COLORADO- A bill heading to a Colorado House committee this week is getting a lot of attention.
The bill would ban abstinence-only education, which is still taught in some schools throughout the state- even with a bill passing in 2013 for ‘Comprehensive Sexual Education.’
Schools could still teach abstinence, but would it need to be included with other sexual education curriculum.
‘The reality of this bill is anything but comprehensive,’ said Brad Miller, COO of Colorado Family Action, a group openly against the bill.
The bill clarifies the requirements for public schools, that choose to offer comprehensive sexual education.
Some schools in the state use outside funding and programs to teach abstinence-only education or charter schools would get waivers from the state to eliminate certain parts of the curriculum.
The bill would eliminate the waivers.
‘Colorado is a home rule state, and this bill is a frontal assault on that concept of home-rule. Where school districts across the state should be able to adopt or not, this type of curriculum,’ said Miller.
The programs are funded through state grants, but opponents say the bill doesn’t do enough for parents and families.
‘Money or not- the end goal of this bill is to foist it onto everyone,’ said Miller.
With comprehensive sexual education, it also requires schools to talk about LGBT relationships and sexual experiences.
Flora Vinson, President of Springs Equality believes that’s a good thing- however she says it’s important to make sure everyone’s voices are included.
‘It’s not like a multiple choice question, What is your sexual orientation? or a multiple choice question What is your gender identity, it’s not as simple as that, ‘ said Vinson.
For Vinson, she says it’s important to have visibility of same-sex couples, but that education on same-sex education isn’t necessarily black and white.
‘We only see one picture that’s presented to us throughout life and so if you don’t fit that picture, I think, you know, this is when kids start to come to a crisis stage,’ said Vinson.
The bill adds eight representatives to an oversight committee, with seven of those members meeting certain qualifications.
Some of those qualifications include representatives from various state departments and from different groups including LGBT advocacy and immigrants.
The bill goes in front of a committee on Wednesday.