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Michigan senate passes education bills promoting abstinence

Michigan senate passes education bills promoting abstinence

Michigan senators approved two bills Tuesday that would require school districts to emphasize abstinence in sex education and would penalize those schools that did not offer abstinence-only programs. School districts that do not emphasize abstinence would face losing up to 1% of their state aid. The two-bill package passed by votes of 30-8 and 31-7 and will now go to the house, where similar bills have been introduced. Michigan school districts are not required to teach sex-education classes. But state law does require that school districts with sex-education classes teach that abstinence is an effective prevention against disease and unwanted pregnancy. The bills would strengthen that requirement, making abstinence the central focus of the classes. Critics of the bills say they strip away from local school districts the power to make their own choices about sex education and do not reflect the reality of teens who are having sex. Senator Irma Clark-Coleman, a Democrat who voted against the bills, said she worries the legislation could force school districts to drop sex-education programs altogether to avoid having to follow the mandate for abstinence instruction. (AP)

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