Why Initiative 1109
The “Common Sense Sex Ed Committee” reviewed eight initiatives concerning sex education in our state. All of these initiatives removed the current laws but only a couple of them created recommendations on what guidelines schools could use in creating a new version of sex education.
Initiative 1109 is an opt-in program and highlight the following requirements:
Local School Boards and parents choose the program – not the State
Sexual health is only for grades 5-12
Material must be available online for citizen review
Must be able to be broadcast on public media
Primary prevention / students avoid sexual risk-taking behaviors
Referendum and Initiative are major tools for the people to be involved in changing laws. Initiative 1109 is an Initiative to the legislature.
The primary purpose of the referendum is to give voters an opportunity to approve or reject laws either proposed or enacted by the Legislature. Referendum Bills are proposed laws referred to the voters by the State Legislature. Referendum signature petition sheets must be filed within 90 days after the end of that legislative session. They need to get 129,811 valid signatures. The referendum is then submitted at the next state general election. https://www.sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/initiatives/initiative-and-referenda-handbook-2020-031220.pdf
INITIATIVES TO THE LEGISLATURE
The initiative process is the direct power of the voters to enact new or change existing laws. It allows the voters to place proposed legislation on the ballot. An initiative cannot be used to amend the State Constitution. Initiatives to the Legislature are submitted to the Legislature at its regular session each January.
Initiative No. 1109 Text
AN ACT Relating to sexual education for public school children; adding a new section to chapter 28A.300 RCW; creating new sections; and repealing RCW 28A.300.475.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. A new section is added to chapter 28A.300 RCW to read as follows:
(1) Public schools shall offer opt-in sexual health education programs only for grades 5 through 12 that conform with the requirements of subsection (2) of this section. All curriculum, materials, and speakers must be available for review on the public school's web site prior to implementation to allow parents or legal guardians the opportunity to reevaluate participation at any point in the year.
(2) Local public school districts shall enforce their local authority to develop and implement a sexual health education program that conforms with the values of the parents or legal guardians and the families in their community. Public schools must provide primary prevention messages to achieve optimal healthy outcomes that help students avoid sexual risk-taking behaviors. All materials must be developmentally suitable, with footnoted medical facts, and must be able to be broadcast on public media.