Denver is Confusing Me!

25 Feb

They ban pit bulls so I am anti Denver. But then the Denver Post writes this about a bill I want to see passed in every state.

Bill puts science in school sex ed
Measure gains, goes beyond abstinence

By Jennifer Brown
Denver Post Staff Writer
Denver Post
Jinny Apodaca’s 2-year-old daughter sat on her lap Thursday as she asked legislators to pass a law that would require school districts to teach kids science-based sex education.

Apodaca was a 14-year-old middle schooler when she got pregnant, and she wishes she had been taught about condoms and birth-control pills and how to say no.

After two hours of passionate testimony, the House Education Committee advanced legislation mandating public schools teach kids the latest about AIDS, hepatitis C and the link between the human papilloma virus and cervical cancer.

House Bill 1292 says schools should emphasize abstinence, including from oral sex, and it says districts should involve parents in curriculum planning.

But it updates state law to make sure all public schools are teaching more than just abstinence.

Every hour one Colorado girl younger than 18 gets pregnant, a statistic that pushed Rep. Nancy Todd, D-Aurora, to introduce the emotionally charged legislation. About 12,130 teens get pregnant every year in Colorado, her bill says.

Todd, a former teacher, choked up before she moved the bill to the House floor.

“If this was a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to discuss this,” she said. “Families would take care of it.”

Rep. Tom Massey, a Republican from Poncha Springs, abandoned the other four Republicans on the committee to support the bill. He said he wished all children received adequate information on sex education from their parents but said that isn’t the case.

“Regretfully, we have to deal with something called hormones,” said Massey, who has teenage boys. “It’s regretful that we put this on our school districts sometimes to be the purveyors of information like this.”

Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, said he fears the legislation will make Colorado school districts ineligible for federal grant funding strictly tied to abstinence-only programs. Colorado organizations, including one school district, get just under $500,000 a year from the federal government for those programs.

“It seems like we are taking abstinence out and putting contraception in,” he said, referring to Gov. Bill Ritter’s plan to lift eligibility restrictions on state-funded pregnancy prevention and family-planning programs.

Organizations that promote abstinence – including the Colorado Catholic Conference and the Colorado Family Institute – testified against the bill, saying it would strip local school districts of options and could eliminate federal funding for their programs.

But Rep. Michael Merrifield, a Colorado Springs Democrat who leads the Education Committee, equated the federal money to being “blackmailed” into providing kids with “misinformation and incomplete information” about sex.

Deirdre Maloney, executive director of the Colorado AIDS Project, said it’s foolish to assume all teens are abstaining from sex, and “to hide information from them because it makes us uncomfortable is irresponsible.”

Every hour in this country two teens are infected with HIV, she said.

The bill passed 9-4 and is headed to the full House.

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