State Rep. Patti Minter, D-Bowling Green, has joined a dozen other Democratic lawmakers in calling for all public schools to offer comprehensive sex education to students between kindergarten and the 12th grade.

Through House Bill 296, and starting during the 2021-22 school year, each school district would be required to provide students instruction covering human anatomy, reproduction and sexual development, along with effective use of condoms and other birth control methods, such as abstinence.

Schools would also need to cover healthy relationships – including how “gender stereotypes can limit all people” – and the “affirmative recognition that people have different sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions,” among other topics. The full bill is available to read with this story at bgdailynews.com.

In supporting the legislation, Minter said that if students don’t receive such instruction in school, they’re more likely to get inaccurate and harmful information. H.B. 296 would also help minimize the risk of unplanned pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, which Minter said is on the rise in Kentucky.

“Comprehensive sex education is common sense,” Minter said. “It keeps people safe, and it creates a healthier and more informed society.”

Minter noted that the curriculum described in the bill must be age appropriate and medically correct.

H.B. 296 also includes a provision allowing students to opt out of the instruction with written permission from their parent or guardian “without disciplinary, academic or any other type of penalty to the student.” Schools are encouraged to instead offer the student an alternate assignment on a related topic.

“If a parent does not want their child to receive this education, of course they can opt out of that,” Minter said.

The bill includes several enforcement mechanics. Those include tapping the Kentucky Department of Education to establish academic standards, set minimum education and training qualifications for teachers, maintain a list of recommended curricula and instructional materials and require schools to regularly report how they’re complying with the law if passed.

Under another provision, a child’s parent or guardian could also sue a school if it fails to comply with the law.

Asked whether he would support the legislation as introduced, state Rep. Steve Sheldon, R-Bowling Green, said he would not and that the matter at hand “seems to be a nonissue to me.” The issue has also not come up within his caucus, he said.

Sheldon added such decisions about how to teach sex education in schools should continue to be made at the local level. If stakeholders want to see a change, he said, they can push for it at the local school board level.

“They don’t need a state law to do that,” he said.

– Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @BGDN_edbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.

Education reporter. Covers education and related issues, focusing primarily on the Bowling Green and Warren County public school districts and Western Kentucky University.

(4) comments

AngieSue

I’m guessing that all the people who are against this bill are “pro- life”. Any clue what the best way to prevent abortion is? Avoiding unwanted pregnancies in the first place! Not keeping kids ignorant of their own bodies! My kids’ sex education in local schools consisted of a short lesson within a 9 week overall “health” curriculum, in which they were told 1: just don’t do it, and 2: condoms don’t work. That’s it. That was in high school. By that time many kids were already sexually active. Have any of you actually read the bill? Might want to do that before jumping to conclusions about it.

As a parent, the best interests of not just mine, but all kids is my utmost concern. It isn’t, or at least shouldn’t be, a partisan issue.

* Democrat Lisa Willner is sponsoring the bill for comprehensive sex education to promote awareness and prevention of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, sexual abuse and dating violence among young Kentuckians. It also seeks to prevent schools from restricting instructors from answering questions related to the sex curriculum. Abstinence education will also be part of the curriculum.*

As I stated previously, keeping our children ignorant about their own bodies is harmful.

Enough Already

Minter is a progressive which is code for radical leftist. Her mouth cannot be trusted because her native tongue is a lie. Any legislation passed is just a foot in the door to indoctrination of our children by the left. In addition, the public school system is dominated by the left so you would have no assurances that what they are promising will be taught the way they say. Just say NO!

BGBlizzards

For crying out loud, Democrats, leave the kids alone. Haven’t you done enough damage since your beloved Roe v. Wade unleashed the killing of at least 60 to 70 million unborn babies? No Democrat should be allowed anywhere near legislation having to do with children of any age for any reason. It’s high time we the people eradicate the evil that is the Democrat party from our local, state, and federal governments. We never should have let things go this far. God forgive us.

Absolutely Positively

Whenever someone like Minter calls an idea "common sense," it's almost always something stupid. No one with a functioning brain thinks it's a good idea to teach kids that it's normal to have a gender identity other than the two defined by science. Nor is it a good idea to ram the dogma of forced acceptance of these ideas down kids' throats under the guise that they are normal ideas.

There's the nice little provision that allows kids to opt out of these deranged teachings. Unfortunately, as liberals have pointed out time and time again when knocking down conservative curriculum proposals that also contained opt out options, those options would only serve to identify those who need to be bullied and harassed for not falling in line.

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