Testimony Opposing HB 2199, Opt-in Human Sexuality Education

This is testimony being presented by MainStream in opposition to HB 2199, which tries to make human sexuality education in public schools opt-in only.

Testimony to House Education Committee

Chair, Representative Ron Highland at ron.highland@house.ks.gov
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 Committee Meeting, 1:30 PM Room 112-N
Sue Mollenkamp, Committee Assist, 785-296-7310, sue.mollenkamp@house.ks.gov

Position – OPPOSE
Opt-In Human Sexuality Education (HB 2199)

Chairman Highland and Committee Members,

MainStream Coalition is a non-partisan, grassroots organization. We grew from an outpouring of concerns over the infringement of governmental separation of powers and of church and state. For over two decades now, we have worked to advocate for state policies that perpetuate good governance and traditional Kansas moderate values.

In alignment with our mission, MainStream Coalition is opposed to this bill for two reasons. First, the bill reflects a legislative overstep of its constitutional authority and a failure to maintain reasonable separation of governmental powers. Policy dictating curriculum and procedural practices like this Opt-In Human Sexuality Education bill (HB 2199) is the jurisdiction of our elected members of local and State Boards of Education, guided by the expertise of the professionals with the Kansas Department of Education.

Secondly, this political over reaction stands to increase children’s risky behavior due to lack of accurate information as much or more than it stands to prevent harm. District policies are already in place to address several of the proposed statutory changes. We speculate that the trigger event for this proposed bill is more likely a function of inadequate school funding and subsequent insufficient staffing levels than anything else.

  • Local school boards already provide human sexuality curriculum to parents upon request

  • Opt-out policies allow children to be removed from sexuality education upon the request of a parent and without penalty to the student.

  • The overwhelming majority of states have opt-out policies, only three states, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, require active parental permission and those were in response to partisan activism, not sound educational policy.

We urge this committee to oppose HB2199. Respectfully submitted,

Brandi Fisher, Executive Director
MainStream Coalition and Education Foundation 

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