February 28, 2019
Denver, CO – The Senate Health and Human Services Committee today passed HB19-1032, Comprehensive Human Sexuality Education, a bill sponsored by Senator Nancy Todd (D-Aurora) and Senator Don Coram (R-Montrose) to expand the curriculum for schools that provide sex education. The bill passed committee 3-to-2 and now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.
Under current Colorado law, schools are not required to teach sex education. If they do choose to teach sex education; however, it must be comprehensive. This bill updates the current standards for what is comprehensive to include consent, healthy relationships, and sexual orientation.
“As a former educator, I believe we are obligated to teach Colorado’s students the information they need to live healthy, safe lives,” said Senator Todd. “In addition to current law which requires sex education to cover important topics such as pregnancy, abstinence, and sexually transmitted diseases, this bill will also help students learn about important concepts such as consent and healthy relationships.”
“I felt the original version of the bill was flawed; however, because of my relationship with Senator Todd, I was confident that we would be able to work with a large group of stakeholders on amendments that would correct the flaws we had,” said Senator Coram. “It speaks volumes that we would be able to get unanimous consent in making this a better bill.”
Contrary to what critics of the bill presented to the committee, HB19-1032 does not require schools to teach sex education but rather simply adds important topics to the current sex education curriculum to make it more inclusive for all students.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment currently administers a grant program to teach comprehensive sex education. This bill would allocate $1 million to this grant program and prioritize rural schools and public schools that lack resources.
To learn more about HB19-1032, please visit https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb19-1032.