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home : most recent : statewide implications October 17, 2018

2/7/2018 6:52:00 PM
EDITORIAL: Sex ed opt-in bill is antiquated, unnecessary

Times of Northwest Indiana

School choice and parental involvement in the education process are important cornerstones of Indiana education.

They distinguish the Hoosier state as an innovative place where parents and students receive multiple options that best suit their educational needs and desires.

But the positives of parental choice in education shouldn't be used to mask an unneeded law that ultimately would give the appearance of an educational system returning to antiquity.

On Tuesday, the Indiana Senate voted 37-13 to pass a bill that would require the parents of all students to opt-in before the respective students receive any sex education or are subject to any other discussions of human sexuality.

It's bad legislation that shouldn't be allowed past the Indiana House.

Hoosier parents already have the ability to opt their children out of sex education.

While we don't see this as the best way of ensuring the state's children receive valuable information about pregnancy and reproductive health, parents should have this right.

That doesn't mean, however, that the law should be unnecessarily flipped, creating another layer of state control, by requiring opt-in versus opt-out letters.

State Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, sponsored the measure, fearing some teachers are straying from the state's sex education standards in their classrooms.

Kruse said he's heard there are "several places that are violating this" and argues a state law is necessary to rein in those practices.

Kruse's argument is neither empirical nor convincing.

The Hoosier state has seen enough antiquated thinking in recent years — and plenty of other lawmakers pursuing common sense proposals.

This legislation should be scrapped to make way for more relevant and pressing matters.

Related Stories:
• Parental permission may be required for Hoosier students to hear anything (from their teachers) about sex in schools

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