How R-90 is interpreted on ballot

Referendum asks voters about sex education legislation

PORT ANGELES — Senate Bill 5395, which would go into effect if Referendum 90 is approved Nov. 3, requires school districts to adopt a sex education program, or “comprehensive sexual health education,” for all grades by the 2022-2023 school year, according to the bill.

“Comprehensive sexual health education is recurring, age-appropriate instruction in human development and reproduction,” according to the bill, which was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee.

It does not include a definition of age-appropriate instruction.

Course materials approved by the state superintendent’s office would be accessible to parents. Parents could opt out of the curriculum, which must be approved by the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

A “no” vote on Referendum 90 would block the bill.

If voters approve R-90, sex education programs statewide must be adopted for students in grades 6-12 by the 2021-2022 school year. Grades K-5 would be added by the 2022-2023 school year. Students in K-5 would receive instruction at least once and in grades 6-12 at least twice.

The program for grades K-3 must meet benchmarks established by the state superintendent’s office.

Sex education for grades 4-12 “must include information about the physiological, psychological, and sociological developmental processes experienced by an individual; the development of intrapersonal and interpersonal skills to communicate, respectfully and effectively, to reduce health risks, and choose healthy behaviors and relationships that are based on mutual respect and affection, and are free from violence, coercion, and intimidation.”

It would include instruction on abstinence and other methods of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

The curriculum must address “affirmative consent,” described as a “conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity as a requirement before sexual activity.”

A synopsis of SB 5395 is at


Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

More in Politics

Cindy Rice of Port Ludlow drops off her ballot for the Nov. 3 general election on Thursday at the walk-up drop box in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse, 1820 Jefferson St. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)
Voter turnout already approaching 40 percent on Peninsula

Drop boxes picked up multiple times per day, officials say

League of Women Voters offers voting tools

With voting under way in Washington state for the Nov. 3 general… Continue reading

Clallam County Bar Association rates judge candidates

Attorneys score incumbent Erickson above challenger Dublin

Soroptimists host candidate forum Friday

Six running for three different positions to participate

Residents await the collection of ballots from the JCPenney parking lot at 651 W. Washington St. on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. Early returns filled at least two Clallam County drop boxes to capacity last week. (Photo courtesy of Barb Hanna)
Ballots flooding into auditors’ offices

Early returns fill drop boxes

Hackers, sex ed, shutdown debated

Tharinger, Pruiett draw clear lines between them

Janette Force, executive director of the Port Townsend Film Festival, holds a sample ballot and a state-produced Voters' Pamphlet. Submitted photo
Video explains mail-in voting for seniors, caregivers

Rundown of rules for sending back ballots

State Senate hopefuls debate taxes, sex ed

Candidates for a four-year 24th Legislative District state Senate… Continue reading

Elections offices prepare for high voter turnout

North Olympic Peninsula elections officials are preparing for a high voter turnout… Continue reading

Most Read