David and Goliath – David didn’t stay content to watch his sheep, he went after the big guy directly!
Woman in Utah who has small podcast/radio program we’ll call “Joann”. Poster child for the wrong way to go about it! VERY public, very aggressive – used browbeating and name- calling and direct scorch-and-burn approach. She is now a pariah among the legislators AND the pro-family groups.
Another mom who has small nonprofit. “Nicky”. Year after year she has built relationships with legislators. She is calm, patient, but firm. She researches carefully. She provides the legislators with the tools they need to vote her way. She is relentless. And she is VERY effective.
Sometimes we are our own worst enemy!!
Let’s get a feel for where everyone is –
Have you done any work directly with legislators?
What is your biggest question relative to working with them?
Have you ever helped get a bill passed or blocked?
WHAT’S THE COMPOSITION OF YOUR LEGISLATURE?
Remember the “who” – these are just people! They are NOT more important than you!
HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE BEEN TO YOUR CAPITOL?
HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE BEEN TO YOUR LOCAL OFFICE?
REVIEW EXAMPLES – HAVE THEM FIND EACH ONE
ROLE PLAY – APPROACHING YOUR REPRESENTATIVE (DIVIDE INTO SMALL GROUPS)
Easy as 1-2-3
1 – Educate
2 – Speak Up
3 – Share
PROCESS OF A TYPICAL BILL
Bills originate in the House (called a House Bill or HB) or the Senate (called a Senate Bill or SB) with a sponsor (the legislator who is proposing the bill). First, they are “read” on the floor – introduced to the body. Then they are usually assigned to a committee. If it gets passed in the committee, it goes to the “floor”. For a House Bill, it is “read” or presented to the House – 2nd and 3rd readings (often combined in the House) and then voted on. If it passes out of the House, it goes to the Senate. They introduce it (1st reading) and then may assign to a committee and the process continues. If it starts in the Senate, it goes in reverse order. If there have been changes by the second body, it goes back to the first to see if they agree (concur). If they don’t, a committee is formed from both bodies to see if they can work it out. If they do and both bodies concur, it’s good to go. If not, it’s dead. Once bills pass both Senate and House, they go to the Governor for signing (or vetoing).
Sexual Education Opt-in Laws
Utah Code 53G-10-402 Required parental consent for sex education instruction
Summary: A school must obtain written consent from parents before providing sex education to students. If a parent chooses not to have their child participate in sex education, the parent then takes responsibility for the child’s instruction in cooperation with the teacher or school, and the school shall either waive the requirement or provide a reasonable alternative to the requirement. There is no penalization if parents opt their student out of sex education.
Indiana Public Law 154 (Senate Enrolled Act 65, 2018)
Summary: Human sexuality instructional materials shall be available for inspection by the parent of a student. Before a student is given instruction on human sexuality, parents must receive a written request for consent. This request must also provide a summary of the content and nature of the instruction, inform parents of their right to review and inspect all related instruction materials, and request that parents provide their consent or decline instruction. If instruction is declined, the school shall provide the student with alternate academic instruction during the time human sexuality instruction would have otherwise been given. Human sexuality instruction may only be provided if the parent give consent or if the parent fails to respond after two notifications from the school. Parents may opt their students out at any time.
Life Site “New Law Empowers Parents to Veto Inappropriate Sex Ed”
Sample non-consent form provided by Liberty Counsel to parents
Resolution Passed by Republican National Committee – July 20, 2018
Summary: Schools shall disclose content of human sexuality instruction to parents and only provide such instruction after receiving written consent from parents. State legislatures to acknowledge the rights of parents to direct their children’s education, care, and upbringing, including the right to protect them from content they find unsuitable.
7.20.18 — REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE
RESOLUTION TO PROTECT STUDENTS FROM EXPOSURE TO POTENTIALLY UNSUITABLE CONTENT BY SUPPORTING A PARENT’S RIGHT TO GRANT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT FOR SEX EDUCATION
WHEREAS, parents are a child’s first and foremost educators, and have primary responsibility for the education of their children. Parents have a right to direct their children’s education, care, and upbringing; (1)
WHEREAS, education is much more than schooling. Education is the whole range of activities by which families and communities transmit to a younger generation, not just knowledge and skills, but ethical and behavioral norms and traditions. It is the handing over of a cultural identity; (2)
WHEREAS, American education has, for the last several decades, been the focus of constant controversy, as centralizing forces from outside the family and community have sought to remake education in order to remake America. This has done immense damage; (3)
WHEREAS, school administrators routinely ask parents for their prior written permission for students to participate in various school-related instruction and activities, including, but not limited to: field trips, sports, and distribution of medicine;
WHEREAS, parents and their students should be afforded the same respect with regard to the increasingly sensitive and controversial nature of human sexuality instruction;
WHEREAS, much of the content in human sexuality instruction centers on contentious and sensitive issues, including but not limited to: abortion, birth control, sexual activity, sexual orientation, transgenderism, and/or gender identity;
WHEREAS, the content often includes a personal analysis or survey that reflects or influences the student’s opinions on sensitive topics such as religious beliefs and practices, sexual orientation, and/or sexual activity;
WHEREAS, most states grant an obscenity exemption that allows content that would otherwise be deemed harmful to minors to be disseminated for educational purposes, creating the potential for inappropriate content to be included within human sexuality instruction;
WHEREAS, such information, content, or ideology is most appropriately placed within the discretion of the parents or guardians;
WHEREAS, the current opt-out paradigm assumes parental consent to student participation, allowing schools to automatically enroll students in potentially explicit, sensitive, and/or controversial human sexuality instruction without prior written permission;
WHEREAS, human sexuality instruction frequently places the wishes and concerns of the parents and/or guardians at odds with those of the school district; and
WHEREAS, the wishes and concerns of the parents and/or guardians are preeminent to those of the School District and should be acknowledged by simply affording parents and/or guardians the right to grant permission for such instruction; therefore
RESOLVED, that public schools must disclose the content contained within human sexuality instruction to the parents and/or guardians of all unemancipated students and shall only enroll those students whose parents and/or guardians provide prior written permission to opt their student into human sexuality instruction;
RESOLVED, that the default shall be that no human sexuality instruction shall be provided to any student not yet emancipated without prior written consent from their parent and/or guardian, making an opt-out default an insufficient protection for either the safety of the student or the rights of the parent;
RESOLVED, that all state legislatures are encouraged to enact legislation that implements these notices and safeguards to protect students from exposure to potentially inappropriate and salacious content and to acknowledge the right of the parents and/or guardians to direct their children’s education, care, and upbringing, including their right to protect them from exposure to content they find unsuitable.
1 Platform of the Republican Party, Issued by the Republican National Committee, page 33 (2016, Cleveland, Ohio).