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Panel OKs new sex-education plan for schools

Resource type: News

The Associated Press |

RALEIGH — Sex education for North Carolina adolescents would be expanded to include giving parents the option of a curriculum that stresses abstinence but also discusses contraception under legislation that passed an early hurdle this week.

The House Education Committee voted 32-21 along party lines Tuesday to approve requiring the two-track system for sex education in seventh through ninth grades.

The state established its current sex–education curriculum focused on abstinence until marriage in 1995.

The current law allows school districts to offer comprehensive sex education but only after a long process that includes public hearings. Only a handful of the state’s 115 school districts have adopted the broader sex-education curriculum.

The proposed legislation would allow parents or guardians to choose for their children the abstinence-only curriculum, or the comprehensive sex-education course. If parents make no choice, their children would be placed in the comprehensive sex-education curriculum.

The bill’s advocates said that the expanded instruction would lead to fewer unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

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