I am writing to assert my full support of Senate Bill 656. Schools should not be exposing children and youth to sexually explicit content through curriculum or accessible materials within the schools (i.e. library books). There must be greater transparency between the education system and parents so as to increase awareness of what is being taught to our children. There are far too many disconcerting materials found and supported within the educational system that not only fail to provide children with an enlightening and positive educational experience, but exposes them to matters and issues of a sexual nature that are entirely inappropriate and wholly unnecessary. What good can come from this? How does such exposure better prepare today’s youth and children to become contributing members of society? Why would such content be essential in a child’s education? In many instances it’s like feeding an infant a raw steak before they have the teeth to chew – they can’t process it and trying to force it on them when they aren’t old enough, fails to provide them with the necessary nutrition and will most likely lead to negative consequences.
Children must be protected from such content at school and parents’ rights right to determine whether their children are exposed to this content must be respected. Not only do parents have a fundamental right to make these decisions, but they are also in the best position to know what is appropriate for their unique children.
Additionally, I encourage you to also make sure that through this document, there are certain specific actions that EVERY school MUST take in order to ensure sexually explicit materials are correctly identified and seen by parents first.
Also, please mandate that parents must “opt-in” to allowing their child to participate in such curriculum or be allowed to check-out school library books identified as containing sexually explicit content. More must be done to empower parents with the ability to protect their children. When both parents are working, or there is only one parent in the home, there is often not enough time in the day, many struggling with the ability to address all necessary emails or review every paper sent home from the school and I’ve seem emails that present a very innocuous sounding content or fail to convey a true and proper description of what is otherwise seen by parents, as inappropriate books or curriculum for their child. Furthermore, emails can be easily overlooked and paperwork easily lost.
I am deeply concerned that unless these certain minimum standards and requirements are expressly mandated (as opposed to providing examples or suggestions), many schools may find ways around what they consider to be mere guidance.