Lawsuit seeks to block WA 'parental rights' initiative

Washington state capitol. by Peter Robbins is licensed under

Opponents of a Republican-backed initiative establishing a “bill of rights” for parents of K-12 students sued the state of Washington on Thursday to keep the measure from going into effect. 

The state Legislature approved the initiative earlier this year. It’s set to take effect June 6. The lawsuit argues that students, parents and school districts will be harmed by the initiative and that it was drafted in a way that violates the state Constitution. 

“The initiative passed because of deception and confusion, and it will cause life-altering negative outcomes for queer and trans students if it is implemented,” said Adrien Leavitt, staff attorney for ACLU of Washington, which along with two other legal groups filed the lawsuit in King County Superior Court on behalf of 10 plaintiffs.

Initiative 2081 calls for a range of school materials, such as textbooks, curriculum and a child’s medical records, to be easily available for review by parents. Parents will also be given notice and allowed to opt their child out of assignments and other activities involving questions about a child’s sexual experiences or their family’s religious beliefs. 

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