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Bill to require parental permission for sex ed in school heads to full House

The House Education Committee sent the bill to the House floor on a party lines vote.
Students in a classroom at Central Elementary School in Nampa.

BOISE, Idaho — A bill that would require parents to give permission for students to take sex education in school is now headed to the Idaho House for a vote.

The House Education Committee voted 12-3 Friday morning to send House Bill 120 to the floor with a “do-pass” recommendation. The vote was along party lines with Republicans voting for the bill and Democrats against it.

The bill is sponsored by Republican Rep. Barbara Ehardt. It would also require that course materials be available to parents prior to enrollment.

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The proposal received opposition from parents, teens, teachers and Planned Parenthood.

“Parents, teachers, and faith leaders agree rolling back sex ed is bad for Idaho families,” said Mistie Tolman, Idaho State Director of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii.  “We are all concerned about our students’ health and safety. Contrary to what some fear, sex ed does not encourage young people to have sex - in fact, it has the reverse effect. Sex ed provides important life skills our young people need to become healthy adults.”

Under the current system, parents must "opt out" to remove their children from the course.

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