The state will allow parents to decide whether their children should learn more about sexually transmitted diseases and contraception than is typically taught in public schools under a bill that passed the House in a 60-55 vote Thursday.
Under House Bill 88, which now goes to Gov. Beverly Perdue for her signature, schools would continue to offer sex ed that stresses abstinence. But beginning in 2010, schools must also include information on STDs, the safety and effectiveness of all FDA approved contraceptive methods in preventing pregancy, and information on sexual assault, sexual abuse and risk reduction.
Parents who do not want their children to learn more than the abstinence-based curriculum can remove them from that part of the course.
The additional instruction would end the state policy enacted in 1995 that required an abstinence-based curriculum. To teach comprehensive sex education, school districts must go through a public deliberation that includes a hearing and a public examination of instructional materials.