Conference Committee to Consider Controversial Measure in Omnibus Education Bill

Chalk_Board_Sex_Education.jpgThe Ominbus Education Bill (House bill HF2400) passed on to the MN Senate mandates a model of sexual education for use in Minnesota schools. Opportunities for parental advice and consent is minimized short of removing a child from the class. The Senate’s companion bill (SF0007) does not contain the language for Comprehensive Sex Education, and the differences will be resolved in a Conference Committee.

In the House bill:
• The MN Commissioner of Education must identify a model comprehensive sexual health education program for K through 12 and provide it to all schools, including written materials, curriculum resources, and training for instructors.
• It must teach "consent," which the legislation describes as "affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in interpersonal, physical, or sexual activity." This assumes and normalizes value-free sexual activity among children.
• It must teach "bodily autonomy." Bodily autonomy teaches that one has the right to kill a preborn child in one's body, and therefore abortion is moral.
• It must teach "diverse sexual orientations and gender identities." The legislation allows instruction by "community organizations." Schools could select Planned Parenthood and/or gender activist groups to teach, regardless of their qualifications or real agenda.
• A school district that does not adopt the state model program must include all of the items listed and then submit its sexual health education program to the MN Department of Education for approval. This kills any semblance of local control. Parents cannot appeal to their local school board to challenge what is deeply offensive to them.
• It must teach "abstinence and other methods for preventing unintended pregnancy." What is uncertain is how much emphasis abstinence will get, given the other mandated subjects.
• It must refer students to "local resources for services related to sexual and reproductive health." That could open the door to the referral of children to Planned Parenthood for abortion and birth control without parental knowledge or consent.

The Senate’s companion bill (SF0007) does not contain the language for Comprehensive Sex Education.

The Conference Committee members from the House are James T. Davnie (DFL, SE Minneapolis), Cheryl Youakim (DFL, Hopkins & St. Louis Park), Dave Pinto (DFL, Highland Park), Julie Sandstede,(DFL, Hibbing) and Dean Urdahl (R, Grove City). The Senate members are Carla Nelson (R, Rochester/SD26) John Jasinski (R,Faribault/SD24), Bill Weber (R, Luverne/SD22), Justin Eichorn (R, Grand Rapids/SD05), and Charles Wiger (DFL, Maplewood/SD43).

In expressing your opinion to these legislators, you don’t need to compose a different email for each one. Sending out an email to all of the members as a kind of email blitz works just as well. However, each member of the committee should receive a copy of the email; don’t just send an email to the Committee Chair or Republican Lead. We will update THIS LINK with the list of legislators to contact to urge the removal of this language from the final bill.

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