Comprehensive sex education is desperately needed.
The current curriculum — which was what I was taught in the Stanwood-Camano School District — teaches sex education through an abstinence-based framing, and pushes a heterosexual view of sex. LGBTQ+ education is mostly left out; and only included in the context of the AIDS crisis.
This type of framing both demonizes non-heteronormative sexual activity, and those who identify as LGBTQ+, and excludes them from the overall conversation.
Age appropriate sexual education, which is what the referendum would provide, should start when a child asks how a baby is made. Otherwise a child may develop trust issues with a parent/guardian, a warped view about themselves and others, and how they interact in the world.
This referendum would educate children on how to manage feelings and emotions, and how to have healthy relationships. It would also educate students on how to engage in consent — an important conversation that would decrease instances of sexual violence in youths.
If passed, it would still be up to the discretion of parents whether they would have their child participate. I ask community members to consider approving Referendum Measure No. 90.