An electric school bus on display at the Biden-Harris administration's Lumen Field clean school bus award announcement event (Photo: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

The third of six sub­mit­ted ini­tia­tives to the 2024 Wash­ing­ton State Leg­is­la­ture spon­sored by Repub­li­can State Par­ty Chair Jim Walsh and fund­ed by right wing mul­ti­mil­lion­aire Bri­an Hey­wood was cer­ti­fied today, which means it is des­tined for the Novem­ber 2024 bal­lot for approval or rejec­tion by voters.

Ini­tia­tive 2081 would under­mine the abil­i­ty of youth to access gen­der affirm­ing and repro­duc­tive care ser­vices through their schools, jeop­ar­diz­ing care­ful­ly craft­ed safe har­bor poli­cies. It is an attempt to bring the right wing’s edu­ca­tion cul­ture wars to Wash­ing­ton, and would erode the trust­ed rela­tion­ships that exist between stu­dents, their teach­ers, and their health­care providers.

Accord­ing to the Sec­re­tary of State’s Elec­tions Divi­sion, 28,527 pages of sig­na­tures were received for I‑2081, con­tain­ing 449,646  lines.

324,516 valid sig­na­tures are cur­rent­ly required to qual­i­fy a statewide initiative.

Ini­tia­tive 2081 had a suf­fi­cient cush­ion of extra sig­na­tures to qual­i­fy for a ran­dom sam­ple check as allowed by state law, which con­sist­ed of 13,490 signatures.

Of those, 10,825 were accept­ed and 2,665 were reviewed. 2,529 sig­na­tures were deter­mined to be invalid, and twen­ty-four were deter­mined to be duplicate.

Sec­re­tary Hobbs today trans­mit­ted a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion mes­sage to the Leg­is­la­ture affixed with the state seal, advis­ing of I‑2081’s qualification.

Leg­isla­tive staff have giv­en I‑2081 its own bill-style page on

The bal­lot title for I‑2081 is as follows:

Ini­tia­tive Mea­sure No. 2081 con­cerns parental rights relat­ing to their children’s pub­lic school education.

This mea­sure would pro­vide cer­tain rights to par­ents and guardians of pub­lic-school chil­dren, includ­ing rights to review instruc­tion­al mate­ri­als, inspect records, receive cer­tain noti­fi­ca­tions, and opt out of cer­tain activ­i­ties, like sex­u­al-health education.

Should this mea­sure be enact­ed into law? Yes [ ] No [ ]

The sum­ma­ry is as follows:

This mea­sure would allow par­ents and guardians of pub­lic-school chil­dren to review instruc­tion­al mate­ri­als and inspect stu­dent records, includ­ing health and dis­ci­pli­nary records, upon request. It would require pub­lic schools to pro­vide par­ents and guardians with cer­tain noti­fi­ca­tions, includ­ing about med­ical ser­vices giv­en and when stu­dents are tak­en off cam­pus; access to cal­en­dars and cer­tain poli­cies; and writ­ten notice and oppor­tu­ni­ties to opt stu­dents out of com­pre­hen­sive sex­u­al-health edu­ca­tion and answer­ing cer­tain sur­veys or assignments.

Leg­is­la­tors have three choic­es as to how to respond to I‑2081:

  • Do noth­ing, in which case it goes to voters
  • Adopt the mea­sure into law
  • Send it to the Novem­ber 2024 bal­lot with an alternative

NPI oppos­es Ini­tia­tive 2081 and is work­ing for the mea­sure’s defeat. If you’d like to help oppose I‑2081 and its brethren, you can donate to Stop Greed here.

“The Wash­ing­ton State Leg­is­la­ture has tak­en impor­tant steps in recent years to pre­vent deaths and injuries result­ing from unnec­es­sary high-speed police pur­suits, and to ensure that all stu­dents feel safe in Wash­ing­ton’s pub­lic schools,” the ACLU of Wash­ing­ton not­ed last year in a state­ment oppos­ing I‑2081. “Let’s not allow reac­tionary forces to roll back this progress for civ­il lib­er­ties and civ­il rights.”

We agree and will be work­ing to ensure I‑2081 does not harm Wash­ing­ton youth.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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2 replies on “Initiative 2081 (jeopardizing student privacy) gets certified”

  1. Par­ents and only par­ents have the right to decide on the issues in ini­ti­a­tion 2081. The gov­ern­ment needs to stay out of fam­i­ly deci­sions. A child does not even start devel­op­ing their frontal lobe until their twenty’s so they don’t make ratio­nal deci­sions or choic­es. This is the Unit­ed States not Rus­sia or Chi­na, we don’t want our every moment being told what to do.

    1. Hi Bar­bara, thanks for stop­ping by The Cas­ca­dia Advocate. 

      We at NPI are strong believes in indi­vid­ual lib­er­ty and pri­va­cy. But some­times the gov­ern­ment has to be involved in “fam­i­ly deci­sions” — that’s why we have laws pro­tect­ing peo­ple’s free­doms and fam­i­ly courts to deal with issues that come up. If abuse is tak­ing place with­in a house­hold, for exam­ple, soci­ety has an inter­est in help­ing the victim(s) of that abuse escape it, and hold the per­pe­tra­tors accountable. 

      Young peo­ple have rights as indi­vid­u­als that need to be respect­ed. Cur­rent law strikes a bal­ance between par­ents’ rights and stu­dents’ indi­vid­ual rights, and I‑2081 would upset that bal­ance. We there­fore oppose it. 

      It’s also impor­tant to note that old­er peo­ple don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly make “ratio­nal deci­sions or choic­es”. Peo­ple of all ages actu­al­ly don’t think ratio­nal­ly by default — research has demon­strat­ed that we are emo­tion­al beings, first and fore­most. We have the capa­bil­i­ty to think ratio­nal­ly, but we most­ly use that capa­bil­i­ty to jus­ti­fy how we’re feeling!

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