The mandate in both bills is for “research-based” (House version) or “science-based” (Senate version). This will place abstinence as one option among many. I do have to say that at least the Senate version of the bill mentions abstinence as being the only sure way to avoid an STD and pregnancy, one can be sure little time will be spent on that subject.
“Age-appropriate” – who decides this? Planned Parenthood (who are the ones behind this legislation)? I believe that the family has the primary responsibility to train children about sex, not the school. While both bills offer an opt out option for families, I have to wonder how clear school districts will make that information known to parents.
Lastly in the Senate bill it mentions that this mandate will apply to accredited non-public schools. So schools like Des Moines Christian, Iowa Christian Academy, and Dowling Catholic High School (among others throughout the state) will have to teach “research-based” sex education curriculum. I didn’t see an opt out option for schools – if somebody sees it, please let me know.
There are other issues I have with these bills, but those are the major issues. I highly encourage you contact your legislators today as they will be debating on these bills this week. If you have time to contact all of the legislators I would encourage you to do so. I have all of their e-mail addresses in my Outlook, so it was relatively easy for me to do. Those legislators who are standing against this bill need our encouragement that they do not stand alone. Those who are in favor of this need to know that they are not doing Iowa’s kids any favors. This issue is important enough in my mind that I plan on visiting my legislators at the Statehouse today. So you can pray about that.