PHOENIX, AZ — (04-14-21) — Arizona has passed new sex education rules that would require parents to opt-in for their children to participate in discussions about gender identity, sexual orientation and HIV in sex education classes.

Provisions of SB 1456:

1.Requires the school governing board to develop procedures by which parents will be notified in advance, and given the opportunity to opt their children into, any instruction regarding sexuality, gender identity orgender expression.(Sec. 1)

2.Requires the school governing board to develop procedures by which parents may learn about parental rights for opting their children into instruction regarding acquired immune deficiency syndrome. (Sec. 1)

3.Requires a public educational institution to obtain signed, written consent from a student’s parent or guardian before providing sex education instruction or instruction regarding sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. (Sec. 2)

4.Requires when seeking consent, the public educational institution must at the same time inform the student’s parent or guardian of the right to review the instructional materials and activities. (Sec. 2)

5.Prohibits a school district or charter school from providing sex education instruction, including instruction on AIDS and HIV, to pupils before grade 5. (Sec. 3)

Democrats who are in the minority in the Arizona state’s legislature, argued that the measures in the bill are harmful to LGBT students and could potentially be unconstitutional.

“In a way, it’s a subliminal way of trying to get anti-homosexual legislation put in, by saying you can’t speak or talk about it in schools,” said Alison Macklin, a senior policy adviser at SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change. “We would never make that type of legislation around other historical movements.” said Macklin.

Several other Republican-led states have already passed rules requiring parental consent before they are taught about LGBT issues or sex education.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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