California’s state senate passed a bill Monday that would require public schools to offer sex education classes, with one legislator describing it as a “victim-blaming” proposal.
“Sex education in schools is a huge concern.
We’re not going to give up on it,” Assemblywoman Linda Skinner (D-San Jose) said.
Skinner introduced the bill after the state’s top education official in September said that a recent statewide survey showed that 95 percent of students in California said they did not know about the existence of “safe, legal, consensual sex.”
The state Senate on Monday passed a resolution supporting the bill and calling on the governor to sign it into law.
“Sex education is an important public health issue that must be addressed in schools,” Skinner said.
“I’m hoping that this resolution will help ensure that we have a safe and inclusive environment for students and parents alike.”
State Sen. Joe Simitian (D) was the only lawmaker to vote against the bill.
Simitian said that he was concerned about the legislation because it could impact the ability of school districts to recruit teachers, which could impact sex education in classrooms.
“When I was a child, I never heard of any sex education that didn’t involve some form of coercion,” Simitio said.
Simiian said he wanted the state to create a process that allowed districts to make decisions on whether to offer the classes, adding that he would support a provision that would allow parents to opt out of the sex education.