A bill that could open the door for all manner of leftist social dogma in Alaska schools is being taken up by the State House after sailing through the Senate last week.

On its face, Senate Bill 24 would establish so-called “mental health education” as a mandatory part of curriculum in government-run schools. The bill is sponsored by leftist Senator Elvi Gray-Jackson (D-Anchorage), who claims the legislation is intended to combat depression, suicide and harm to self and others.

According to the bill, mental health education would be implemented in a top-down manner with bureaucrats from the State Board of Education & Early Development crafting the curriculum, which would then be mandated for all local school districts.

Conservatives like Sen. Shelley Hughes (R-Palmer) are worried that SB 24 provides a backdoor to smuggle all manner of controversial social engineering into the classroom under the guise of “mental health” education.

All of Hughes’ amendments were defeated by a strong majority of senators, including many Republicans.

Before the bill passed out of the Senate, Hughes offered several amendments aimed at narrowly focusing the bill on concrete warning signs regarding physically dangerous behavior, while preserving parental rights when it comes to topics like human sexuality, gender identity and expression and other controversial and divisive issues that leftist educators and government bureaucrats regularly sneak into broadly defined “health and safety” classes.

Hughes’ amendments would have limited the potential mental health topics to concerns about suicide, addiction, sociopathy and injury or death of a student, as well as those involved in posing these threats to others.

While the bill does include the standard notification to parents regarding the fact that a health class is taking place, as well as the option to pull children from the course, the legislation does not contain Hughes’ amendment requiring educators to “describe the topics to be addressed, the curriculum, and the list of approved intervention resources, and … provide a form allowing a parent to withdraw the child from the class or program.”

Finally, Hughes’ amendments would have encouraged local school boards to determine which resources their district should offer to students in crisis. This would have honored local control while giving area residents a chance to hold their elected representatives accountable.

All of Hughes’ amendments were defeated by a strong majority of senators, including many Republicans, despite the fact that none of her proposals sought to dilute the bill’s apparent concern for students struggling with suicide, addiction, and potential self-harm or harm to others.

In defeating the amendments, 14 of 20 senators voted to keep the language of the bill broad and expansive, which opens it up to all manner of social agendas.

Those voting against the amendments included all but one Democrat (Lyman Hoffman, of Bethel, who was excused) and six Senate Republicans Click Bishop (Fairbanks), Jesse Bjorkman (Nikiski), Cathy Giessel (Anchorage), Bert Stedman (Sitka), Gary Stevens (Kodiak) and David Wilson (Wasilla).

Republicans who supported the amendments were Senators Shelley Hughes, James Kaufman (Anchorage), Kelly Merrick (Eagle River), Robert Myers (North Pole) and Mike Shower (Wasilla).

After voting down the amendments, the final vote to pass the mental health bill was 15-4. The only Senators to oppose the final passage were Hughes, Shower, Kaufman and Bjorkman (who had earlier opposed Hughes’ amendments).

The bill is now in the House & Social Services Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Mike Prax (R-North Pole). Once scheduled for a hearing, it could be altered to include the provisions that were initially rejected on the Senate side.


— Click here to read Senate Bill 24 in its current form.

— Click here to contact the members of the House & Social Services Committee.

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

Concerns raised that leftist dogma will be smuggled into Alaska schools via ‘mental health’ bill

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Marxist leaders with mental disorders are determined to pass their sickness along! Compliance from us is our willingness to fund it! This is the slow suicidal boiling of the frog; in other words your children!

  • micah says:

    Of course Gary Stevens voted the way he did. He is not a republican, more of a Marxist (obviously). He needs to go.

  • fedupwithleftistBS says:

    Another good reason for home schooling your kids. Sick world has infiltrated our schools

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    Really good video talking about the schools and how they are set up to purposely destroy our children. Flyover Conservatives with guest Alex Newman.

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    Mental health bill!!!!!??? What the hell is that? May as well call it the “fletch” bill! Dunleavy,Taylor, hughes, etc., you all belong in a mental institution supervised by the perverse school boards that are actively abusing children! Our wicked leadership has become a dirge in society!

  • Ruth Ewig says:

    Alaska Watchman has been informing us about this “health” surveys, etc. SEL, CRT and DEI are the same thing. We listened to a Charlie Kirk podcast interviewing with James Lindsey about the book “Queering of the American Child” which queer theory and a cult. This effort is to break up the family, destroy moral standards and mess with the brain of the youngest on it. The endgame is to produce angry, psychotic kids. The “drag queen” is the recruitment strategy, because they look intriguing and like clowns or something exciting to the little minds. We need to have tuition tax credits or some way of getting the money directly to the students. Some say we have school choice but we don’t. We have limited alternatives. The money needs to follow the child and not go through middleman. My husband found letters online from all over the country that expose DEI, CRT, and SEL or whatever new name they come up with.. Here is an easy question: Do we want school counselors, teachers, administrators, etc. diagnosing depression, etc. when they are the cause of it?

    • DaveMaxwell says:

      Excellent point Ruth! The real truth is that they create the problem, then design a solution to the problem they created, which results in a deterioration of the student body, and cost go up! The real solution to this insanity is hold them accountable. ACCOUNTABILITY must be applied!

  • jon says:

    LOL! Teachers have way more to do that spreading “leftist agendas”. Between disciplinary actions, catching children up to grade level, enriching children at all levels. writing lesson plans, making lesson materials, and actually implementing lessons there is litlle to now time to indoctrinate students.