DENVER (CBS4) – Opponents to Colorado’s House Bill 19-1032 gathered on the steps of the state capital building, Saturday, to call on lawmakers to ditch the bill. It would change the way Colorado public and chartered schools teach sex education.
The bill would alter many current requirements, including requiring classes to discuss all forms of pregnancy prevention, not just abstinence. It would add discussions on what’s consent and what’s sexual assault and safe and healthy relationships whether they be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Some opponents to the bill are youth who have classmates who are going through the state’s current curriculum standards.
“I wanted to be here to give my opinion on why kids should be living their lives like kids,” said Naysa Gallegos, a 12-year-old speaker at the “Don’t Mess With Our Kids Rally.” “(Lawmakers) should leave it like it is already. They are already teaching 5th graders (sex education.)”
Gallegos wasn’t the only student to speak at the rally. Brianna Zappavigna, 16, said the change to the law could push worldly beliefs on students who do not agree with them.
“It directly affects us. It directly affects me,” Zappavigna said.
While HB19-1032 would not mandate students to take the course, it would force those who take the class to learn about the new additions to the curriculum.
Zappavigna said she felt speaking out as a student would help get her message across to lawmakers.
“I believe I have power as 16-year-old girl,” Zappavigna said. “I think legislation would be more compelled to listen to me, rather than adults who aren’t actually influenced by it.”
While adults continue to debate the bill, some students say now is the time to get the opinion of the youth in Colorado.