SB 673 Voted Down in Senate Education Committee

By on January 19, 2020

An attempt by local Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga) to allow parents access to controversial sexual education curriculum was killed by democrat lawmakers in the State Senate.  Many parents across the State of California had expressed concerns and almost 50,000 people signed a Change.org petition asking the Senate Education Committee to take action by passing SB 673, and thousands more have written in individually supporting the bill.

Currently, parents have to take an affirmative action to request that their child be exempted from the controversial and very explicit sex training offered in California public schools and SB 673 would have changed that. SB 673 focused on two main components: 1) Increasing transparency and creating full disclosure by requiring school districts to post sex education curriculum online, making it available for parents to review and 2) restores the right of parents of elementary-age students (TK-6th grade) to sign a permission slip opting their children in to sex education lessons.

According to Senator Morrell in a press release, “SB 673 is about enhancing transparency and supporting parents’ decision-making when it comes to sex education and our youngest students in elementary school,” said Morrell. “Today’s vote by Senate Democrats in Sacramento is a vote against parents and the right they have to be as involved as possible in determining what’s best for their children. Our work is not over in this effort. I want to thank the coalition behind this bill and all those who made their voices heard and those who made the trip to the Capitol for this hearing.”

Most parents know that classes covering personal health and sex are taught in middle school and high school. Current statute, however, also permits school districts to adopt this controversial curriculum as early as transitional kindergarten.

Morrell authored SB 673 after Denise Pursche, a mother in Contra Costa County, shared her experience and difficulty in accessing sex education lessons set to be taught in her child’s 5th grade class.  According to Pursche it took a month of inquiring of her school district before she was given even half an hour to review the material.

The broad nature of support for this measure is indicated by the breadth and depth of the coalition supporting it.  Supporters of the bill included, the California Catholic Conference, the National Center for Law & Policy, the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, branches of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, a chapter of the NAACP, dozens of Korean Christian churches, nondenominational churches, faith-based organizations and others, as well as tens of thousands of people who submitted letters and made calls to their representatives.