Holy hopes Inslee will veto sex-education bill amid angry calls, emails

Three days after joining other Senate Republicans to oppose a bill requiring the teaching of sex education to children as soon as they enter Washington public schools, 6th District Sen. Jeff Holy is calling for Gov. Jay Inslee to veto the controversial legislation.

The Senate voted Saturday along caucus lines, 27-21, to agree to the bill as approved by the House of Representatives following a six-hour debate that ended at 2 a.m. Thursday. Senate Bill 5395 would require every public school to provide “comprehensive” sexual health education to each student by the 2022-23 school year, starting with students in grades 6-12 in the 2021-22 school year.

“In the past week or so, my office received over 500 emails and about 100 phone calls from people who were angry about the sex-education bill and didn’t want the Legislature to pass it,” said Holy, R-Cheney. “Despite strong opposition from every part of the state, our Democratic colleagues still passed a bill that goes much too far and removes local control of our schools.”

Speaking prior to his Saturday vote opposing SB 5395, Holy told his Senate colleagues the bill appeared to be a matter of indoctrination rather than education.

“It appears that the parents’ values are completely ignored, not just at the beginning but all the way through the process,” said Holy. “Over the years, we’ve heard about the distaste over the objectification of women as sex objects. And yet what we’re attempting to do through this type of education is to cause an objectification of sex itself, or a desensitization at a minimum.”

Holy said the bill essentially replaces parents’ values with state government’s values.

“For parents’ values to be ignored is just wrong. This is an overreach of the education system in Washington state and it subordinates and dismisses parental values.”

Holy pointed out that during its coverage of the House floor action on the bill last week, TVW put the following words across the screen: “MATURE SUBJECT MATTER – VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED.”

“This type of warning is a clear sign of how inappropriate this bill is and why the Legislature should not have passed it,” Holy said.

The sex-education bill, which was requested by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, has not been scheduled for signing by Inslee.

“The governor’s office probably is being bombarded with calls and emails asking him to veto this bill. I hope he’ll listen to the people and prevent this bad bill from becoming law,” said Holy. “Otherwise, our school districts will be forced to teach sex education in ways that go much too far.”