Bill Reforming State's Sex-Ed Laws Stalled

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- A bill aimed at reforming South Carolina's decades-old health education laws was stalled in the State Senate.

The halt came after Sen. Michael Fair, R-Greenville, raised a procedural objection immediately following a favorable vote in a senate committee.

The bill passed the House in April in a tight 51-49 vote merely one day before the crossover deadline.

Legislation that did not pass from one chamber to the other before May 1 would die.

With one week left in this years legislative session, the move all but ensures that the bill will not pass the full chamber.

"Sen. Fair believes that they can wait another year before they get medically accurate information into schools," said Emma Davidson with the group "Tell Them SC."

"One of the issues that this bill addressed was that not all school districts are complying with current regulations set forth by the department of education," Davidson said. "That includes reporting on what they're teaching.

Comprehensive health reform passed at the State House in 1988. However, not included the law was making sure sex education classes were being taught with medically accurate information. There were also no penalties for school districts that do not report what they are teaching, which is part of the reason Rep. B.R. Skelton, R-Pickens, introduced the bill.

"Right now, about three-fourths of the school districts aren't reporting that, even though they're required to, and based on what was testified to in the subcommittee, there's a lot of erroneous information being presented," Skelton said.

Sen. Fair said both that if there is medically inaccurate information being taught, he hasn't seen it, and that the bill is just too broad.

Another reason he stalled the bill, he said, is because it names too many sources for the information being taught. It names the Centers for Disease Control as well as an office within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"There's no evidence that the law needs to be tinkered with," Sen. Fair said. "The source, one source, needs to be the source for that information."

Davidson didn't buy that.

"We would be open to hearing the Senators concerns and suggestions for that, unfortunately he chose not to comment," Davidson said.

Rep. Skelton said he is retiring at the end of the session, which means he will not be introducing the bill next year.

Davidson said her group has not given up hope for this year, but if it does not pass, they will fight to have it introduced again next session.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment