A Wisconsin prosecutor is warning sex education teachers they could face charges if they follow a new state law that allows them to instruct students about proper contraceptive use.
-- From "Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth urges schools to drop sex ed, fearing criminal charges await teachers" by Todd Richmond, Associated Press Writer 4/6/10
A letter sent to five school districts by Juneau County Dist. Atty. Scott Southworth said the instruction could amount to contributing to the delinquency of a minor if teachers know students are sexually active. He said the districts should drop sex education until the Legislature repeals the law.
Southworth also argued that teaching contraceptive use encourages sexual behavior among children, which equates to sexual assault because minors can’t legally have sex in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin school districts aren’t required to teach sex education. But the new law, which took effect March 11, lays out requirements for those that do, including teaching the benefits of abstinence, criminal penalties for having underage sex and the benefits and proper use of contraceptives.
Supporters, including groups representing nurses, health departments and the state teacher’s union, maintain the law will help reduce teen pregnancies. Conservative opponents counter that schools should focus on abstinence.
Southworth’s letter said law would convert sex education classes “into a radical program that sexualizes our children as early as kindergarten. This, in turn, will lead to more child sexual assaults.”
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