A Statement from Center for Arizona Policy President, Cathi Herrod, Esq.
Governor Ducey today sent a clear and deeply disappointing message to parents: The government knows better.
After 31 House Republican and 16 Senate Republican, pro-family lawmakers stood in the face of opposition for the rights of parents to guide the education and upbringing of their own children, Governor Ducey vetoed SB 1456.
SB 1456, sponsored by Senator Nancy Barto, would have ensured parents are given ample access, and time, to review sex education curriculum before deciding whether to opt-in their child. It also would have prohibited sex education through the fourth grade.
It did not prohibit or dictate any curriculum in grades 5-12; it merely would have ensured parents opt their children into instruction on human sexuality.
Parents have the fundamental right and responsibility to raise their children. Exactly what they are taught regarding human sexuality, and when, is up to parents, not the government.
In his veto letter, Governor Ducey expressed concern about child abuse prevention education. Abuse prevention is not sex education and would not have been blocked by any provision in SB 1456. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, this concern was not brought to the attention of lawmakers by the executive branch prior to the veto.
Our team will review Governor Ducey’s veto letter and his Executive Order on parents’ rights. An executive order is not the same as a duly enacted law. Further, at a minimum, the Executive Order fails to implement the prohibition of sex education prior to fifth grade.
Make no mistake, the need to advocate for the parents’ ability to guide the education of their children, especially with regard to matters of human sexuality, will continue to be a key priority for us, and the many Arizonans who supported SB 1456.