Despite considerable public pushback, Washington state lawmakers have approved a comprehensive sex education curriculum in legislation for public school students some parents say is tantamount to grooming.
According to MyNorthwest, Republicans in the Evergreen state strongly resisted the measure, at one point even attempting to add more than 200 amendments to impede the bill from advancing. Conservative legislators contended that the material was not age-appropriate and that it usurps the parent-child relationship.
"I'm not sure why we're rushing to remove the innocence of our youth," Rep. Mike Steele, R-Clehan, said in a house floor speech last week.
"We put so much on them. I don't know why we think it's appropriate to put more, to put such weight upon their backs at such young ages. This is heavy, heavy material."
Democratic defenders of the legislation maintained that the bill is vital for children.
“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."
Around the country, particularly in politically liberal states, sex-ed curriculum and recommended resources that feature explicit descriptions of various sexual acts and cartoon images that appear pornographic have been contested by parents who do not want their children exposed to it, prompting activism, including sit-outs where children are withdrawn from school in protest of graphic sex ed. Also included in the controversial lessons is the promotion of the idea that some people might be born in the wrong body and that biological sex exists on a spectrum.
Beth Daranciang, a Seattle resident who was a Republican candidate for state senator and an activist for the protection of children and women, commented in an email to The Christian Post Monday that influential interest groups appear to be calling the shots.
"The Democrats in Washington are heavily funded by Planned Parenthood and their allies. Planned Parenthood helped develop the curriculum and is frequently mentioned in the curriculum as a resource," Daranciang said.
"Planned Parenthood benefits when teens and young adults get contraceptives, STI testing and abortions from them. A new program of PP provides hormone therapy for transgender patients. Those hormones are expensive and life-long, which is a huge benefit to Planned Parenthood's business model," she added.
Kim Wendt, a Tacoma-area mom and co-founder of Informed Parents of Washington, told The Christian Post in a phone interview Monday that the curriculum is being presented as necessary and full of vital tools for children.
Her parent group believes, however, that this is all part a larger more nefarious agenda to sexualize children.
"Backed by Planned Parenthood and my guess would be the porn industry," she mused, noting that this is a worldwide movement being fought at the smallest, most rural school districts in the United States all the way to the United Nations.
"It's well-funded and it's meant to sexualize our children all the way down to kindergarten."
Wendt recounted that Seattle-area police officers have gone on local radio stations and, having viewed some of the content in the CSE lessons, said that with their work in the human trafficking division, the material mirrors how traffickers groom their child victims to enter the sex trade.
Wendt and Daranciang were both present in the room until approximately 2 a.m. early Thursday morning when the bill was finally voted on.
"To me, it was just obvious that it was an agenda. There were very reasonable amendments put forth and every one of them was shot down and it was on party-line and there was no negotiation."
"So it was obvious that there was something pushing the Democrats to push this through," she reiterated. "So there's a lot of power behind it and money. They didn't get it through last year, they took a lot of flack so they made sure it went through this year."
She urged parents to get involved at the school board level.
While a provision exists that teachers do not have to teach every lesson specifically set forth in the curricula, parents need to be engaged locally because truth and transparency coming from the state as to what is being taught is scarce, particularly given how sex ed lessons are being integrated with other subjects where students cannot opt out, she noted.
"Parents really need to wake up and pay attention to what is being put in their schools," she stressed. "They need to engage at the school board level to make sure they know fully what is being taught."
When the bill was being considered, members of the local Satanic Temple, dressed in head-to-toe black, rallied at the state capitol to support the bill.
Gov. Jay Inslee, a liberal Democrat, is expected to sign the legislation.
Washington House Republican leader J.T. Wilcox and Senate Republican leader Mark Schoesler announced in a Sunday joint press release obtained by CP that they were forming a committee called Parents for Safe Schools, which is committed to having the governor veto the bill and should he refuse, rally Washington parents to overturn it through a referendum at the ballot box.
Rep. Wilcox said: “I am a father and a grandfather. These are young children. The youngest are still learning to tie their shoes. The state is going to take away parental rights and force a curriculum that is not age appropriate. That is outrageous. Nothing we do in Olympia is more important than protecting our kids. We will fight this with every tool at our disposal.”
For a referendum to appear on the November ballot, 129,811 signatures will have be to gathered by June 10.