SB 5395 does not teach sex
August 20, 2020
To The Eagle:
I would like to address the false statements circulating, particularly on social media regarding a bill passed in the last session, SB5395, an act relating to comprehensive sexual education.
First and foremost, SB 5395 is about health and safety. It’s about giving students the knowledge they need to recognize and resist inappropriate behaviors — from small children targeted by pedophiles, to older students pressured to have sex by their peers. At every grade level, the curriculum is age appropriate. Young people are taught basic concepts such as stranger danger, inappropriate touching, and using your words instead of your hands. They learn to respect others’ bodies and personal space, as well as their own to protect them from predators. In older grades, students are taught how to recognize and resist abusive or coercive behavior; medical and economic consequences of potential choices; and how to make sound decisions about their health and future. Perhaps most importantly of all, they are taught about affirmative consent. Young people ages 15–24 represent only one-fourth of the sexually active population but acquire half of all new sexually transmitted diseases. And studies consistently show that the comprehensive approach is proven to reduce unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
The policy strengthens parental rights. It ensures that the curricula be available for parents to review and allows parents to opt out. Moreover, SB 5395 does not mandate any statewide curriculum. Instead, the bill gives local school districts the flexibility to determine what will best meet the needs of their students and families. All information must be appropriate and must meet existing state K-12 Health and Physical Education Learning Standards.
Contrary to opponents’ statements, this is not a bill to “teach sex.” This is a bill to keep our children safe. Please read the bill.
State Sen. 19th Dist.