Senate Democrats Ignore Families, Kill Effort to Bring More Transparency and Parent Decision-Making to Sex Ed for Grade-Schoolers

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

SACRAMENTO – Today, Democrats on the Senate Education Committee in Sacramento ignored the concerns of tens of thousands of parents and families across the state who sought greater transparency and accessibility in sex education by voting down SB 673 by Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga).

“SB 673 is about enhancing transparency and supporting parents’ decision-making when it comes to sex education and our youngest students in elementary school,” said Morrell. “Today’s vote by Senate Democrats in Sacramento is a vote against parents and the right they have to be as involved as possible in determining what’s best for their children. Our work is not over in this effort. I want to thank the coalition behind this bill and all those who made their voices heard and those who made the trip to the Capitol for this hearing.”

More than 47,000 people have signed a petition asking the Senate Education Committee to take action by passing SB 673, and thousands more have written in individually supporting the bill.

Most Californians know that classes covering personal health and sex are taught in middle school and high school. Current statute, however, also permits school districts to adopt this controversial curriculum as early as transitional kindergarten.

The diverse coalition in support of SB 673 collectively represents at least 10.8 million people, including: the California Catholic Conference, the National Center for Law & Policy, the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, branches of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, a chapter of the NAACP, dozens of Korean Christian churches, nondenominational churches, faith-based organizations and others, as well as tens of thousands of people who submitted letters and made calls to their representatives.

Morrell authored SB 673 after Denise Pursche, a mother in Contra Costa County, shared her experience and difficulty in accessing sex education lessons set to be taught in her child’s 5th grade class. It took 30 days inquiring of her school district before she was given even half an hour to review the material.

SB 673 focused on two main components: 1) Increasing transparency and creating full disclosure by requiring school districts to post sex education curriculum online, making it available for parents to review and 2) restores the right of parents of elementary-age students (TK-6th grade) to sign a permission slip opting their children in to sex education lessons.