According to planned parenthood, sex education is the quality learning about various topics related to sex and sexuality. Still, an Arizona bill introduced in January 2021 could limit how this information is spread.
When it comes to sex education, the topic is discussed from children to young adults,
Sexual education is a part of the instruction in schools that discusses healthy sexual choices. A bill introduced in the Arizona House of Representatives that would ask for parental consent could limit the choice.
The House bill was introduced on Jan. 21, 2021. The primary sponsor of this bill is Walter Blackman, a Republican member of the Arizona House, representing district six, according to Ballotpedia.org. Reps. Brenda Barton, Shawnna Bolick, Frank Carroll, Kevin Payne, and Bret Roberts are the additional five Republican members who co-sponsored the bill.
Engagement is a learning tool that helps students comprehend and analyze new information. Sex education in Arizona does have regulations of what content should be taught to a primarily young adult audience.
From the National Conference of State Legislators, the site explains the state regulations on sex education. In Arizona, “Each school district may provide instruction on HIV/AIDS. At minimum the instruction shall be medically accurate, age-appropriate, promote abstinence, discourage drug abuse and dispel myths regarding the transmission of HIV.”
State regulations don’t mention parental consent in teaching this topic to children. This bill is summarized as a parent signing consent to allow instruction of sex education material to their kids while prohibiting teaching to students before the sixth grade.
“I don’t’ think absence only is helpful but instead damaging.” Says 23-year-old high school teacher Onyx Serratos.
The bill has not been signed into law. The process of how a bill is signed into law is a journey. The bill has to be signed by the governor, then passed by both Senate and House. However, when a bill is first introduced, it goes through a series of meetings and voting before reaching the governor’s desk. For example, the bill is an idea; then, it’s drafted and introduced. The second step is the bill is scheduled for the first reading in the house of origin and so forth.
There is a difference of opinion when discussing when the right time is to introduce topics of sexual education to minors.
“I believe that sexual education is not spoken enough about especially in high school when students are undergoing several changes due to puberty which encompasses physical, emotional and mental development.” Says 21-year-old kindergarten instructor, Karen Ortez.
The topic of HIV/AIDS is part of the discussion of sexual education. Bill 2184 would require parental consent for a student to be included in instruction of HIV/AIDS.
“I think we need to implement more science-based sex education and include the LGBTQIA+ community.” Says Serratos.
The status of the bill is being read by the house for a second time. From this step, amendments can be made by simple majority votes. This issue has created debate over how students should be taught this type of content, however, parents may just have a say in the discussion of how and when a child is taught the sexual education curriculum.