September 17, 2021 — With only 24 hours’ notice, the Assembly Education Committee held a public hearing on AB 562 earlier yesterday. This harmful legislation would require school districts to provide notice to parents regarding any programming discussing sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression. Parent/guardians could then opt their children out of such instruction. Unfortunately, this bill has already been scheduled for a committee vote next week (September 22). Now is the time to contact your state Representative to tell them to oppose this harmful bill.
Please take the following action today:
- Call your state Representative today and urge them to oppose AB 562. It is particularly important that you call your representative if they are on the Assembly Education Committee (see list below). You can identify who represents you here. See below for suggested talking points.
- Today I ask Representative _____ to oppose AB 562.
- Gender identity and gender expression are critical parts of sexual violence prevention programming.
- Gender socialization, including rigid adherence to gender roles about masculinity and femininity, is one of the social norms that contributes to sexual violence.
- Sexual violence prevention programming that challenges gender-based stereotypes, supports skills/interests outside traditional gender expectations, discusses concepts of masculinity and entitlement, and supports non-binary gender exploration are part of WCASA’s 10 Core Concepts to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse.
- Learning about gender diversity/gender expression also teaches empathy to kids, and the importance of respecting one another regardless of their differences. It also teaches them to resist the stereotypes associated with rigid gender roles that contribute to sexual violence.
- This legislation operates under the assumptions that parents/guardians always act in their children’s best interests. Sadly, this is not always the case for LGBTQ youth or child sexual abuse survivors, whose parents may opt-them out of this important programming.
- This legislation could also have a chilling effect on schools providing programming that discusses gender identity/expression. This could deny kids access to information, validation, and support regarding gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. This could have negative mental health consequences for LGBTQ students and child sexual abuse survivors.
Assembly Education Committee Members
Representative Thiesfeldt (Chair)
Representative Kitchens (Vice-Chair)