Wittenberg, Hood and Pohutsky Bills Update State Sex Ed Curriculum

Legislation would amend school code to add affirmative consent education, update HIV/AIDS education
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
State Reps. Robert Wittenberg (D-Huntington Woods), Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids), Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia) introducing House Bills 5499-5501 to update Michigan’s sexual education curriculum on the House floor in Lansing on Feb. 18, 2020

LANSING — State Representatives Robert Wittenberg (D-Huntington Woods), Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia), and Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids) introduced a package of bills to make much-needed updates to the sexual education curriculum taught to students across the state. House Bills 5499-5501 would amend the Revised School Code by adding an affirmative consent section, requiring the sex education curriculum be inclusive, medically accurate and objective, and expanding HIV and AIDS education.

“While it is unfortunate that our current sexual education curriculum is not mandated to be inclusive, medically accurate and objective, it is far from surprising,” said Hood, who introduced HB 5499. “For years our state has neglected teaching sexual health to the detriment of our children. It is time that we bring our sex education curriculum into the 21st century and provide our children the critical lessons they need before they become sexually active.”

The Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH) worked with Reps. Wittenberg, Pohutsky and Hood to craft the legislation.

“For a long time, youth have been telling us that they want and need survivor-centered and consent-infused sexual health education in Michigan,” said Taryn Gal, Executive Director of MOASH. “Consent is a critical piece of medically accurate, research-informed, developmentally appropriate, inclusive and affirming, non-shaming, and trauma-informed sexual health education and Michigan students have a right to learn about it.”

# # #