The House Education Committee advanced a sex education opt-in bill Tuesday morning , in the face of strong opposition and a divisive, charged hearing.
Rep. Barbara Ehardt, R-Idaho Falls, pushed House Bill 249. If passed, the bill would require parents to sign permission slips specifically opting their children into sex education or any discussion of sexuality that goes beyond strict limits of anatomy and the physiology of human reproduction.
Ehardt said the bill is all about giving parents say over the education their children receive.
“This is about consent, it’s not about content,” Ehardt said.
But opponents said the bill’s passage would result in countless students not being taught about sexually transmitted disease, sexual assault, consent, safe sex or gender identity.
This is the third consecutive year that Ehardt has pushed a sex ed opt-in bill. Two years ago, her bill passed the House, but the Senate Education Committee killed it. Last year, Ehardt introduced a rewritten bill that did not advance.
Ehardt made several changes from the first bill two years ago. In this year’s bill, she added a definition of human sexuality that Ehardt said she got from