Minnesota Sex Education Bill

In our 2/25/2020 local caucus, we had a spirited discussion about the proposed Sex Education Bill HF 1414 sponsored by Rep. Todd Lippert, DFL-Northfield. This bill would require sex education to be medically accurate and age appropriate. In addition, curriculum would be expected to cover a wide variety of topics, including gender-based violence, affirmative consent and contraceptives, and would be required to be inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community. In addition, it has rules stipulating procedures for detecting and reporting sexual predators employed by the school.

Nowhere in the bill is there a list of books that the school must adopt. Directly from the bill:

(1) respect community values and encourage students to communicate with parents or 
guardians; faith, health, and social services professionals; and other trusted adults about 
sexuality and intimate relationships;

(2) respond to culturally diverse individuals, families, and communities in an inclusive, 
respectful, and effective manner;

(3) provide students with information about local resources where students may obtain  medically accurate information and services related to sexual and reproductive health, dating  violence, and sexual assault.

I think there is confusion because on the House floor, Rep. Eric Lucero, R-Dayton, cited the book “It’s Perfectly Normal” as an example of what he believes sex education could look like if the new guidelines are approved. This book was taken to several meetings around the state to promote the defeat of the bill.  “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie H. Harris, first published in 1994, is intended to teach children 10 and older about sexual health. The book includes cartoon depictions of naked people engaging in acts of a sexual nature. Many school libraries across the nation have banned or restricted access to the book, but a limited number of Minnesota districts have it in their collections.

I personally would not want this book taught in schools. If parents want their child to have access to this book, it should be done in the home with a parent. That doesn’t mean I am against Sex Education, but as a concerned parent (now grandparent) I would certainly make sure that the school board adheres to my moral values. 

Caucus Sites 2020

DFL Caucus Sites, February 25, 2020  Time: 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. 320-533-0801

  1.  Bertha:  310 Central Ave S, Bertha-Hewitt High School Cafeteria.  Cities of Bertha and Hewitt; townships of Bartlett, Bertha, Germania, Stowe Prairie
  2.  Eagle Bend:  Hilltop Kitchen meeting room, 405 Main Street West.  Cities of Clarissa and Eagle Bend; townships of Burleene, Eagle Valley, and Wykeham
  3. Browerville: High School & Elementary Library, 620 Park Ave. N.  City of Browerville; townships of Hartford, Iona, Little Elk, Turtle Creek and Ward  
  4. Long Prairie:  LPGE Middle School (Old High School by Courthouse), Door E 2.  For Handicap entrance, use door E 1, go down. City of Long Prairie; townships of Bruce, Long Prairie, and Reynolds.
  5. Staples: City Hall meeting room, 122  6th Street. City of Staples; townships of Fawn Lake, Moran, Staples, and Villard
  6. Osakis: Galeon meeting room, downstairs, 410 W. Main Street.  Cities of Osakis (Todd County part); and West Union; townships of Gordon, Kandota, Leslie, Little Sauk, and West Union.
  7. Grey Eagle:  GE Housing Association, 303 Cedar Street N, (apartments) meeting room.  Cities of Burtrum and Grey Eagle; townships of Birchdale, Burnhamville, Grey Eagle, and Round Prairie.