A bill to require sex education for public school students that would include information about contraceptives was voted down 10-3 in a Louisiana House Education Committee Wednesday morning.
Rep. Pat Smith, D-Baton Rouge, brought the legislation because she is concerned about Louisiana's high rates of teen pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases. The legislator is also worried that some minors have been given bad information about how to prevent a pregnancy.
Current law allows schools to teach sex education to students in seventh through 12th grades, though the instruction isn't required. Smith's bill would have mandated sex education and started it earlier, in fourth grade. Parents who were uncomfortable with the curriculum on sex could opt their children out of the instruction.