The Senate has placed a bill on its debate calendar for February 9th that would restrict access to classic pieces of literature as well as cause several additional problems for LGBTQ youth. SF2205, a bill that seeks to define parental rights in education, has a reasonable goal. But the details are what matter. There are several concerning components, especially the recent change from the well defined “obscenity” standard to an undefined “sexually explicit” standard. Under such a vague standard, a teenager who wants to check out the Old English book The Canterbury Tales would first have to get their parents permission. Sexual education would change from opt-out (where parents have to send a note to opt their student out) to opt-in (where young people can’t take the class without a note from their parents). There are additional concerns about what confidential conversations counselors will have to disclose to parents, forcing them to choose between their professional ethics and their job.
This bill needs work. In its current form, it will cause more harm than good. Let your Senator know not to pass SF2205 without fixing it first.