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senate Bill S. 355

Should Lessons About Safe Relationships Start In High School?

Argument in favor

Teaching high school students what is and what is not consent will foster healthy relationships for students in school and into their futures. This plan also trains students how to spot and act in the face of domestic and sexual violence.

Gregory's Opinion
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03/20/2015
I agree in principle. Except that it shouldn't start in high school. It should start in elementary school.
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03/21/2015
While I oppose most federal intrusion in the school system I also recognize many of today's parents are unwilling to teach their children about relationships, if this was implemented in a responsible way it could be an effective program.
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loeakaodas's Opinion
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03/23/2015
Ignoring the fact that teenagers will have sex is a recipe for disaster & only leads to the spread of STI's unwanted pregnancies, & those "terribly" high abortion numbers.
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Argument opposed

Schools should focus their time with students in health education classes to teaching abstinence. If parents want to teach their children about "consent" and other notions of "healthy relationships," they can do it on their own time.

Loraki's Opinion
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08/10/2016
This is the job of PARENTS! Get the government and the schools out of the job of "parenting"!
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Tomblue01's Opinion
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04/11/2015
Yeah, cause our education system just works so well. Remember "just say no" to drugs in the 80's? Like that worked... <sarcasm> Nothing replaces the values learned in the home. Perhaps if we weren't so busy assaulting sound family values, we could actually encourage families to stay together long enough to teach their kids how to properly behave and conduct themselves in matters of life and sex.
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BTSundra's Opinion
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11/05/2015
Government sponsored relationships? That's potentially one of the worst infringements on the family dynamic yet.
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What is Senate Bill S. 355?

This bill would reform public school sex-ed by requiring that classes include information about “safe relationship behavior.” Curriculums would focus on preventing sexual assault, domestic violence, and dating violence.


The Secretary of Education would be authorized to award grant funding to local educational agencies  that offer professional development related to safe relationship behavior education for teachers and staff. Grants would also be awarded to educational programs working to develop age-appropriate curricula.


"Safe relationship" teachings would also include teachings about consent. This bill defines consent as the affirmative, unambiguous, and voluntary agreement to engage in a specific sexual activity. Consent cannot be given if an individual is asleep, mentally or physically incapacitated, under duress or experiencing a threat, and it cannot be inferred during situations in which consent is not clear.

Impact

High school students, teachers, administrators, and staff; local educational agencies; the Department of Education; the Secretary of Education.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 355

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth:

This legislation defines “safe relationship behavior education” as instructing students how to recognize and prevent physical and emotional relationship abuse. This education would also include ways to spot coercion, dating violence, domestic abuse, sexual violence and harassment. Educational materials would also focus on "healthy relationships," attitudes, and insights, relationship communication skills, emotional health, accountability, and consent.


This bill also expresses Congress’ findings on the issue, particularly that safe relationship behavior education programs will help prevent occurrences of sexual violence and harassment — things that affect women between the ages of 16 and 24 at higher levels than any other age group.


Of Note:

Women between the age of 18 to 24 are more likely than any other demographic group to experience sexual violence. A related Bureau of Justice Statistics report found that among this demographic, non-students are slightly more likely than students to experience rape or sexual assault.


Media:

Sponsoring Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) Press Release

Teach Safe Relationships Act Fact Sheet

Huffington Post

Washington Post

Bustle

Feminist Majority Foundation (In Favor)


Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Zorah Olivia)

AKA

Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015

Official Title

A bill to support the provision of safe relationship behavior education and training.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    IntroducedFebruary 3rd, 2015
    I agree in principle. Except that it shouldn't start in high school. It should start in elementary school.
    Like (171)
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    Share
    This is the job of PARENTS! Get the government and the schools out of the job of "parenting"!
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    While I oppose most federal intrusion in the school system I also recognize many of today's parents are unwilling to teach their children about relationships, if this was implemented in a responsible way it could be an effective program.
    Like (49)
    Follow
    Share
    Ignoring the fact that teenagers will have sex is a recipe for disaster & only leads to the spread of STI's unwanted pregnancies, & those "terribly" high abortion numbers.
    Like (43)
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    Share
    The abstinence policy doesn't work. We have been raising generations of children who have little to no knowledge on their own body. We need informative, transparent and scientifically accurate information delivered to the youth so they can make better decisions regarding relationships. You might not want to think about it mom and dad, but it's happening with or without you.
    Like (35)
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    Parents can't reach kids at home because teenagers don't want to hear Mom and Dad.
    Like (14)
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    Invariably there should be some courses addressing vital aspects of human relationships designed with special emphasis on the fact that educational information is not endorsement, encouragement, or facilitation of irresponsible, underage activity.
    Like (11)
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    Yeah, cause our education system just works so well. Remember "just say no" to drugs in the 80's? Like that worked... <sarcasm> Nothing replaces the values learned in the home. Perhaps if we weren't so busy assaulting sound family values, we could actually encourage families to stay together long enough to teach their kids how to properly behave and conduct themselves in matters of life and sex.
    Like (9)
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    Government sponsored relationships? That's potentially one of the worst infringements on the family dynamic yet.
    Like (7)
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    This is an issue for the mother and father to teach their children.
    Like (7)
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    It still stings to turn the other cheek and this is good preventative medicine.
    Like (7)
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    Educate our teens and the consequences of testing the waters.
    Like (6)
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    Define "safe." So it looks like schools or some government panel would issue ID cards similar to the cards issued at a car wash. Every time you get a wash, your card is stamped. So the kids meet, they take their cards to the parents so they can see the "safe panel" has approved their child's condom technique or oral hygiene and vaccine record. Just another PhD creating a program for his new title and pay raise. Another gimmick in socialist thinking regarding uniformity. This "safe" program falls directly on parents where it should be.
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    School isn't just math and science, it's a place where morals and ethics are shaped.
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    There are a lot of kids who aren't close enough with their parents to discuss these things. It's very important they are educated about these topics. As someone who has just graduated high school, I can tell you that most parents don't talk about this with their kids.
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    WAY TOO LATE! Teach the Golden Rule at a much younger age, and let schools remove from their environments students AND FACULTY who are causing all kinds of trouble, including bullying and violence.
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    This is the parents responsibility. Not the government.
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    They should be educated beginning in middle school.
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    Yes! Yes! Yes! healthy relationships are so important and should be taught in high schools, nationally. especial in states such as Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky...etc. Too many guns and misogynistic men. It's dangerous and disgusting.
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