USA: Arizona House passes opt-in requirement for gender and sexuality school education
The Arizona House of Representatives passed SB 1456 Bill on Wednesday, which requires parental permission before school districts provide gender and sexuality related education to school children. The bill, sponsored by Republican Senator Nancy Barto, was approved 16-14 by the Arizona Senate last month and now passed the Arizona House with a vote of 31-28.
In its move to strengthen parental rights over children, the bill modifies the requirements and prohibitions surrounding sex education instruction in schools. It also places a complete ban on providing any sex education-related instruction to pupils before grade 5. Section one requires the school governing board to notify the parents in advance about any instruction relating to sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression which it decides to give to its pupils. Section two states that such instruction can ultimately only be provided if parents give their written and signed consent by opting-in for their children.
Section two furthermore provides parents with the right to review sex education curricula which shall be used while providing sex education instruction, while section three obligates the school district or school to make the curricula available to parents, either online or in-person, at least two weeks before offering any sex education instruction. The bill additionally makes a similar opt-in requirement mandatory for any instruction to a pupil on the subject of AIDS or HIV, while again vesting with the parents a similar right to receive a description of the course curriculum to be used for AIDS or HIV instruction.
The bill now goes to Republican Governor Doug Ducey to be signed into law.