Some Republican lawmakers want Wisconsin public schools to ban teachers from presenting educational materials about gender identity and sexual orientation unless they first get parental consent.
The Assembly’s Education Committee on Thursday passed a bill that would ensure parents could remove their children from any educational program that involves discussions of sex, gender identity, gender expression or gender. sexual orientation.
The bill has two exceptions – it allows teachers to answer questions posed by students that are related to gender and sexuality, and to discuss the gender identity or sexuality of historical figures or groups.
The bill applies to teachers in public and charter schools.
Before the vote, Republican State Rep. Robert Wittke of Racine applauded the measure. “This bill is about letting parents have a say in the direction in which they want their child to have an education. Whether it’s through their own personal beliefs, religious beliefs or whatever,” he said. declared.
Fellow Republican Jeremy Thiesfeldt of Fond du Lac added this sentiment: “When you’re going to talk about sensitive topics with kids, that’s a valid thing for parents to know.”
But Democratic Rep. Sondy Pope of Mount Horeb, who sits on the Assembly’s education committee, opposed it and voted in a minority against the bill. “I could say a lot about this bill, but I’m just going to say I’m voting no because I’m tired of this committee promoting intolerance and disrespect for students in school,” Pope said.
If the Republican-led Legislature passes the bill, it will head to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. His office said it would veto it.
The measure is part of a larger list of Republican bills intended to give parents more control over public education.
Editor’s Note: Part of the audio comes from WisconsinEye.