St. Paul, MN - Today, the House Preventive Health Policy Division heard testimony on House File 358, authored by Rep. Sydney Jordan (DFL - Minneapolis), which would require the Commissioner of Education to develop and report on a model program for sexual health education. The division, chaired by Rep. Mike Freiberg (DFL - Golden Valley), advanced the legislation on a party-line vote of 7-4 to the Health Finance and Policy Committee.
"Our students are begging us to give them the tools to protect their health, understand their bodies, form healthy relationships, and learn about consent,” said Rep. Jordan. “By implementing Comprehensive Sex Health Education programs statewide, we can prevent not only unintended pregnancies, lessen STI transmissions, and prevent sexual violence, but also prepare young Minnesotans to lead healthy, responsible, and happy lives."
This bill requires school districts and charter schools to implement a comprehensive sexual health education program in elementary and secondary schools, and would go into effect starting in the 2023-2024 school year. The proposal requires district or charter schools to comply with parental curriculum review requirements.
“Comprehensive, medically correct, and developmentally appropriate sexual health education will help set a foundation for Minnesota’s youth to lead safe and healthy lives,” said Rep. Freiberg, who also co-sponsors the legislation. “Sexual health is an important part of a student’s overall health education, and it’s one where cutting corners can only serve to harm students and widen disparities.”
More information and supporting materials are available on the committee’s webpage. Video recording of today’s hearing will be made available on the House Public Information Services’ YouTube channel.