Hundreds converge at Capitol building over legislature’s sex education bill

By Cameron Sheppard   |   WNPA News Service

  • Protesters urge governor to veto Senate Bill 5395
  • Republican lawmakers attempt to make the bill a ballot issue for November elections

Despite the governor’s warning to avoid crowds in the wake of the coronavirus, hundreds of concerned parents and residents converged on the Capitol Wednesday to protest Saturday’s passage of a law to mandate comprehensive sex education from kindergarten through 12th grade in the state of Washington.

Informed Parents of Washington
Photo courtesy of Representative Jacquelin Maycumber House Republican Floor Leader.

The Informed Parents of Washington organized the protest in an effort to urge Gov. Jay Inslee to veto the controversial Senate Bill 5395, which was passed by the Democratic majorities in both the senate and house and now awaits his signature.

Parents and children held signs urging the governor to veto the bill.

Informed Parents of Washington
Protesters crowd the hallways as they line up to leave written comments of dissatisfaction in the governor’s office. —Photo by Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service.

Many Republican senators and representatives showed up to speak against the sex ed bill.

Informed Parents of Washington
Rep. Tom Dent, R-Moses Lake, speaks to crowd urging for the innocence of children to be protected.—Photo by Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service.

Rep. Tom Dent, R-Moses Lake, said he had issues with the “pornographic” nature of the curriculum, which he said students will be subjected to as early as kindergarten.

“Why do we want to take their innocence?” Dent asked the crowd, implying that exposing children to sexual material at such a young age would not be appropriate.

The bill includes provisions to allow districts to adopt their own sexual education curriculum, but Dent said developing a curriculum can be very costly for a school district.

Informed Parents of Washington
Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, stands with his Republican colleagues in unity against Senate Bill 5395.—Photo by Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service.

Some parents, like Karen Larsen from Auburn, said they feel like this legislation is an overreach of the state government.

Larsen said that, while she does not agree with the content of the curriculum, her biggest issue is that the policy usurps local control over education and curricula.

Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, also spoke to the crowd, claiming he was the only Democrat to vote against the bill.

Representatives such as Jesse Young, R-Gig Harbor, and Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, urged voters to remember their frustrations with the Democratically-controlled Legislature come election time in November.   

Informed Parents of Washington
Dr. Sarah Bartel leads the crowd in prayer.—Photo by Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service.

After a series of speeches from advocates and legislators, protesters crowded the halls outside the governor’s office as they waited to leave written comments with Inslee’s staff.

Thank you Matthew Shea for standing for parents rights and Christian values. God Bless you and keep up the fight!! #SheaTrain2020 #ShieldsTogether #FightAsOne

Posted by Jaclyn Gallion on Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Representative Matt Shea addressing supporters at the Capitol Wednesday to protest Saturday’s passage of a law to mandate comprehensive sex education from kindergarten through 12th grade. Courtesy of Jaclyn Gallion.

Mario Lotmore

Mario Lotmore is originally from The Bahamas and for the last seven years has called Mukilteo, WA his home. Having lived in every region of the United States has exposed him to various cultures, people, and approaches to life. Lotmore created the Lynnwood Times to represent the character of a diverse and growing Lynnwood. The launching of the city’s community newspaper will only help bring neighborhoods together. Lotmore was an industrial engineer by trade and proven success implementing and managing lean accountable processes and policies within his eighteen years of operations excellence, strategic development, and project management in the aerospace, manufacturing, and banking industries. Over his career he has saved and created hundreds of union and non-union jobs. Lotmore is the President of a Homeowner Association, an active Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics volunteer in his community, and former Boeing 747 Diversity Council leader. Mario’s talent is finding “that recipe” of shared destiny to effectively improve the quality of life for others.

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