I have been asked about my support of comprehensive sexual health education (CSE) several times throughout this campaign, including at the League of Women Voters forum. It has become clear to me that like so much in our world today, this issue has become a partisan battleground. These discussions should be about what is in the best interest of our children and need to focus on how we can help keep them healthy and safe.
I first want to clarify what CSE actually is. The most recent bill discussed in our state legislature simply states that we will create a model program to make available to schools, and requires that the model include medically accurate and age-appropriate information on the following:
1. Human anatomy, reproduction, sexual development
2. Consent, bodily autonomy, and healthy relationships, including relationships involving diverse sexual orientations and gender identities
3. Abstinence and other methods for preventing unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections
4. The relationship between substance abuse and sexual behavior and health
The bill does not create the actual curriculum, and there is no specified or proposed textbook or curriculum mentioned in it.
The job of the school board members isn’t to debate this bill, but to determine how we implement CSE in our district. If we want curriculum that works for the families in Anoka-Hennepin we can’t approach this from the top down; we need the input of the parents, guardians, and students of our district. As I’ve been saying throughout this campaign, I want the people of Anoka-Hennepin to feel like their voices are heard by the school board.
I am not advocating for a specific sex education program from any particular group, including the Abstinence Resource Center or Planned Parenthood.
I am not interested in representing a political party or in pushing partisan talking points to win this election. Instead, I am interested in representing the families of Anoka-Hennepin and believe that together, we can create smart solutions and prepare our kids for the future.
(The bill I mentioned from the MN House can be read in its entirety here)