TODAY'S HEADLINES DCGOP Chairman Bradford explains House Bill 19-1032 Comp Sex Ed (blog), Traitor Kerry cuddles with the enemy, Colorado adds another Congressional seat, Legislature pushing Public Option in healthcare, Western Coloradoans may get the bill for wolf reintroduction, and much more.
Please visit the News Aggregate for today, April 28, 2021. We have compiled a selection of interesting news and opinion articles for our local community. Every Wednesday and Sunday the news aggregation will be updated.
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HOUSE BILL 19-1032 Comprehensive Human Sexuality Education
By Dave Bradford, DCGOP Chairman
The April 15, 2021 meeting of the Delta County School Board included an item that stirred up a considerable amount of public interest. The item listed as “Update on Comprehensive Sexual Health Education” had been added to the agenda after the original agenda had been posted. Around 300 people showed up at the Delta County School District office at 145 West 4th St. in Delta, where the School Board meeting was held. Ten people were given up to three minutes to speak. All ten spoke out in opposition to adopting a comprehensive sex education curriculum.
The impetus for the school district to consider a comprehensive sex-ed program was the passage to House Bill 19-1032 by the Colorado legislature in 2019. The cause for the concern was not the teaching of sex education but rather what is entailed in comprehensive, inclusive sex education. So what was in the bill and why are people concerned?
This bill was introduced into the Colorado Legislature on January 4, 2019. There were four primary sponsors – Representatives Susan Lontine and Yadiro Caraveo and Senators Nancy Todd and Don Coram. The bill was passed on May 16, 2019 and signed by Governor Jared Polis on May 31, 2019. The bill had 47 sponsors - 46 Democrats and 1 Republican (Senator Don Coram, Montrose). The bill passed 44-19 in the House, and 21-14 in the Senate, pretty much along party lines.
So, what was in the bill? Section 1 – Legislative Declaration of the bill noted the purpose was that “Colorado is the only state that does not have a health graduation requirement. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia mandate sexual health education as a graduation requirement, and thirty-four states and the District of Columbia mandate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) education as a graduation requirement. Colorado does not mandate sexual health education or HIV education.”
It is very important to note that in Section 2 (6) human sexuality instruction is not required by a school district. However, if a school district, board of cooperative services, charter school, or institute charter school offers human sexuality instruction, the instruction must be comprehensive and meet the Comprehensive Human Sexuality Education content requirements. It is the required elements that present a problem for so many people.
Those content requirements include instruction on consent (to sex) as it relates to safe and healthy relationships and safe haven laws. The act prohibits instruction from emphasizing sexual abstinence as the primary or sole acceptable preventive method available to students and prohibits instruction from explicitly or implicitly using shame-based or stigmatizing language or instructional tools; employing gender stereotypes; or excluding the health needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals. Also the public school is not required to include instruction on pregnancy outcome options. However, if a public school opts to provide instruction on pregnancy outcome options, it must cover all pregnancy outcome options available. The act prohibits the state board of education from waiving the content requirements for any public school that provides comprehensive human sexuality education. However, the act does not prohibit charter schools or institute charter schools from applying for a waiver. Again, HB 19-1032 does not require a school district to teach sex education.
For the 2019-20 state fiscal year, the act appropriated $1,000,000 from the general fund to the Department of Public Health and Environment to implement the act. That sounds like a lot of money, but there are 178 Public School Districts in Colorado. If all 178 get a grant out of the $1M from the state, there would be less than $6,000 per school district). Like many programs promoted by the State, this is a small carrot to draw you in to an unpopular or questionable program. You need to look beyond the dollar signs.
The other aspect of the April 15, 2021 meeting at the Delta County School Board office in Delta was the proposal to use the 3Rs Curriculum for teaching sex-ed. The 3Rs stand for Rights, Respect and Responsibility. This very detailed curriculum includes teaching sex-ed concepts to kindergartners through 12th Grade. Much information is provided in the kindergarten through early elementary school grades. Way to early to be teaching these concepts to children. Check the curriculum out for yourself. But it is apparent to me that the curriculum violates Section 2.(11) of the Act – “The provisions of this section shall not apply to students in kindergarten through third grade.” The Delta County School District should be encouraged to Not teach sex education – leave it to the parents to teach, or find a better, more appropriate program then 3Rs.