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Bill That Would Create Sex Education Standards Meets Resistance

a photo of a classroom
A teacher organization says Ohio needs better standards for educating students about health and sex. Others disagree.

Ohio lawmakers are considering a bill that would set sex education standards for the state’s schools. However, putting the state’s education department in charge of coming up with some standards is meeting opposition from conservative groups. 

Ohio law mandates that abstinence be taught in K-12 schools as the preferred education policy. But Brian Yusko with the Ohio Association of Colleges for Teacher Education says it lacks something important. "Ohio is the only state that does not have a set of health education standards," Yusko said.

But Linda Harvey with Mission America says individual schools are already teaching national sex ed programs that she says recommend immoral and unsafe sexual activities. "This bill seems to give a wink and a nod to more of this," Harvey said.

A Senate committee is set to consider the bill for the fourth time. If it passes there, it could come up for a vote in that chamber before the end of this year. 

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.