Voters in Washington will get to decide whether to repeal a new law to implement controversial sex-ed programs in public schools statewide after residents gathered the requisite number of signatures to get the referendum on the November ballot.
Members of a group called Parents for Safe Schools delivered more than 266,000 signatures to the Washington secretary of state’s office on Wednesday, two times the minimum number of signatures required, according to The Spokesman-Review. For a referendum to appear on the November ballot, 129,811 signatures had to be submitted by June 10. After the state’s elections office verifies the authenticity of signatures on the petition, Referendum 90 will be added to the ballot.
Opponents of the sex-ed curriculum say that the materials and lessons feature sexually explicit content that’s not age-appropriate.
Among the titles listed under the approved fourth-grade sex-ed resources is the book, It’s Perfectly Normal, which features cartoon pictures of masturbation and sexual content alongside explicit descriptions.
Lynn Meagher, a parent who’s campaigning against the sex-ed programs, said in an email to The Christian Post that she was encouraged by the success of their petition drive. While many aspects of the contested sex-ed curriculum are already in use in Seattle area schools, she said, what the referendum is contesting is the bill’s statewide mandate. She and other local activists are pushing for a subsequent move to change policy even further.
“It’s only the mandate that will be stopped if we win in November. This is why we need the initiative, which is now going to follow the referendum. The initiative will make school boards accountable to parents for this education, and make sex ed an opt-in program, rather than the empty promises that parents can opt-out, which for practical purposes is almost impossible,” she said.
“These [sex-ed] bills are being passed all over the country. As far as we know, this is the only state where parents have successfully fought back to stop the mandate. We are so grateful to God and to the people of this state.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter