Last week, Rep. Wesley Bishop (left) presented HB 326 to the House Education Committee and Sen. J.P. Morrell (right) presented SB 31 in Senate Ed.
THE BILLS ARE IDENTICAL and amend R.S. 17: 281(A)(2) which deals with sex education:
"however, a governing authority of a public school in Orleans Parish may allow students to be surveyed about their risk behaviors, including those related to sexual health."
As we previously shared with you, it is ILLEGAL to ask such questions of children in LA since the legislature unanimously passed Act 837 into law:
"C.(1) Notwithstanding any provision of this Subpart or any other law to the contrary, no official or employee of a city, parish, or other local public school system shall require the collection of any of the following student information unless voluntarily disclosed by the parent or legal guardian:
(c) Sexual behavior or attitudes.
(d) Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior."
Despite the fact that Rep. Bishop twice voted for Act 837 and Sen. Morrell was an actual COSPONSOR of the Act, both legislators were successful in getting their bills moved out of committee and on to the full House and Senate.
In doing so, Sen. Morrell offered amendments that provide for the students to complete the surveys anonymously and for parents of the students to be able to opt them out of the survey.
Sen. Morrell's amendments do nothing to bring his bill in line with the provisions of Act 837: according to the Act, children cannot be asked these questions...PERIOD!
We also have to ask: Should parents have to opt their children out of something that is illegal to give to their children in the first place??
WE THINK NOT!
As of this posting: HB 326 (Bishop) is listed on the House Order of the Day as being "Not yet scheduled for floor debate"; SB 31 (Morrell) has not yet been added to the Senate's "Daily Digest".
Please, call and email both Rep. Bishop [(504) 242-4198; firstname.lastname@example.org] and Sen. Morrell [(504) 284-4794; email@example.com] and ask your contacts to do the same. Request that these legislators pull HB 326 (Bishop) and SB 31 (Morrell) from consideration because:
1. It is illegal to ask children in LA questions related to sexual behavior/attitudes or risk behaviors that may be categorized as "illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior" whether or not the survey is completed anonymously.
2. Only parents/guardians can provide this information.
3. Parents should not have to opt their children out of surveys that are illegal for schools to administer.
4. Children and parents in New Orleans are also Louisiana Citizens and possess the same rights and protections as any other citizen of this state!
***If we allow our government to impose this on the citizens of one parish, what will prevent this from being done to citizens in any other parish?***
"Then they came for the Jews, and
I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."