Bill proposes adding focus on consent to sex education - WNEM TV 5

Bill proposes adding focus on consent to sex education

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The saying "no means no" could soon be changing to "yes means yes."

A bill introduced in Lansing wants to change how schools teach sex education by adding a new focus on consent.

If passed, schools that teach sex education would be required to talk about affirmative consent and the role it plays in a healthy physical relationship.

One concern the legislation has raised is it may promote sexual activity, but some parents don't agree.

"I don't think it promotes sexual activity. That's going to be what it is. They're either going to do it with ignorance or an education," said Deirdre Scherzer, mother.

Scherzer is a mother of four. She feels sex education should be talked about at home as well as in the classroom.

"I think that's good because in a classroom setting, children can raise their hand and have an open discussion and share their experiences with insight from their instructors," Scherzer said.

Another aspect of the bill requires teaching students silence does not mean consent, consent can be taken away at any point, and the existence of a dating relationship between two people also does not imply consent.

Nancy Schrems, parent, said that is necessary. She is a mother of six and a grandmother of 24.

"Well they're already teaching sexual education. So they might as well teach what you need to do in a situation instead of just telling them about sex," Schrems said.

The bill does not make sex education a requirement in all schools and parents would still have the option of pulling their children out of the class.

The bill is waiting for a committee hearing.

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