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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
WISCONSIN: Doyle Signs Sex Education Bill into Law
Patrick Marley
February 25, 2010
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (02.24.10) - Thursday, February

On Wednesday, the governor of Wisconsin signed into law a measure that requires public schools that offer sex education to include information on reducing the risks of STDs and pregnancy.

"It is very important in my mind that the teaching be done consistent with these standards [in the new law] - that it be based on accurate information; that it be age appropriate; and that we not have political ideology make the decision on what is taught to our young people, but rather scientific facts and good, basic knowledge," Gov. Jim Doyle said.

How many school districts will have to change curricula is not known. However, the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District will have to end its abstinence-only program to conform with the new law.

All Republican lawmakers voted against the legislation when it passed the Assembly in November and the Senate last month. They said the bill infringed on the prerogative of local officials to set school standards.

Democrats blamed abstinence-only sex education for causing high rates of teen pregnancy and STDs.

Under the law, sex education classes must include information about preventing STDs, the benefits and downsides of the various forms of birth control, and how to use condoms. Students have to be taught how they can prevent STDs.

Parents can still opt their children out of sex education. School districts that decide to drop sex education altogether must notify parents of the decision.