WISCONSIN - Gov. Jim Doyle signed the Healthy Youth Act into law Wednesday.The new law requires schools to teach birth control as part of sexeducation.
"I think the biggest impact will be on communicating thisinformation to parents probably reassuring them that there aren'tgoing to be any drastic, major changes in what their children arebeing taught and exposed to," said Kim Ott, director of teachingand learning for the West De Pere School District.
Ott says high school and middle school students in the West DePere district are taught practical information aboutcontraceptives, with an emphasis on abstinence.
Although that's not the case for every district.
"I was taught basic information on the basic STDs. I wasn'treally taught about contraceptives, birth control, things likethat," said Brandon Wenger, a senior at Monroe High School.
Wenger considers the new law an improvement for schools becausehe says students aren't taught enough about birth control.
"They are aware of it, but a lot of them have a certain stigmabehind it that isn't true. There's a lot of misinformation becausethe information is spread by their peers, not by their teachers,"said Wenger.
"It really saddens me that this passed," said Vickie Schwahn, aparent who advocates for abstinence.
She's concerned about the new law mandating what is included insex education. She says it leaves less up to parents and localschool boards.
"As a parent all of us parents, who cares about our childrenmore than we do? Who knows what's best for our children more thanwe do? And we would like a say in what our children are beingtaught, not having it mandated on the state level, let us as acommunity decide what is best for our children and our community,"said Schwahn.
The new law is signed, though the debate about teaching birthcontrol will no doubt continue.
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