Parents, Teachers, Students Rallied Earlier Today in Olympia to Mandate Sex Ed in WA
OLYMPIA, WA - Today, activists with Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii (PPVNH) descended on Olympia to demand legislators pass a bill requiring Washington’s public schools to offer sex education program. Parents, teachers, and students also lobbied for the Reproductive Health Access for All Act, which would expand access to health care for students, the LGBTQ community, and people who are excluded from coverage just because of their immigration status.
Schools don’t have to report any information on the sex education they provide, so we don’t even know which students are being left in the dark. But it’s clear that it’s happening: students are abandoned, without trained educators or trustworthy information, in every school district across Washington,” said Aren Wright, a student activist from Olympia High School. “By sharing our stories and explaining the significance of these bills to our legislators, we can completely change sex education and reproductive healthcare in Washington for the better.
“One day, we will live in a world where all people embrace reproductive healthcare access as a human right, where all people have the power to make decisions about their own bodies, and a world where everyone has the same access to comprehensive education regardless of where they come from, who they are, or who they love. One day, reproductive health care will just be health care,” said Erin Montgomery, president of Western Washington University’s Generation Action Chapter.
Photos of the event can be found here.
SEX ED: The Senate on Wednesday held a public hearing on SB 5395 to make sex education that is comprehensive and medically accurate mandatory in all public schools. The bill is expected to pass out of Senate committee next week. A 2018 poll found that approximately 3 out of 5 Washington voters support requiring comprehensive sex education and expanding existing curriculum in schools (poll available upon request). Opt-outs are already permitted for parents and guardians who choose not to have their youth participate; the proposed legislation does not change this. Fact sheet here.
RHAA: On Friday, the Senate is holding a public hearing on SB 5602, a bill to eliminate barriers to reproductive health care for all. This legislation attempts to remedy the disparate treatment of immigrants and transgender or gender non-conforming individuals in the provision of reproductive health care. Fact sheet here.