Posted: Apr 8, 2013 8:50 AM by Lindsey Gordon - MTN News
HELENA - The Montana State Senate passed a bill on a second reading Sunday that would require parents to opt their child into sex education, rather than opt them out.
While debating House Bill 239, supporters brought up the Helena School District's controversial sex education curriculum, which gained nationwide attention a few years ago.
Backers of the measure believe parents have the right to decide how and when their children are educated about sex, while those against the bill say they oppose it because parents who are not involved enough to teach their children about sex health would most likely be the ones who neglect to opt their children in.
"He had the opportunity to opt-out, that is entirely appropriate. A parent should have the opportunity to say ‘my young child is not quite ready for this'," Sen. Christine Kaufmann (D-Helena) said.
"What this does is it really protects the kids by forcing them, in a sense, to go to their parents and doing this opt-in," countered Sen. Edward Walker (R-Billings).
The bill would also make it illegal for organizations that offer abortion services like Planned Parenthood to distribute information on sexually transmitted diseases in schools.
The proposal must pass a third reading, and then it will head to Gov. Steve Bullock's desk, where it is rumored that the bill will be vetoed.