points, this subject all boils back down to personal beliefs. Where does government – specifically the public education system – belong in discussions about belief systems? It should rest in a neutral position… but we’ve accepted government interjection into many inappropriate realms, so this is just another area. We’re allowing government into too much - it’s time to draw a line.

What this comes down to for me: The Legislature should not be acting on our behalf on this issue. This clearly has a private sector agenda behind it rooted in changing the culture which our children are raised in, and it dives into the realm of government forcing beliefs on others. Again, we don’t need our elected officials acting to do that – this needs to be an issue that the voters speak to directly. We need this pushed to our ballot, and we can do that by referendum measure. There’s a referendum filed and a petition that will be going around soon. Go find it and let’s get this on our ballot. Let’s use our right and power to self-legislate and return the powers to the people. References (1) Washington State Legislature. ESSB 5395 – 2019-20, 66th Legislature, 2019 Regular Session, http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2019-20/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Bills/5395-S.E.pdf (2) International Planned Parenthood Federation. “IPPF Framework for Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)” 2010. PDF file, https://www.ippf.org/sites/default/files/ippf_framework_for_comprehensive_sexuality_education.pdf (3) Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii. “We did it y’all!! 📷📷📷 (attachments)” Facebook, 03/07/2020 at 7:21 PM, https://www.facebook.com/PPVNH/posts/3550086018338968/. (4) Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii. “We're so close to making sex ed for all Washington youth a reality. Help us spread the FACTS on SB 5395 and get it across the finish line. (attachments)” Facebook, 03/06/2020 at 11:04 AM, https://www.facebook.com/PPVNH/posts/3546777442003159/. (5) Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii. “We're setting the record straight -- sex education is education. Here's what SB 5395 actually does 📷(attachments)“ Facebook, 03/06/2020 at 8:44 AM, https://www.facebook.com/PPVNH/posts/3546763008671269/. (6) Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii. “Our sex education bill is now in the House waiting to be passed out of committee and then passed on the floor! (attachments)“ Facebook, 02/15/2020 at 6:22 PM, https://www.facebook.com/PPVNH/posts/3493386684008902/.


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