By LORETTA PARK
Standard-Examiner Davis Bureau firstname.lastname@example.org
SALT LAKE CITY -- A Top of Utah lawmaker has ensured that parents will be part of the process of creating sex education curriculum for Utah students.
Rep. Ronda Rudd Menlove, R-Garland, introduced an amendment to House Bill 363, sponsored by Rep. Bill Wright, R-Holden, that would require school districts to have parents create abstinence-only instructional materials for sex education courses.
The House approved the bill with the amendment, 45-28, on Wednesday. It now goes before the Senate for further consideration.
Wright's bill would allow districts to opt out of teaching sex education courses and tightens the requirments that schools that do teach sex education teach only abstinence. He said he does not want the state Office of Education endorsing Planned Parenthood courses.
Five days ago the state Office of Education removed its endorsement of Planned Parenthood courses, Wright said.
Menlove's amendment would require school districts to get input from parents about what should be taught in abstinence-only courses. It would also require school districts to provide materials to parents so they can talk to their children about sex, contraceptives, pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Wright said his bill is drawing a line on what can and cannot be taught in schools. He said society would be better if students were taught about friendship, dating and love "without promiscuous behavior."
Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, spoke against the bill, saying the reality is parents do not talk to their children about sex, and that most youths will engage in some type of sexual activity before they are married. King said:
"We shouldn't be forcing our ignorance or our fear ...onto the children of the state of Utah."