Eastern Idaho representative proposes bill to change sexual education in schools

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(KMVT/KSVT) - An eastern Idaho representative is proposing a change on how students learn about sexual education.

The bill that Rep. Barbara Ehardt proposed said it could allow parents to opt their child into sexual education instead of opting them out.

A debate began over a course called "Reducing the Risk" put together by Idaho health officials. Ehardt tells KMVT's sister station KIDK, most parents would not approve of this course.

"Instead encourages them through the use of role playing, how to use the proper materials that will keep from supposedly getting pregnant," Ehardt said.

KMVT reached out to the public health district concerning the course, however, they declined to comment.

KMVT also looked at what the procedures are when putting together a curriculum.

Cassia County School District said they do not have a specific sexual education program.

"It doesn't stand alone. It is just covered right in our health textbooks," said Sandra Miller, the assistant superintendent.

The health course covers a wide variety of topics as well, covering influenza, exercise and more.

"The health curriculum was adopted a few years ago and it went through the same very meticulous process where we looked at the health standards. We looked at the instructional materials rubric," she said. "We make sure that whatever resources we adopt, textbooks, are aligned to the standards and we just teach the standards. We are not teaching anything that is not aligned to the health standards and is not covered by our health textbook that was adopted by the school board."

The curriculum is put together through a collective effort.

"Within the policy it states that we will have a curriculum committee," she said. "The committee is made up of school personnel as well as outside community members so we have a community that we put together each time we have a curriculum."

This committee consists of administrators, teacher and experts in that particular field.

While they don't have a specific sexual education program, they do have a maturation course they teach to fifth- and sixth-graders. The maturation program talks to the students about how their body changes.

"Parents are well are aware of the maturation program," she said. "They're given an opportunity to actually join and come in and listen to what is being taught or told to their child. So I know that's happening."

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