Utah Legislature Passes Bill Requiring 'Abstinence-Only' Sex Education -- Or None at All

Marion Herbert's picture
Friday, March 9, 2012

Some think this bill puts control of a child‘s education back into parent’s hands, others have said that it takes away parental choice.

The Utah legislature has passed a sex education bill that allows schools to decide whether they will teach students about human sexuality and in the event that they do, requires that it use “abstinence-only instruction materials.” The bill now goes to the governor for approval.

The Salt Lake City Tribune reports supporters of the bill, which passed 19-10 in the Senate, believe that the details of sex education should be left to parents:

“To replace the parent in the school setting, among people who we have no idea what their morals are, we have no ideas what their values are, yet we turn our children over to them to instruct them in the most sensitive sexual activities in their lives, I think is wrongheaded,” said Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Ogden.

On the flip side, Sen. Pat Jones, D-Holladay called it a “mandate against reality”. The Tribune reports that parents already have the option of opting their children out of sex education classes and districts did have the ability to choose teaching abstinence only.

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