Victoria Cobb, President
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Last week voters not only cast their ballots for political offices, but in some states they also voted on important ballot measures of public policy. Washington became the very first state where the voters themselves made a decision on sex education, approving Referendum 90 to uphold the state’s radical and highly controversial mandatory public school sex-education curriculum – a curriculum that teaches kindergartners confusing messages about gender, promotes “LGBTQ+” ideologies, and teaches older students things like “affirmative consent” for sexual activity.
As those school districts start implementing this sex-ed curriculum, Whitney Holz of “Informed Parents of Washington” encouraged parents to “get involved locally, attend district meetings, join the curriculum review board or the school board, and obtain and review sex ed materials” while reminding parents they can still opt their children out of sex-ed altogether.
In Virginia, parents have played an integral role in helping The Family Foundation expose the lack of transparency within our own Family Life Education (FLE) curriculum. All too often, we hear from parents about incidents in which their children were made to read or see sexually explicit materials because they were not able to review the content beforehand or that they didn’t even know about it. A recent example happened in Albemarle County in 2018, when one of the high schools had 14-year old freshman girls watch sexually explicit “how-to” videos in an FLE class.
In order to help create more accountability and enable more parental involvement in FLE, we helped champion legislation this year to give parents more access to the FLE content being taught to their children so they can decide if they want to opt their child out of the program altogether. With the help of Delegate Jay Leftwich (R-78, Chesapeake), who carried HB 1394 for The Family Foundation this year, parents will now be able to review these sensitive materials online through a parent portal, beginning with the 2021-2022 school year. HB 1394, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, will provide working parents an alternative to the current practice of having to schedule a physical appointment during school hours to review the materials, by allowing them to review the materials electronically from home.
We are also excited to share with you our Family Life Education Parent Resource Center, which provides parents with links to each school division’s website, parent portals, and links to any online curriculum that have already been made available. It’s also important for parents to have alternative materials they can use when having meaningful conversations with their kids, whether they choose to opt their child out of the FLE curriculum or not. Here are few resources you may find to be helpful and safe alternative resources that align with your values and beliefs:
The secular culture is pushing a hyper-sexualized agenda on children, and it’s being reflected in the FLE curriculum across the Commonwealth. Knowing that, it’s essential that every parent has the opportunity to review what sex-education their children are being taught, and to have access to alternative resources. The Family Foundation will continue to do its part to make families aware of those resources.