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Kids Head to State Capitol Today - Issue? Sex Ed

March 28, 2007


This is "Youth Lobby Day" at the State Capitol. Organizer Lorie Alveshere, with the Sexuality Education for Life Coalition says a hundred students from across Minnesota will be at the Statehouse to talk with policymakers about the need for a "comprehensive sex education" program in Minnesota schools.

"Comprehensive sex education refers to sex education that has an abstinence-first approach, but also includes information about protection and contraception. So, it's also pregnancy-prevention and disease-prevention."

Current Minnesota programs, when they exist, vary based on the teacher or district. And Alveshere belives we need state guidelines to make sure kids get the knowledge they need to protect themselves and act responsibly. She notes that knowledge about sexuality, based on the age of the student, is a critical component of education, and has life-long ramifications.

"The consequences of a lack of, or incomplete sex education for young people in Minnesota, is that they often times obtain the facts from sources that vary in accuracy. And so, what happens then is that they are less prepared to use contraception correctly or consistently, and also to protect themselves from sexually-transmitted infection."

Proposals have been introduced at the Capitol to update state law about sex education in schools. They would set guidelines about programs, recommend parent involvement and direct the Department of Education to help schools achieve their goals.

Legislation to update the Minnesota state statute on sex education in schools has been introduced by Senator Sandy Pappas and Representative Neva Walker.

Jim Wishner/Eric Mack, Public News Service - MN