Lawmakers vote 'no' to sexual education in public schools, again
POSTED: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 6:00pm
UPDATED: Friday, May 16, 2014 - 9:02am
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Louisiana children won't be required to have sex education in their schools. Wednesday, lawmakers said no to a plan that would have forced students to take sex education classes.
State Representative, Pat Smith has been fighting to require sex education since 2010. And every year, she's been shot down. She told us Wednesday, though she will continue to fight to get sexual education into all of our classrooms.
Louisiana has the highest HIV and Aids rates in the country.
"Several of them just didn't have any knowledge in regards to their bodies and in regards to not being able to make the choices," said Angie Brown with the Louisiana Public Health Institute.
That’s why women like Angie brown are asking our lawmakers to help us start tackling the problem by educating people early.
"We want to make sure our students in Louisiana are well educated so that they make really healthy decisions," noted Brown.
Rep. Pat Smith hoped lawmakers would require age appropriate sex education. She says it would have promoted abstinence.
"I now live in world of reality," said Smith.
Smith has fought to bring sexual education into Louisiana classrooms for years and every single time including now, it failed.
Hillary Solet says, sex ed has no place in our classrooms.
"The problem with teen pregnancy is not just the STD rates and the birth rates but the biggest problem is probably the mental health rates," said Solet.
Solet's taken sex ed classes and she feels they're not helpful or necessary.
"I really hope she thinks about what I said about woman empowerment within the schools rather than just putting condoms on bananas."
Right now, Louisiana schools have the option to teach sexual education. But they don't have to. Smith says Louisiana needs to wake up and make it law.
"As long as I am here I will keep bringing it back so people can’t start understanding that these statistics keep going up, they are not going down," noted Rep. Pat Smith, (D).
Smith says she'll try again next year and she says even if the law would pass, parents can request to have their kids exempted from the class. A current Louisiana law requires schools to promote abstinence to students.