Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.
Wisconsin's State Assembly will vote on bill AB 458 today, Thursday, Nov. 5th. This bill would seriously alter Wisconsin's current human growth and development (sex education) statutes. If passed, AB458 would remove local school board's control over how sex ed is taught in each district.
Assembly Republicans were able to temporarily block the vote on Tuesday, but it will come to the floor today, the last day the Assembly meets for the year.
Considering the countless hours Elmbrook's Human Growth & Development curriculum committee spent on evaluating our proposed HG&D program, the state usurping our and other school board's local control, disregards the sacrifice of time and talent these committees invested in their programs. The bill disregards the right of local boards to make decisions for their districts.
I urge you to call your State Representative and tell them to vote NO on AB 458. My Rep. is Leah Vukmir 608-266-9180. Rep. Rich Zipperer 608-266-5120 represents the west side of Brookfield. (Even though the Republicans are against this legislation, I still call to voice my support for their position.)
What is so bad about the bill? Senator Glenn Grothman explained on Jay Weber's radio program Wed. morning how AB 458 would change HG&D instruction in Wisconsin (should it pass) Here are my notes:
- We would have to do [teach] it in a way that doesn't create any bias against those sexually active.
- It would ban abstinence centered and abstinence only teaching like Thiensville['s program.]
- This would force districts to allow Planned Parenthood into the classroom for condom demonstrations, starting at age 12.
- It would normalize teen sex, which is illegal according to state law for children under age 16.
Sen. Grothman mentioned that the Assembly Republicans tried to get an amendment to "provide instruction in marriage and parental responsibility," included in the bill, but that provision was rejected by the Democrats. (That language is currently in the state statutes.)
Pro-Life Wisconsin's Monday Update outlined more specifically what AB 458 would do.
A reader brought this omission to my attention: P.5, lines17-19 states that schools must "Use instructional methods and materials that do not promote bias against pupils of any race, gender sexual orientation, or ethnic or cultural background or against sexually active pupils or children with disabilities." Religion isn't included. I guess it is OK to create bias against those with religious teachings that prohibit or condemn certain practices?
Republicans are outnumbered in the Assembly, so AB 458 will probably pass. Normally it would go to the Senate after passage. But the regular legislature is about to shut down for the year, so the senate version, SB324, will have to wait until the State Senate resumes early next year, around Jan. 19th. UPDATE: They have already had their public hearing on the bill, so passage could occur without much notice. Call your State Senator too.
Did I mention that my State Senator Jim Sullivan - Democrat - was a cosponsor of the bill?
We don't treat underage drinking in the same way we treat pre-marital/teen sex. Imagine if we taught school children from Kindergarten on, that drinking alcohol is just a choice, no matter what their age? Or taught them how to drink safely? Or had the bartenders association come in and instruct 12 year-olds in the fine art of drink mixing?
If for no other reason, that shifting control over to the state that rightly belongs to the local school districts, this bill is a bad idea. Call your Representative and Senator.
Rep. Leah Vukmir - Republican - 608-266-9180
Rep. Rich Zipperer - Repbulican - 608-266-5120
Sen. Ted Kanavas - Republican - 608-266-9174
Sen. Jim Sullivan -Co-Sponsor of bill - Democrat - 608-266-2512, (fax) 608-267-0367
Find your state legislators if you live outside of Brookfield.
More reading: State Assembly Bill AB 458
Grothman Calls on Public To Speak Out Against Unhealthy Youth Sex Ed Bill
National Prevention Information Network: Bill Would Rewrite Rules For Public Sex Education "If passed, the legislation would restructure K-12 sex education in Wisconsin, update its main topics, and sweep aside abstinence-only policies, say its supporters. Opponents criticize the bill as a heavy-handed mandate and say contraception should not be taught in schools. Requiring only comprehensive sex education in school districts is 'a violation of the principle of local control,' said Matt Sande, director of legislation for Pro-Life Wisconsin."