Legislation would amend school code to add affirmative consent education, update HIV/AIDS education

LANSING — State Representatives Robert Wittenberg (D-Huntington Woods), Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia), and Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids) introduced a package of bills to make much-needed updates to the sexual education curriculum taught to students across the state. House Bills 5499-5501 would amend the Revised School Code by adding an affirmative consent section, requiring the sex education curriculum be inclusive, medically accurate and objective, and expanding HIV and AIDS education.

“The science and medicine surrounding HIV and AIDS has improved drastically over the years since the sex education curriculum was last updated,” said Pohutsky, who introduced HB 5501. “By providing students up-to-date, medically accurate information on AIDS medications, we can reduce the stigma and misinformation surrounding the illness.”

The Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH) worked with Reps. Wittenberg, Pohutsky and Hood to craft the legislation.

“For a long time, youth have been telling us that they want and need survivor-centered and consent-infused sexual health education in Michigan,” said Taryn Gal, Executive Director of MOASH. “Consent is a critical piece of medically accurate, research-informed, developmentally appropriate, inclusive and affirming, non-shaming, and trauma-informed sexual health education and Michigan students have a right to learn about it.”

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