After Veto, Arizona Lawmakers Pushing Second Bill On Sex Ed

Published: Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 11:49am
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A bill working its way through the Legislature would take another shot at restricting when schools could teach sex ed and would require parents to opt their kids into those classes, rather than allowing them to opt out.

This comes after Gov. Doug Ducey vetoed another sex ed-related bill, saying its language was overly broad and vague. He did, however, issue an Executive Order, specifying procedures for school districts to let parents see the materials related to sex ed courses ahead of time.

Like the vetoed bill, the new measure would prevent schools from teaching sex ed before fifth grade. It would also put into law much of what was in the governor’s order, among other provisions.

The Show heard from two perspectives on this, starting with Cathi Herrod. 

Herrod is president of the Center for Arizona Policy, which backs the bill. The Show spoke with her to hear, based on the governor’s Executive Order, why this new bill is necessary.

Critics of the measure, though, say their concerns with this version are similar to their concerns with the vetoed bill.

They include the stigmatization of LGBTQ students and the potential for non sex-ed classes to be affected, if issues of sexuality or sexual orientation come up.

Richie Taylor is communications director for the Arizona Department of Education; before the governor vetoed the original bill, he tweeted that while growing up gay in rural Arizona, it “would have been life changing” for him to have access to information and resources that could have helped him “make sense of it all.”

The Show spoke with Taylor joins me to learn more about his experience, and why this issue is so personal for him.

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