If there’s an issue that appears to have piqued the interest – and the ire – of parents it’s Senate Bill 5395 which would require all public schools to implement Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE), middle and high schools by 2020, and down to the Kindergarten level by September 1, 2021.
“In all our years in Olympia,” declares “The Network-WA” in the intro to their video of the line extending down the hall and out the door and across the Washington capitol campus, “we’ve never seen anything like it.”
‘It’ was the House Education Committee Hearing this past March 12.
The 8 A.M. start time for testimony meant for some a wee-hours-in-the-morning departure time, a drive of over three hours. Others obtained a nearby hotel room the night before.
Beth Daranciang, a Senate candidate from the 46th District this last November, wrote that the hearing room and four overflow rooms were filled, and that 99 people signed up to speak but with only an hour scheduled for the hearing just a third that number were given opportunity.
The website for Washington State Parents Involved in Education (WAPIE) finds a common harmful theme in the CSE programs, one that the Protect Child Health Coalition calls the undermining of parents or parental rights.
According to Chris Plante, policy director for Family Policy Institute of Washington, the CSE curriculum must “emphasize the importance of affirmative consent, meaning conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity, as a requirement before sexual activity.
“The curriculum must be skills-based: teaching the skill of ‘conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.’”
Such instruction is not the purview of schools said one legislator who opposes SB 5395.
At a similar hearing a month previously – February 13 – Rep. Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver, said “she believes the passage of the bill would cause many students to leave public schools,” according to an article in “The News Tribune” by Shauna Sowersby.
“Why would we promote that type of confusion for our young children?” Kraft asked the committee. “I am talking curriculum that absolutely introduces confusion when it’s not the public education’s place to do so, nor should we be using taxpayer dollars to fund ‘how to have sex’ curriculum for young children.”
It would appear from the pushback by parents that the message they want to make clear is that the responsibility for their children’s upbringing – especially in controversial, morally relevant matters – is personal, and therefore non-transferable.
Not to those in the political majority.
Not to the however-many, whose best portrayed intentions are nonetheless those of the powers-that-be.
But to family.
The parents, specifically.
Here wisdom literature has some advice.
“Where no counsel is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”
The question is, and it would appear it is most appropriate for debates over matters such as this sex ed legislation, who are the counselors? Whose job is it to provide guidance – a synonym for counsel and a word which properly means “steersmanship”?
A picturesque word, this word counsel, the connotation being one of careful navigation through rough seas.
Lack of such guidance and counsel – missing a firm hand at the wheel – can not only sink a ship but can prove fatal to any organization, let alone entire nations, comprised as they are of families.
Even “the multitude of counselors”, does not suggest there is safety in numbers, but rather is once again a warning to ensure who in fact those “counselors” are – not politicians but statesmen; not hired – or elected – hands, but “steersmen” where once again – if the emphasis to be on the right syllable – what’s important, whether in guiding a ship, or a ship of state, or keeping anything shipshape, is the character of the one who mans the helm as he is the one who best determines arriving safely.
It is not “the superiority of a popular government over the despotism of a single ruler,” that is here contrasted.
Rather “the caution of our homely proverb is net inopportune, ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth.’”
Many people, if not most, which would then include parents, have relinquished the wheel of their lives to the so-called ‘steersmanship’ of pop-culture.
Or the majority.
Or follow-the-crowd mentality.
Or the government.
Or the state.
Or the schools.
Thus, that parents are rightly – even irately – retaking the wheel bodes well for the future which are the children of today.