Louisiana’s House of Representatives has struck down a bill that would have mandated explicit sex-education curriculum in public schools across the state starting in 4th grade.
House Bill 529 was voted down 67-23. The bill states that public sex education would promote “healthy attitudes concerning … body image, gender roles, [and] sexual orientation,” and called for a curriculum teaching sexual abstinence along with “the importance of effectively using contraceptives and barrier methods.”
The defeat leaves state-authorized sex education optional for each school district, many of which currently utilize an abstinence-based approach to sex education.
While advocates of the bill pointed to Louisiana’s high rate of sexually transmitted diseases, particularly among teenagers, one Republican lawmaker maintained that such material should be taught within a family setting, rather than “some bureaucratic program.”
“Why not leave that to the parents?” asked State Rep. Hunter Greene, according to The Advocate.
The bill is not expected to be revived this year.