Law Would Make Sex Ed Opt-Out In All Arizona Schools, Starting In Kindergarten

Published: Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - 8:50am

Right now it's optional but an Arizona lawmaker wants to make it a requirement. Sex education, that is.

Currently, even when schools do provide sexual education classes it's on an opt-in basis, requiring parents to give permission for their youngsters to attend. Rep. Juan Mendez, D-Tempe, said the change is needed to address a serious health problem.

"We have so many uneducated people out there, especially youth, who are jeopardizing so much about their health, the community's health. And we're leaving them uneducated," he said.

With House Bill 2410, Mendez would make it a requirement to teach sexual education to all Arizona public school students starting in Kindergarten.

But Josh Kredit, attorney for the Center for Arizona Policy, is opposed to this measure as well as a Senate bill that would repeal a current law that prohibits schools from portraying homosexuality as a positive lifestyle if they do offer sex ed.

"These are extreme proposals that are trying to mandate sex education to 5-year-olds. That's what it is. It's trying to mandate it on everyone, change it from an opt-in to an opt-out, and really just remove all the barriers on this very sensitive subject that parents want the protections in place, that they can teach their children if they want."

The Center for Arizona Policy website makes the claim that there is "no scientific evidence" to show a genetic cause for sexual orientation. It also says homosexuals have been able to modify their behavior "through Christian ministries and counseling."