SB 410 (Rodriguez) Materials Harmful to Minors is scheduled to be heard in its first Senate committee (Criminal Justice) tomorrow. We need you to OPPOSE this bill because it forces parents/legal guardians to proactively opt-in their child to receive comprehensive sex health education. Currently they are required to opt-out; therefore, if the school does not hear back from the parent, the student will be scheduled for the class.
Here are some more talking points:
According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, "Comprehensive sexuality education should be medically accurate, evidence-based, and age-appropriate, and should include the benefits of delaying sexual intercourse, while also providing information about normal reproductive development, contraception (including long-acting reversible contraception methods) to prevent unintended pregnancies, as well as barrier protection to prevent sexually transmitted infections." (Comprehensive Sexuality Education | ACOG)
According to the CDC, students who participate in these programs are more likely to delay initiation of sexual intercourse, have fewer sex partners, have fewer experiences of unprotected sex, increase their use of protection, specifically condoms, and improve their academic performance. (What Works: Sexual Health Education | Adolescent and School Health | CDC)
Sex education in middle and high school is widely supported by parents nationally regardless of their political party. (Parents’ views on sex education in schools: How much do Democrats and Republicans agree? (plos.org))
By implementing an opt-in requirement in order to receive comprehensive sex health education, many youth will remain uneducated about safe sex and we are likely to see higher rates of pregnancies and STDs, including HIV.
Anyone who has parented a middle or high school student knows they will frequently forget (or intentionally omit) to hand over important papers to parents that are sent home from the school. That consent form for sex education that must be signed before a child can receive comprehensive sex health education? It will probably wind up as a crumpled mess in the bottom of a book bag. So we need you to do two things before tomorrow:
Contact the Chair of the Criminal Justice Committee--Sen. Jason Pizzo--and ask him to refrain from hearing this bad bill in his committee. He has the power to "postpone" the bill. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (850) 487-5038.
Contact the other Committee members and urge them to vote "NO" on this short-sighted bill.
Santa Rosa Democrats Legislative Liaison