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Lawmaker proposes sex education for parents



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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers want parents to teach sex education to their kids and they want schools to help.

The legislation was in committee talks Wednesday to draft legislation proposed by Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Ogden, titled "Parental Responsibility for Sex Education Training." It basically allows parents to partner up with educators about teaching their kids more about the 'birds and the bees.'

Sex education in schools is a talking point again this year after Governor Herbert vetoed last year's controversial bill that tried to ban Utah public schools from teaching about contraception and sexually transmitted diseases.

This year, Reid wants parents to have more involvement in teaching their children sex education.

Mary Ann Kirk is a community activist and says she hopes parents are anxious to get involved in teaching their kids about sex education.

"Parents really need to step up," she said. "I think this is a great idea if we could encourage any additional discussion. Parents are the primary sex educators for their kids."

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With the proposed bill, the State Board of Education would be responsible for developing and offering a training curriculum to parents with information on health and human sexuality. It would have to be consistent with the sex education program already in place in Utah public schools.

Educators would also have to develop training materials for parents at no cost.

Reid says parents would be able to choose the sex education training curriculum online or make it available at other locations.

"I think in a classroom setting, if they're able to encourage parents to go online and create an assignment, then there's an opportunity for parents to engage in that," Kirk said.

So far there the bill is not slated for appropriations. Reid says the office of education will determine how much the program will cost.

Educators at the State office of Education said they could not comment until after Wednesday's committee meeting, where they'll learn more about their role in this proposed new legislation.

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