What Does the Law Say About Sex Education in Oklahoma?
Not all kids in Oklahoma are receiving the same schooling when it comes to sex education.
A new law was passed in April that mandates additional curriculum topics for schools in Oklahoma that teach sex education. The problem is that while the new law is progressive and clearly very important, not all students will have an opportunity to learn about it at school because there’s a very good chance they’re not being taught sex education at all.
The Law on Sex Education in Oklahoma
While the law mandates that several subjects are taught in Oklahoma’s schools, sex education is not one of them. In fact, Oklahoma is one of about half of the states in the country that don’t have any regulation pertaining to sex ed. It’s up to the individual school boards to determine if they would like it taught. The Oklahoma State Department of Education does not even keep track of what schools teach it and what schools don’t.
This is concerning to some parents who would like all students to receive sexual education, but what’s taught in schools that include the curriculum is often even more concerning. When teaching sex education, schools are required to emphasize abstinence as the preferred method of birth control.
Whatever else is taught, including male and female anatomy and topics such as pregnancy, does not even have to be medically accurate. All schools in Oklahoma are required to teach about HIV and AIDS, including prevention methods.
Regardless of what is being taught in schools, schools are required to notify the parents. Parents can then choose whether or not their child will participate in the class.
The New Law
At the end of April, Governor Stitt signed into law a new bill pertaining to those schools that currently include sex education as part of their curriculum. This law, which stemmed from Senate Bill 926, requires all schools to include consent as part of their sexual education program.
The topic of consent should start at age 10, say legislators, although at such a young age, teachings will mainly focus on body awareness. Children are encouraged to recognize and vocalize when they don’t want a hug, or aren’t feeling affectionate. As a child ages and mature, the topics touched on became heavier, focusing on rape, what consent really means, and how everyone has a right to withdraw their consent once it’s been given.
Are Your Child’s Rights Being Violated? Contact an Oklahoma Education Lawyer Who Can Help
Every parent has the right to know what their child is learning, whether or not it falls in line with board policy, and if their child’s rights are being upheld. If you think your child’s rights are being violated at school, there is help. An education lawyer in Oklahoma City will listen to your case and advise you of any possible legal action.
If you feel as though your child’s rights, or your wishes, are not being upheld when your child is in school, call us at Banks, Gillett, Gillett, PLLC at (405) 607-4800. As a parent, you have the final say in your child’s education and we want to help make it easy for you to set things right. We offer free consultations, so call today or fill out our online form so we can start discussing your case.