(KCPW News) The Utah Parent Teacher Association says Utahns are being misinformed about the controversial sex education bill that state lawmakers passed during the 2012 legislative session. HB 363 requires that schools teach abstinence-only sex education, or none at all. President Liz Zentner says groups and lawmakers who support the bill are telling people the current curriculum being taught in schools is prepared by Planned Parenthood and advocates self-stimulation, “alternative lifestyles” and abortion.
“This is absolutely wrong and if there is anybody that’s doing this, they would lose their job,” she says. “That is against the law. The problem that we have with this is that the information that’s going out to some of these groups that are supporting the bill is wrong.”
An online petition urging Utah Governor Gary Herbert to veto the bill has garnered more than 38,000 signatures over the past week, but groups like the Utah Eagle Forum and Sutherland Institute call it bogus because of the lack of verification.
Paul Krueger, the Utah resident who created the petition, says SignOn.org has removed the fictitious names that have been added. He argues it’s just another way for Utahns to express their distaste for the bill.
“I hope the governor takes this seriously. I think it would be a disservice to the people of Utah for him not to listen to all of the opinions and I think it would be a serious disservice to the youth and our public school system to pass this law,” he tells KCPW.
A rally against HB 363 is scheduled for today at the State Capitol at 5 o’clock. Governor Herbert tells KCPW he will decide whether to sign or veto the bill by next week.
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If you read the current law first
and then compare it to the proposed law:
I believe you will find that the intent of the current law remains, with added parental input and an option for the local school not to teach the class if they don’t want to follow the law.
From the Salt Lake Tribune: “According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of February 2011, 21 states and the District of Columbia required public schools to teach sex education, and 35 states and the District of Columbia required students to receive information about sexually transmitted infections.”
The bill allows a local school to provide the class if they follow the law. Currently we have schools in Utah that are required to provide the class and the claim is that some schools are not following the current law. Some have even questioned if the State School Board was following the current law.
If that is the case, either the law needs to be clarified, or we add teeth to the law, or both. HB 363 clarifies the law assuming the schools will follow the law if it is clear.
The movement to shift the content of the class from current law significantly either way didn’t pass. Many that are upset at HB 363 do not like the current law and wanted to change it to have fewer restrictions.