OLYMPIA – Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn) received the State Sex Education Champion award late Wednesday from SIECUS, a national organization that advocates for and advances comprehensive sexuality education policies.

The State Sex Education Champion award recognizes leaders who speak to the importance of all people receiving comprehensive sexuality education and quality sexual and reproductive health services that affirm their identities and allow them to access and enjoy sexual and reproductive freedom, as they define it for themselves. The award recognizes long-term outcomes will positively impact all levels of society, particularly around issues of gender and racial equity, sexuality, sexual and reproductive health, consent, personal safety and autonomy.

“It’s a tremendous honor to accept this award,” said Wilson. “Issues around sex and sexuality bring a lot of passion and fervor on both sides of the debate.  Getting this legislation past the finish line was no small task and a lot of hard work.”

Wilson was recognized for her work in 2020 on Senate Bill 5395, which requires every public school in Washington to provide all students with comprehensive sexual health education, including affirmative consent and bystander training. The new law was upheld by a strong majority of voters in a ballot referendum last November.

SIECUS described Wilson as a “stalwart defender of access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care for Washington state’s youth” and said SB 5395 “sets a new high bar” to which other state elected officials should aspire.

”Thanks to this legislation, countless young people in families across our state will be able to learn how to make better informed choices about their health, their safety, and their future,” Wilson said. “I believe countless lives will be changed for the better because not only will it lead to better health outcomes, but it will create an inclusive and accepting atmosphere, culture and climate in our schools.”

Wilson thanked Rep. Monica Stonier (D-Vancouver), sponsor of companion legislation in the House, as well as the advocates, stakeholders and individuals who came from all over the state and fought hard to get SB 5395 passed.