Gov. Inslee signs comprehensive sex ed bill

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Friday signed legislation requiring public school districts to teach comprehensive sexual health education to all K-12 students.

The legislation does not require a specific curriculum, so districts may determine those lessons based on state standards.  Prior to his signature, public schools could provide sexual health education, but it was not a requirement.

The curriculum will be phased in over two years, with the mandate to teach all students in grades six through 12 beginning with the 2021-2022 school year and to all students a year later. There also is an “opt out” provision enabling parents to pull their children out of the sex ed instruction.

The legislation states that the definition of comprehensive sexual health education for K-3 would be social-emotional learning.  Students will learn about gender identities and sexual orientation before middle school and by 9th grade, the curriculum will focus on sex and healthy relationships.

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