Posted by Laura McCallister, Multimedia Producer - email
TOPEKA, KS (AP) -
By JOHN MILBURN Associated Press
Supporters of Kansas legislation requiring parental consent for students to receive sex education in public schools said Tuesday that the policy change would force parents to become more active participants in the subject matter.
The bill heard by the House Education Committee would make the consent requirement a statewide policy. Currently, each district decides whether parents must agree to have their children take sex education.
"The overriding objective of this legislation is to ensure that parents have the ability to view sex education material in a manner that is appropriate to them," said Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, a Shawnee Republican and sponsor of the legislation.
Tom Krebs, lobbyist for the Kansas Association of School Boards, said the organization had a policy statement that encouraged districts to make sex education an opt-out decision by parents. He said association members would change that if the bill passed. He also suggested voters could always elect new members of their local boards to bring about a policy change.
The bill was drafted in response to a January incident in Johnson County's Shawnee Mission district in which a suggestive poster used in sex education classes was put on a classroom door in view of students not authorized by their parents to receive sex education.
Mark Ellis, parent of an eighth-grader, said his daughter took a photo of the poster and brought it home to show him. Ellis has always signed a slip opting his daughter out of sex education instruction.
"I wanted to believe it was a prank," Ellis said.
He spoke with district officials and learned the school board had authorized spending money to use a program called "Making a Difference" to teach sex education in the schools. The poster was a supplemental material used in the instruction. Ellis said the poster was removed after he spoke to district officials.
Ellis said while he may be "a little old fashioned" when it came to discussing sex education with his daughter, he felt it was his responsibility and not one he wanted to leave to educators.
Legislators said they support parents having the say on sexuality and morals and wanted to make a change.
"Some issues are important to mandate and take statewide. This is one of them," said Rep John Bradford, a Lansing Republican.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material
may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Monday, April 21 2014 7:59 AM EDT2014-04-21 11:59:19 GMT
Authorities said a death investigation is underway in a KCK neighborhood.Kansas City, KS, police were called about 12:40 p.m. Sunday to the 700 block of North 70th Terrace.No other details were immediatelyMore >
Authorities said a death investigation is underway in a KCK neighborhood.More >
Sunday, April 20 2014 12:25 PM EDT2014-04-20 16:25:32 GMT
Authorities are investigating a convenience store shooting.Raytown police were called to a QuikTrip in the 8700 block of East 63 Street about 1:30 a.m. Sunday after reports that a person that had beenMore >
Authorities are investigating a convenience store shooting.More >
Friday, April 18 2014 9:53 PM EDT2014-04-19 01:53:24 GMT
The police department's statements detail their use of GPS tracking, surveillance and the help of tips from the public that led to the eventual arrest of Mohammed Whitaker, the man suspected of being theMore >
Court documents detail how new-age technology, old-fashioned police work and observant eyewitnesses led to the capture of the man that authorities say was responsible for a string of highway shootings that terrorized the area.More >