On Thursday, June 25, the North Carolina House of Representatives voted 60-55 to concur with a Senate version of a sexual health education bill designed to revamp the state’s curre. After its passage, the bill was sent to the governor.
The Healthy Youth Act (HYA) replaces the state’s current abstinence-until-marriage sex ed curriculum with a more comprehensive abstinence-based education approach. Students grades seven through nine will be taught about the use of condoms and provided more accurate, up-to-date information on sexually transmitted infections and prevention methods.
Ian Palmquist, executive director of Equality North Carolina, told Q-Notes that the HYA is “an incredible step forward” and will guarantee “getting lifesaving information to young people in this state.”
The approved bill includes anti-gay language from the state’s abstinence-until-marriage curriculum, calling for local school districts to teach “that a mutually faithful monogamous heterosexual relationship in the context of marriage is the best lifelong means of avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.”
“We are extremely disappointed that the Senate version leaves in the problematic language of the old abstinence-until-marriage law,” Palmquist said on June 24, a day before the House’s concurring vote.
Despite the anti-gay language, advocates say the bill will open the door to more inclusive lessons for all students, including LGBT youth.
During debate in the Senate, the HYA came close to containing even more anti-gay components when Sen. Andrew Brock (R-Davie, Rowan) offered an amendment that called for prohibiting the promotion or teaching of non-heterosexual relationships. Some legislators questioned whether the amendment might have the unintended effect of prohibiting any counseling for LGBT students.
The amendment read, “Nothing in this act shall authorize the promoting, teaching, condoning, counseling, or referral for counseling other than for heterosexual relationships.”
Brock’s amendment failed 19-28.
According to reports, Gov. Beverly Perdue is expected to sign the bill, one of two highly controversial bills this session. The other, the School Violence Prevention Act, also passed the legislature this week and is expected to be signed by the governor.
“The amendment read, ‘Nothing in this act shall authorize the promoting, teaching, condoning, counseling, or referral for counseling other than for heterosexual relationships.'”
Given that once upon a time not so long ago that being admittedly GLBT was considered a mental health condition in need of psychiatric treatment, read insulin and electro shock therapy, and institutionalization for “patients”, I’m not so sure I am upset about that portion of the amendment.
While I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t even play one on TV, I am very curious to see if the new School Violence Protection Act might actually be able to mitigate the GLBT silence of the Sex Ed bill.
To quote the School Violence Prevention Act 115C-407.5.a.2 (hopefully I’m looking at the final version, Edition 5 from the NCLEG.net website), “Creates or is certain to create a hostile environment by substantially interfering with or impairing a student’s educational performance, opportunities, or benefits. For purposes of this section, “hostile environment” means that the victim subjectively views the conduct as bullying or harassing behavior and the conduct is objectively severe or pervasive enough that a reasonable person would agree that it is bullying or harassing behavior.”
Pervasive, well it is going to be part of the WHOLE NC sex ed curriculum, that’s pretty pervasive. And let’s face it, while you might not be called names for it any more under the new school bullying act, there is something to be said for the mental anguish, pain, and suffering that occurs when you are constantly told that your GLBT sexual attractions are wrong, and that the only “right” or “correct” attraction is heterosexuality.
Furthermore it directly and obviously interferes with a student’s educational performance, opportunities, and benefits. The action of reinforcing heterosexuality as the only “right” way, while ignoring the entire GLBT umbrella, directly contradicts a GLBT’s students abilities to properly obtain the information that they need while limiting their abilities to openly and honestly participate in any discussion (speech or text) without fear of being ostracized or “corrected” according to the guidelines of the state.
Which removes any benefit, or at least severely limits it, that the student may receive from a sexual health education course. And as for harassment, you are targeting a class of individuals and preventing them from obtaining the same level of benefit from a sexual education curriculum as other students could receive while constantly subjecting that class of individuals to a constant message that their “lifestyle” is inappropriate pursuant to the state sexual education curriculum.
Teaching a strictly penile/vaginal penetrative perspective leaves out a very large section of important information that is highly useful to members of the GLBT community, and reduces a students ability to obtain age appropriate and accurate information.
All that to say this, how in the world can you read the Sexual Education bill and not see direct contradictions to the School Violence Prevention Act?
What the government & schools need to do is learn that not all people are the same.They need to learn their history and accept that humanity has always been diverse in it’s beliefs and how everyone thinks and feels differently then one another.
Schools are made to teach the basics of life so kids are ready and prepared to handle the reality of humanity and the world in which they live.
If government and schools want a child to grow up and be a productive member of society with as little problems as possible,it has to accept the diversity of humanity.
If not,it’s teaching that anything different is wrong and independent thought and feelings are as well.Thus helping to create the hate,fear and indifference out of ignorance it says it’s againist.
If government and schools want to show their intelligence and teach sex education so kids can be safe and make smart decisions through out their life.
They must teach the diversity of humanity and sexuality or they have failed as educators to help prepare them for the reality of human existance and help to keep them safe in a diverse world.
The only alternative educators have is not teaching sex education but then that wouldn’t be intelligent would it?
Comments are closed.