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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Just say no to abstinence (education, that it is)



Usually it's the social conservatives making waves about sex education in the public schools. This time, two Democrats - Senate minority leader Steve Geller of Hallandale and newcomer Rep. Scott Randolph of Orlando - are pushing the issue. At the request of Planned Parenthood. Their identical bills, which they're calling the Parents Right to Know bill, would require school districts to fully disclose the specifics of what they teach (or don't) in sex education classes, especially when the classes are abstinence-only. Parents would have the option of excusing their children from the course if they disagree with the curriculum. It might sound like political posturing on a hot-button issue, but Randolph insists that it's not. "I just think it's important that parents know exactly what is being taught," he said, adding that Florida's status as sixth highest in the U.S. for teen pregnancy is nothing to be proud of. He's angling for bipartisan support, and even has gotten the Schools and Learning Council to send the bill to committee. No telling how far this idea could go.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:14am]


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