Much Ado About Sex Education

On Thursday, January 30th, our Colorado Capitol held hundreds of people interested in testifying for and against HB19-1032. Journalist Marianne Goodland, among many others, covered the story and more than 8 hours of testimony.

Now, first we want you to remember that sex education is already (and will remain) a subject all parents can opt their children out of, no matter the reason. One of the best editorials we came across (and if you don’t read anything else on the subject, we suggest this one!) is from the Sentinel’s Editor Dave Perry!

PERRY: Push back against Colorado sex ed clowns and their Legislative side shows

Here’s a little about this bill from legislative counsel – http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb19-1032

Comprehensive Human Sexuality Education

Concerning comprehensive human sexuality education, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
BILL SUMMARY

The bill moves provisions of the statutory legislative declaration to a nonstatutory legislative declaration.

The bill clarifies content requirements for public schools that offer comprehensive human sexuality education and prohibits instruction from explicitly or implicitly teaching or endorsing religious ideology or sectarian tenets or doctrines, using shame-based or stigmatizing language or instructional tools, employing gender norms or gender stereotypes, or excluding the relational or sexual experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals.

Current law provides for a comprehensive human sexuality education grant program. The bill amends certain provisions of the grant program to:

  • Require the department of public health and environment to submit an annual report concerning the outcomes of the grant program indefinitely;
  • Add 8 representatives to the oversight entity and require membership of the oversight entity to be comprised of at least 7 members who are members of groups of people who have been or might be discriminated against;
  • Require grant applicants to demonstrate a need for money to implement comprehensive human sexuality education; and
  • Require that rural public schools or public schools that do not currently offer comprehensive human sexuality education receive priority when selecting grant applicants.

The bill provides a general appropriation of at least $1 million annually for the grant program.

The bill prohibits the state board of education from waiving the content requirements for any public school that provides comprehensive human sexuality education.

 

Here’s a link to the actual bill so you can read in it’s entirety. http://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2019A/bills/2019a_1032_01.pdf

The problem and confusion was that a few political and religious organizations sent out information to their members that wasn’t actually true.

Following is the “Action Alert Content” that was sent to people. The following text (in red) does NOT contain factual information about HB19-1032.

 

“House Bill 19-1032 requires schools that provide comprehensive sex education to teach pro-LGBTQ sex education while banning the teaching of religious or values-based sex education. Furthermore, this bill bans public schools providing comprehensive sex education from teaching there are two genders.

“A vast majority of the world’s population understands human sexuality within the confines of a religious worldview. While claiming to be “comprehensive,” this bill is anything but comprehensive. It prevents educators from informing students that religion or values can guide sexual activity.

“This bill violates its own attempts to be “comprehensive” and “culturally sensitive.” It will force schools to promote a liberal understanding of human sexuality while banning all others.

“HB19-1032 is an attempt by the state of Colorado to expose all kids to a pro-LGBTQ sex education agenda while banning traditional family values.

“Maintain your right as a parent to oversee what is taught to your children. Send an email to your representative and senator today asking them to vote NO on HB 19-1032, a bill “Concerning Comprehensive Human Sexuality Education.'”

And several journalists called out the inaccurate testimony as well as the ugliness that ensued. These are just the “PG13 version”, much more is available online.

 

CPR has a good and factual article on the bill as well as testimony events – http://www.cpr.org/news/story/colorado-comprehensive-sex-ed-bill-advances-after-combative-explicit-testimony

Again, this editorial is an important read for everyone! https://www.sentinelcolorado.com/opinion/perry-push-back-against-colorado-sex-ed-clowns-and-their-legislative-side-shows/

We support this bill (HB19-1032) and the Colorado PTA legislative committee does as well.

The bottom line is that everyone should do their own research. You may get emails that tell you something about a bill and sometimes those emails don’t contain factual information. All bills are available at the website of the General Assembly (link above.) Several people embarrassed themselves with their testimony and some may not even know it.

One final thought. Representative Kraft-Tharp noted that her office had received the “Call to Action” emails. Thousands. Our representatives do like to hear from their constituents and they do want to hear your thoughts. Quality of content is far more important than quantity when you want to have genuine dialogue with your legislators. So, read the bills and make sure you have factual information and then send the emails to your legislators and engage in a thoughtful way.

We support HB19-1032, it passed the House Committee of Health and Insurance and is now in appropriations.