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Education

Parental Consent for Sex Ed May Become Utah Law

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A bill that would affect parental control of sex education in Utah came up at legislature Wednesday with only two days left in the general session.

House bill 447 would make parental consent a requirement before a school can provide sexuality instruction to a student. Republican Senate sponsor Stuart Adams explained to his colleagues Wednesday night that this is already the state policy, and this bill would simply codify it in statute.

“It clearly in my mind is important that we remember that a parent take responsibility for a student’s human sexuality instruction, and that is where the ultimate responsibility lies,” Adams said.

Several Democrats questioned why the bill was necessary and why it was showing up so late in the session. Senator Luz Escamilla was concerned that HB447 would require the schools to provide an alternative to human sexuality instruction for those that opt out.

“I am more concerned and scared of what alternative looks like. The fact that nobody’s saying how it’s going to look and there’s not enough definition worries me more, and for that I’m not going to support the bill,” Escamilla said.

The bill passed the Senate 21 to 7, then went to the House and was signed by the Speaker.

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