Sex-Ed Bill Sent to House Floor
Special Report - April 7, 2009
On April 7, the House Health Committee voted to send a slightly amended version of HB 88Healthy Youth Act, which would change the standard for sex education in North Carolina public schools from Abstinence Until Marriage (AUM) to Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), to the House floor for a vote. On April 2, sponsors convinced the committee to reject an amendment that would have removed teaching respect for “committed relationships” in the guidelines for the proposed program. Such language would allow for discussion of “committed relationships” including heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, and multi-partner relationships. During the April 7th meeting, bill sponsors and committee members also defeated an amendment that would maintain the current title of “Abstinence Until Marriage” for that curriculum rather than changing it to “Abstinence Only Until Marriage,” as called for by the bill.
After much debate over the degree of parental choice in the bill, an amendment was passed to require that a consent form sent home to parents at the beginning of the school year will include the options of enrolling their children in either an AUM program, a CSE program, or neither program. Concerns remain that the bill requires that any student without a returned consent form be enrolled in the CSE program. Bill sponsors allege that children whose parents do not return a consent form are those students most in need of education on all FDA-approved forms of contraception. Audio from the committee meeting can be heard here.
The amended bill was sent to the House to be calendared for a vote by the whole chamber. See our Issue Brief for further discussion on HB 88.
“The state should be setting the highest and healthiest standard for students in their decision-making about sex education,” said Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “Comprehensive Sex Education sells our kids short by promoting high risk sexual behaviors and the false notion that condoms and contraceptives will protect them from the consequences. We know that the effectiveness rates of contraceptives are much lower in adolescent populations and that they do nothing to protect against the emotional, psychological, and spiritual harms of early and risky sexual activity.”
Copyright © 2009. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.