DENVER (CBS4)– A controversial proposal about sex education at Colorado public schools is a step closer to becoming a state law. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed HB19-1032, Comprehensive Human Sexuality Education, Thursday.
The bill expands the discussion of LGBTQ relationships and would ban the abstinence-only approach. Schools will have to accept the more comprehensive curriculum or teach nothing at all.
As it stands right now, the bill will get rid of a waiver letting public charter schools pick out their sex education criteria. The proposal also funds a grant program for schools that lack resources to teach human sexuality.
Hundreds showed up at the hearing at the state Capitol to testify both in support of the bill and against it on Thursday.
One woman said she wanted to publicly support the bill because she said knowledge about sexuality will help protect kids from sexual crimes.
“This bill supports understanding for young children boundaries and bodies,” said the woman.
Attorney Nicole Hunt came to oppose the bill because she thinks the government is intruding in private life.
“Colorado citizens don’t want the government telling them how to educate their children on sexual education. Colorado citizens want to be free to make decision that are best for themselves and their families,” said Hunt.
Amendments were proposed to clarify that parents or schools can opt out, to protect student’s speech and beliefs, that sex acts will not be taught, and that sex education will not be taught to kids younger than third grade.
The bill now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.