SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Local residents are weighing the benefits of setting state requirements for sex education in schools.
“Back when I was a kid, things were a lot different,” said Mark Maslak of West Springfield. “I think the state should have more oversight. Local, they do a great job at what they do, but in this case, a higher power monitoring sex education in schools would be phenomenal to me. It was taught well when I was in school, but not well enough.”
The Healthy Youth Act would not require sex education in schools, but would put requirements in place for the districts that do decide to offer it. Sex education courses would be required to offer information on both contraceptives and abstinence, and to present age-appropriate, medically accurate information.
Rufus Kynard of Springfield told 22News his city’s school district has a better understanding of what its students are ready for than the state. He said, “I believe the Springfield school system should have everything to say about it, how it’s set up and how it’s presented to the students. The Springfield school system should have total control of putting this system into place.”
Under this bill, sex education would address consent, gender identity and sexual orientation. The bill would also allow parents to be able to opt out of sex education for their children without penalty.