Important Legislation to OPPOSE
HB 1855 plays on the inaccurate term “medical accuracy”. True medical professionals, doctors, use the term medical opinion. Medical research/references change and even contradict themselves, e.g., Phen-fen, Vioxx, condom failure rates. This emotionally charged phrase leads people to believe that abstinence educators are lying to kids by promoting abstinence until marriage. Don’t be fooled, this bill intends to increase usage of birth control measures for children and eliminates the convincing teaching of marriage and abstinence skills. Ironically, for all the noise about science, Washington State has never been studied whether teaching abstinence or teaching contraception promotion reduces the most consequences. We should be asking for research instead of mandates.
HB 1855—the new “medical accuracy” bill does several things
1) Makes Sex Ed part of the WASL so students could be tested on the Sex Education Guidelines content in the future http://www.k12.wa.us/curriculumInstruct/healthfitness/pubdocs/SexEdGuidelines011005.doc
2) Gives OSPI absolute power over sexual behavior messages in agencies beyond the schools without due process for various opinions or medical references
3) Controls what guest speakers can say—they will have to promote contraception effectiveness even if they are abstinence speakers
4) Parents will have to send an additional letter to school officials beyond opting out of HIV Education to avoid this radical teaching
5) Requires ALL schools to follow the Guidelines. Those poorly written K-12 Guidelines require:
a. information on alternate lifestyles for all—because age appropriateness is mentioned but not defined
b. promotion and how to use of all forms of birth control
c. promotion for students to access all forms of birth control including abortion
d. sexuality be taught without including marriage
6) Is an unfunded mandate since schools have to either comply with the OSPI choices for curriculum or develop their own that STILL has to follow the same philosophical guidelines but the local materials are not allowed to reflect the local culture- lacks culturally sensitive
7) Bans teaching abstinence as the only method for avoiding disease and pregnancy. This is for Elementary School students, too! And then birth control has to be promoted
8) Things not mentioned
a. Age of legal sexual consent in Washington State (age 16)
b. Abstinence until marriage and its many benefits to children
d. Consequences of contraception/abortion
e. Failure rates for various methods that are cumulative every year a person engages in sexual activity
9) Creates a “state approved” list of approved materials and can “black ball” any materials the OSPI doesn’t like without any recourse. If citizens will notice how these departments have handled similar HIV curriculum controls since 1989, they will see that the website only bans abstinence programs and keeps “banned” materials on the site that are more than 20 years old and items that were never in print.
10) And you ain’t seen nothin’ yet ----until you review the type of materials being recommended by OSPI et al. Read the FLASH curriculum with its 4th grade body part Bingo or the 5th grade recommended reading of Am I Normal? with all the naked and copulating pictures or the Making Sense of Abstinence with the last chapter teaching students how to transition out of abstinence.
Contact your legislator. http://www.leg.wa.gov/House. HB1855 is currently in the House Rules Committee but will go to the floor.
Pass this along to your mailing list or friends with children/grandchildren in school.