School psychologists, GOP lawmakers clash over sex education bill

Stock image of desks in classroom
Stock image of desks in classroom(WILX)
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 4:02 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Republican lawmakers in South Carolina are asking for public schools to terminate agreements with a national mental health association after a clash over a bill called the “Stop Sexualization of Children Act.”

If passed, H.R. 9197 would bar federal funds from being used to “develop, implement, facilitate, or fund any sexually-oriented program, event or literature for children under the age of 10.”

The bill is co-sponsored by Republican lawmakers Jeff Duncan, William Timmons and Ralph Norman.

In October, the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) sent letters to congressional offices saying they “vehemently oppose” the bill and asking for lawmakers to publicly condemn it. The organization says the bill is harmful to LGBTQ youth and limits the rights of parents to participate in their child’s education.

“This legislation ignores the reality that there is no credible evidence that having honest and affirming conversations about all identities will predispose youth to adopt an identity or orientation other than their own,” NASP executive director Kathleen Minke writes. “Further, the bill turns a blind eye to the wealth of evidence demonstrating that inclusion and positive representation of LGBTQ+ persons in classroom instruction and respecting and acknowledging students’ gender identity or sexual orientation prevents suicide and other devastating outcomes for LGBTQ+ youth.”

In response, Duncan, Timmons and Norman are among lawmakers urging Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman to require all public schools in the state to terminate any association with NASP and the organization’s South Carolina chapter.

The group of legislators says NASP’s opposition to H.R. 9197 “makes egregious and dangerous claims in support of explicit sexual education and gender identity indoctrination.” The lawmakers said they are now concerned about training materials and resources from NASP being used in schools.

A spokesperson for NASP said their letter sent in October speaks for itself and they don’t have further comment in the response from GOP congressmen.

Read the full letter from NASP below:

Read the full letter from Republican lawmakers below: