As I write this, it’s just two days after the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and, I won’t lie, it feels like a gut punch. Barrett has such a troubling history. She served for nearly three years on the board of a group of private Christian schools that barred admission to children of same-sex parents and that “made it plain that openly gay and lesbian teachers weren’t welcome in the classroom.”
These schools are affiliated with People of Praise, a community that follows a literalist interpretation of the Bible — and a community of which Barrett and her husband have been longtime members (though Barrett has declined to say whether she is still an active member).
Those from People of Praise reportedly preach that homosexuals are bound for hell. It’s not much of a leap to assume that Barrett won’t be a huge proponent of LGBTQ+-inclusive sexuality education.
Barrett also doesn’t have the best track record where it comes to reproductive health access. And as Abigail Fisher writes, “If crucial resources like contraception and STI testing and treatment become less accessible, as they are likely to under a Justice Barrett, necessary conversations will become less accessible, too.”
And on that uplifting note:
- In Washington state, legislators recently approved a comprehensive sex education bill (SB 5395) and Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee signed it into law. This law mandates that school districts provide comprehensive sex education tailored to students’ ages, from Kindergarten on, and also requires that sex education be inclusive of LGBTQ and disabled students. But before we all give a giant sigh of relief, the state also allows citizens to gather signatures for a veto referendum on a piece of legislation, giving them the final say on whether the law actually goes into effect.
- This isn’t news, necessarily, but it is a good read. For Rewire News Group, Cassandra Corrado spotlights the educators helping Indigenous communities “own their pleasure.”
- Researchers conducted a literature review of three decades’ worth of research on comprehensive sex education program in order to gauge their efficacy. It was found that, in addition to pregnancy and disease prevention, comprehensive sex ed also led to an appreciation of sexual diversity, dating and intimate partner violence prevention, development of healthy relationships, prevention of child sex abuse, improved social/emotional learning, and increased media literacy.
- The East Grand School District in Colorado is looking to adopt a new sexual education curriculum that aligns with state law. Last year, House Bill 1032 was passed, which requires the state’s schools to teach comprehensive human sexuality education with LGBTQ-inclusive instruction, and which prohibits abstinence-only education.
- Parents in Santa Barbara, California, are protesting the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s decision to adopt the Teen Talk sex education curriculum, which teaches that abstinence is not the only way to prevent pregnancy.
- If you’re a sex educator who’s looking to up their game, it’s worth taking a look at the series of masterclasses offered by Everyone Deserves Sex Education. Upcoming classes include Anti-racism & Allyship in Sex Ed, Making Your Sex Ed Intersectional, and Professional Boundaries & Communication.
- Meanwhile, SIECUS ONLINE is hosting a virtual armchair discussion on November 17 on the topic of Facing Injustice: A Reflection on Race in Sex Education. Register here.
- Jo, the founder of This Is a Vulva, is hosting a virtual Labia Lesson on November 25, which sounds like all sorts of fun. Learn all about your vulva and, at the end, learn how to make your own! (I mean, with colored paper. Let’s be real here.)