HARRISBURG – Lancaster County Sens. Scott Martin and Ryan Aument plan to introduce a bill to address discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation in PA schools. It’s in response to concerns both senators have received from parents that age-inappropriate conversations about these sensitive topics are occurring prematurely and without parental knowledge. The senators published a webpage to answer questions about the bill’s language and dispel any myths or misunderstandings about its intent. According to the webpage and the cosponsor memo for the proposal, the measure prohibits classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation for pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, consistent with the timeline for when the existing academic standards on general sex education begins in sixth grade. It would require adherence to existing state standards of age-appropriate content for any discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation that occur in grades 6-12. It would also prohibit a school from withholding information from parents in accordance with existing state and federal laws and increase transparency by requiring public schools to develop a policy for notifying parents when there is a change to a student’s services or monitoring. The bill also protects LGBTQ students by providing critical exemptions if it can be reasonably demonstrated that parental notification would result in abuse or abandonment of a minor.