Republican Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona on Tuesday vetoed a bill intended to require parental consent for schools to teach about sex and LGBT issues.
The bill would have prohibited Arizona school districts from teaching about sexuality, “gender identity,” HIV and AIDS without parental consent and allowed parents to opt children out of LGBT education if it contradicts their beliefs on sex, religion and morality.
In a letter explaining his veto, Ducey said the wording of the bill could have hampered child abuse prevention efforts.
“The language of the bill is overly broad and vague and could lead to serious consequences, including the very real possibility that it could be misinterpreted by schools and result in standing in the way of important child abuse prevention education in the early grades for at risk and vulnerable children,” the letter said.
Ducey also announced an executive order increasing parental involvement in the state’s sex education curriculum.
“I’m issuing an Executive Order today that seeks to encompass the heart of the bill and strengthens parental choice and involvement,” Ducey announced.
“In fact, this Executive Order goes further than Senate Bill 1456 — requiring more transparency for all sex education curriculum, mandating that schools post the curriculum online and that parents have the ability to review the materials and can make an informed decision before opting their child into sex education courses.”
Today I issued an Executive Order requiring all sex education materials to be posted online for parents to review. Read more on today’s actions here: https://t.co/cIrTB2U4Mw
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) April 20, 2021
The order requires sex education committees to make new courses accessible to the public for sixty days before deciding whether to approve them, conduct at least two public hearings about the courses, and post approved curriculum online.
Republican state Sen. Nancy Barto sponsored the bill. Ducey said in his letter that he appreciated Barto for bringing up the issue of parental rights in children’s education.
“I know her heart is in a good place, and I look forward to working with her on additional reforms,” Ducey wrote.
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