Mission America

Christian Commentary on the Culture

Parents Right to Know Act in Ohio: Support Abstinence Education!

Linda Harvey

Do you have a right to know what your children are being taught in sex education class, and whether or not it’s compliant with Ohio law?

Well, if so, you will be thrilled about a new bill just introduced in the Ohio House. It’s House Bill 240, and it’s called the Parent’s Right to Know Act.

Here’s the situation. In Ohio, we already have a law passed in 1999 that establishes abstinence until marriage as the focus for sex education in Ohio. But what have individual school systems been doing? That is the question, and although we are blessed that many are adhering to this standard, we also know that there are some that are allowing reckless, high-risk, Planned Parenthood- type sex education to be taught in their schools. And there’s been little accountability on this. For a recent and very troubling example, go HERE.

So this bill will mandate that as current law states, sex education in Ohio is to provide students the high standard of abstaining from sex until marriage, and emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is one hundred percent effective against unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The bill also requires that abstinence education include teaching risk avoidance of other unhealthy behaviors like alcohol and drug use, dating violence, bullying, gambling, pornography, and human trafficking and encourage optimal health for all students.

This bill would also require schools to inform parents in detail if they plan to teach any other type of sex education. And then, schools must have written permission from parents before they teach this alternative kind of sex ed, an "opt-in" requirement.

In other words, no more sneaking around to introduce students to obscene, pornographic, pro-homosexual, pro-abortion, and pro -gender deviance lessons to your children-- unless of course, you want that. As we know, the vast majority of parents when they learn these details do not want this taught to their children.

The bill re- emphasizes the current abstinence law, as well as adding this new requirement to inform parents, and giving parents the right to bring a lawsuit if the school doesn’t comply. The other thing this bill does that's very important is it requires the Ohio State Board of Education to produce an annual audit of school systems about their compliance with the abstinence requirement and the names of outside organizations or consultants providing any sex ed instruction.

The bill’s sponsors are Representatives Reggie Stolzfus of Paris Township (in northeast Ohio) and Sarah Fowler Arthur of Geneva-on-the-Lake. And 16 co-sponsors are Representatives Bird, Brinkman, Click, Dean, Gross, Hall, Holmes, Jordan, Kick, McClain, Merrin, Pavliga, Powell, Riedel, Stephens, and Wiggam. All are Republicans.

Hearings will be heard in the education committee of the House and we hope those hearings begin soon. Please call your own representative in the Ohio Statehouse and urge them to support House Bill 240.