Bill at the statehouse would require school boards to oversee sex education curriculum

Posted at 7:36 PM, Jan 31, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-31 19:36:35-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A bill that passed out of the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday would require all sex ed curriculum to be approved by the local school board and posted online.

Right now, in Indiana, parents must provide permission for their student to take sex ed. Children are not forced to take the class.

Senate Bill 128 would mandate a review of sex education curriculum through each school’s school board or governing body.

Those who oppose the bill say school boards can already do this if they choose to. They say it would create more of a burden for educators.

“Under its new requirements, I think many school districts who are already facing strains in terms of staff and resources will just throw their hands up and get rid of traditional sexual education,” Jim May, a parent who opposes the bill and testified in front of lawmakers, said.

Those that support the bill say it will increase transparency and allow parents to know what's being taught to their kids.

“I think it’s good for schools, parents and school board members,” Micah Clark, with the American Family Association of Indiana, said. “It might event cause parents to address this with their child before the school does it which I think is a good thing since parents are the child’s first teacher and primary influence.”

Some people testified that they feel the language in the bill is too broad and that it could potentially eliminate conversations surrounding the LGBTQ community.

The bill passed out of committee with a vote of 8-5, mostly along party lines. It now heads to the full senate for consideration.

Another bill that passed unanimously out of committee would address truancy.

The proposal would require schools that serve students between kindergarten and sixth grade to adopt a truancy prevention policy. The bill also asks for an interim study committee to look at ways to reduce absenteeism.