Ref. 90 will give kids skills they need to protect themselves

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As an active Christian and retired public school educator, pre-kindergarten to college professor, I am urging you to become fully informed to approve Referendum 90. Our “Approve” vote is needed to implement comprehensive sexual health education in our schools.

I retired from public early childhood special education after teaching secondary communication skills. For years I taught the skills included in these standards to our very youngest students: how to use their words to tell friends that they did not want to be touched, that their voice could be heard to keep themselves safe, and that they needed to listen and honor each other’s words. As a bystander, they could come to the aid of someone being bullied, whose voice was being ignored and stand with that person to report to helpers.

Teaching these social and communication skills to the very youngest children helps protect them for a lifetime. Sadly, I have shared the pain of friends and sisters, a daughter and granddaughter abused by others who chose to ignore their voices while just trying to protect themselves. An “Approve” vote on Referendum 90 implements standards to teach these early communication and social skills to even young children.

Please read for yourself the full curriculum standards at the Washington Office of Public Instruction, Washington State Learning Standards. Consider the broad base of parent, student, and professional support for your “Approve” vote at www.approve90wa.org/.

Healthy lifetimes, free of sexual abuse and assault, will be our gift with approval of Referendum 90.

Rena Connell

Snohomish

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