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Washington State lawmakers ban abstinence-only sex ed

Washington State lawmakers ban abstinence-only sex ed

The Washington State house of representatives last week passed a bill that would prevent high schools from offering abstinence-only education. Schools that choose to teach sex education--a subject not required in the state--would have to discuss contraception as well as abstinence. Previously, in response to complaints that some classes were teaching inaccurate information--such as that condoms are rarely effective--the state health department and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction created voluntary guidelines calling for medically accurate sex education. The house bill, which passed 61-36 and now goes to the senate, makes those voluntary guidelines mandatory for schools where sex ed is taught. "We want our children to abstain, but if they don't, I want them to have a safety net," said state representative Shay Shual-Berke, the bill's sponsor. Republican opponents to the measure said locally elected school boards around the state should have the authority to decide for themselves what kind of sex education to offer. (AP)

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