Oklahoma parents will know when their child receives sex education at school under pending legislation that’s drawing opposition from LGBTQ+ activists.

House Bill 3120, by Seminole Republican Rep. Danny Williams, would require parents to opt their children into sex education lessons in the Sooner State, flipping the current opt-out system that delivers instruction unless parents request otherwise.

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“Parents should know what their children are being asked to be involved in,” Williams said before a committee advanced the bill to the House floor on a 4-3 vote last week. “I think we’ve walked away from that. I think the challenges of life sometimes have kept us so busy that we haven’t looked at the details.”

“I think it should be a quality decision based on education and knowledge, so the parent knows what they’re doing when they make the decision for their child,” he said, according to The Oklahoman.

Other changes in HB 3120 would focus instruction on biological sex classifications rather than gender identity, block teaching “consent and negotiation skills for sexual activity,” and prioritize abstinence-focused sex education and the benefits of monogamous marriage between a man and a woman.

“I think there are going to be a lot more parents engaged in their children’s education completely, not just sex education, because it’s going to challenge them to actually be a part of the decision-making process,” Williams said.

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The legislation comes amid a national debate on transgender policies in schools and calls from parents for more transparency and involvement in school decisions, particularly related to curriculum and how gender identity is conveyed to students. Lawmakers in numbers states have heeded those calls by limiting instruction on gender identity in early grades, and giving parents more access to school materials and methods to challenge those they find inappropriate or offensive.

Opposition to those efforts have come from teacher associations and unions aligned with LGBTQ+ activist groups that promote the transgender lifestyle and “comprehensive” sex education.

In Oklahoma and elsewhere, opponents have pointed to poor parenting as justification for keeping engaged parents in the dark, both with sex education and gender identity changes at school.

“When we send kids home to abusive spaces, to parents who are irresponsible, what is the consequence for their actions or their lack of actions whenever they aren’t teaching,” Norman Democratic Rep. Jared Deck said.

Deck and others predict bad things will happen without “comprehensive” sex education, according to the Oklahoma Voice.

Michelle Slaybaugh, director of programs for SIECUS, a nonprofit dedicated to “Sex Ed for Social Change,” argued requiring parents to opt their children in to sex education “just creates an extra barrier.”

“So when you have a child who may not have a great relationship with their parents, or is afraid of their parents for some reason, requiring them to get an opt-in for vital information that will impact their long-term health outcomes seems ridiculous,” she told The Oklahoman.

Slaybaugh also took issue with current law that emphasizes “engaging in homosexual activity, promiscuous sexual activity, intravenous drug use or contact with contaminated blood products” can transmit HIV.

“This further stigmatizes learning about HIV information, which puts students at greater risk of not knowing how to find information on how to protect themselves,” she said.

With Republicans holding 40 of 48 seats in the Senate, and 81 of 101 seats in the House, HB 3120’s prospects for passage are strong.

What that means for Oklahoma and parents elsewhere was summed up by BNN, “The People’s Network.”

“The outcome of this debate will not only determine the future of sexual education in the state but also contribute to the national conversation on how education systems can best serve the needs of students while respecting the rights and wishes of parents.”