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 tinyurl.com/PDN-SexEdReport.

________

Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in Politics

House, Senate release spending proposals

Supplemental budgets to be negotiated

Plan to cap how much landlords can raise rent moves ahead

Statewide caps on annual rent increases could take effect in… Continue reading

State House approves unemployment benefits for strikers

Workers who are on strike or locked out of their… Continue reading

Chapman explains votes

Rep. Mike Chapman was among the few Democrats who voted… Continue reading

Democrats Franz, Randall stockpile cash in battle for US House position

Cash is flowing into campaign coffers of two Democrats dueling for an… Continue reading

Ruling: Trump to stay on primary ballot

Eight voters argued Jan. 6 actions made him ineligible

Should police be allowed to engage in high-speed pursuits if they just suspect someone is engaged in a crime? The state Legislature is set to debate that issue following verification of a citizen initiative that gives police more leeway in decision making. (Mary Murphy/Washington State Journal)
State Legislature to debate high-speed police pursuits

Initiative 2113 would amend law to be ‘reasonable suspicion’

State officials turn to schools in opioid fight

Legislation would require fentanyl-use prevention education once per year

Eight voters challenge Trump on Washington state ballot

Kitsap judge to hear arguments Tuesday

Nisqually Tribal Chairman Willie Frank III, right, discusses the newly designed statue mockup of his father, Billy Frank Jr., with other attendees at Wednesday’s unveiling. A full-scale, bronze statue of Billy Frank Jr. will be placed in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C., next year. (Laurel Demkovich/Washington State Standard)
Design unveiled for Billy Frank Jr. statue at U.S. capitol

Bronze rendering will honor Native American fishing rights activist

Members of the House, including Rep. Michelle Caldier, R-Gig Harbor, and Rep. Eric Robertson, R-Sumner, at front, walk into the House chambers during opening ceremonies on the first day of the legislative session at the Washington state Capitol on Monday in Olympia. (Lindsey Wasson/The Associated Press)
Legislature kicks off with a housing focus

Fentanyl deaths, climate change top topics as well