New Sex Ed Restrictions in Alaska Anger Planned Parenthood

News: Education
by Joe Gallagher  •  •  August 1, 2016   

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ANCHORAGE ( - Alaska is creating a roadblock for Planned Parenthood to teach sex ed in its schools — and the abortion giant is not happy.

Earlier this week, Alaska House Bill 156 (HB 156) became law, but it is without Alaska governor Bill Walker's signature. He had until 11:59 PM on July 27 to veto or sign off on the bill before it would be automatically implemented. He did not sign off on the bill nor did he veto it, therefore Alaskan law allows the law to take effect. The bill highlights parental involvement in regulating school curriculum, sex education and involvement in statewide standardized testing.

Governor Walker was not in full support of the bill, but he decided to give it a chance. He commented,

Given that this bill will have a broad and wide-ranging effect on education statewide, I have decided to allow HB 156 to become law without my signature. ... The bill may not be perfect, but as a whole, I believe the potential advantages to school districts due to the bill should be given the chance to work.

Parents will have much more knowledge of and control in monitoring what their children will be learning. Some of these rights are the ability to withhold their children from any (but not all) classes they do not agree with, to review any curriculum their children will be learning, and to receive a two-week notice of any sexual education sex ed classes, as well as the freedom to review the class' content.

The new laws now require sex ed to be taught by a certified teacher or outside source approved by the local school board. This allows the possibility of sex ed without the encouragement of contraception and abortion — a point of frustration for Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Katie Rogers remarked, "HB 156 is a crushing blow for comprehensive and medically accurate sexual health education in Alaska, and [Gov. Walker's] lack of action today has … elevated sex ed to the most scrutinized subject in the state."

The law also places a temporary ban on statewide standardized testing. The Board of Education is formulating a new standardized testing procedure, and Alaska will not allow any standardized testing to be conducted until 2018. The only way the ban can be lifted is if the federal government threatens to withdraw funding from Alaskan schools for failure to conduct these tests.

The bill makes no change to standards in Alaska's education system, but only allows more direct parental involvement.


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