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Isabella's Story

As a sexual health educator for East King County, I watch first-hand the way that education about topics like consent and gender identity increase empathy and understanding in our communities. When students have early conversations about consent, they learn how to treat others with respect and how to advocate for themselves and their boundaries. When we teach about gender and sexuality in schools, we make them safer for LGBTQ youth to come out without fear of bullying. These conversations are not easy, but they are critical to supporting our youth and creating a more empathetic generation for the future.

Fact or Fiction? My district already offers sexual health education so I think we are meeting the requirements of this bill.

Association of Washington School Principals

Alyssa's Story

Sex ed taught me that there's no shame in asking questions, learning more about myself and others, and making decisions for my body.

Sex-education bill advances in Washington Senate — and we’re answering your questions about it

"Comprehensive sexual-health education inched closer to becoming a mandate for all Washington public schools Wednesday as the state Senate resurrected legislation that failed last year."

By Neal Morton
Seattle Times staff reporter

Washington’s new mandatory sex education could eventually force change in some holdout districts

"OLYMPIA — Comprehensive sex education could soon become mandatory in Washington state — for the first time."

By Joseph O’Sullivan, Hannah Furfaro and Neal Morton 

Seattle Times staff reporters

Alexa's Story

I did not receive any sex-education through my school. I was fortunate to have parents who were very open with me about sex, and so this didn't end up being detrimental to me personally. But I grew up in a small town, and was surrounded by teens my age who knew almost nothing about sexual health and safety. They were all just told not to do it, or at the very least not to talk about it. For some of them, it worked out okay. But many ended up pregnant with their lives derailed at very young ages. Consent was never a conversation, and rape was constantly joked about. In many schools, sexual education is a joke and is treated that way by the students. They were both shamed for it, and pressured into it, all without any real understanding.

Jess' Story

I was very fortunate to go to school in Washington in the late 80s/early 90s where I was able to have FLASH sex education, which was very science based information on our bodies and sexual exploration. I benefited from it in a variety of ways, by realizing what sexual feelings and touch I was having when I was young was a natural and normal thing my body did, and then again in middle school learning about the many ways to prevent pregnancy and STIs. It empowered me with the ability to chose what was best for myself, seek medical resources to stay healthy, and advocate for my own bodily autonomy. Sex education is so important. It prevents unwanted pregnancy and STIs, and the more advances in it are incredibly important for LGBTQ youth and for enthusiastic consent culture. All children should have the opportunity to learn how our bodies work, how to stay safe and healthy, and about the gender spectrum. This will help raise adults who are empowered to make the best choices for themselves.

With STIs On the Rise, Advocates Want Evidence-Based Sex Education

"Only 17 states currently require schools to teach medically accurate sex ed, according to the Guttmacher Institute."

Rewire.News Article by Sony Salzman

Fact or Fiction? Parents can opt their child out of comprehensive sexual health education.

Association of Washington School Principals

Aja's Story

All I got was anatomy and gross pictures of diseased genitalia. Nothing to help a girl navigate the crazy world of sexual relationships. Kids need to have proper education from professionals (like Planned Parenthood) not from youtubers and older kids at school. Also everyone needs to know where to go for answers to embarrassing questions -- kids won’t always talk to their parents. I wish I learned more than what genital warts look like.

Editorial: Parents still make call on sexual health lessons

"The state’s new K-12 sexual health education law allows parents to make the final call on curriculum."

By The Herald Editorial Board

Lynette's Story

I was a student in the 90-2000s that received abstinence-only sex education. I was lucky that I had a mother to explain everything to me. In high school, they showed us a birthing video to try to show the painful/“gross” side of birth and scare us out of having sex. This type of “education” is unacceptable. As a teacher, I want my students to be fully informed about their bodies, consent, protection, pregnancy, etc. They should be able to make fully informed decisions about their bodies and their futures.

Therese's Story

I have attended public schools in Tacoma, WA since first grade. My sex education was extremely limited, and did not include vital information about my anatomy, my contraceptive choices, keeping myself free of STIs, the importance of consent, and healthy relationships. Because I did not have the information I needed to keep myself safe and healthy, I have unwittingly participated in behaviors that have put my health at risk. My health is very important to me, and it makes me incredibly frustrated that important information related to my safety was kept from me and my peers. 

Fact or Fiction? The recent bill passed on comprehensive sexual health education says that schools are required to teach the same curriculum to all students.

Association of Washington School Principals

Advocates, opponents turn out for sex education bill

"In a public hearing over House Bill 2184, The House of Representatives Education Committee took comments from advocates for and opponents of the sexual health education bill, which would require all school districts in the state to provide comprehensive sexual education."

By Madeline Shannon

Washington State Wire

Sex ed should be compulsory

"Young people will seek out information about sex no matter what.

Newly contracted sexually transmitted infections are at an all-time high among young folks even though teenage pregnancy is down."

By Ashleigh DeBuse, Amboy