Nevada’s Youth Legislature has filed a bill that would require schools to teach on criminal issues “that frequently involve persons under the age of 18 years,” including sexting, sexual consent, and driving under the influence.
The proposal comes following years of renewed national concern about sexual assault and consent among teenagers and on college campuses.
Other schools throughout the country have explored voluntarily adding such requirements to sex education classes and drug prevention programs in recent years to make them more relevant to students. In 2015, California adopted new laws that required schools to teach about affirmative consent, which calls upon students to replace “no means no” with “yes means yes” in sexual situations.
The Nevada Youth Legislature is a nationally recognized panel that is allowed to pitch youth-related legislation. The students’ bill would add the new requirements not to sex education classes, but to American government courses required in all of the state’s public high schools. It has yet to be considered by any legislative committees.
“It’s not a sex-ed bill— I don’t ask that we teach sexuality or even contraception, but that we arm our children with the knowledge and the empathy to understand what consent and, conversely, assault is,” said Olivia Yamamoto, the student who proposed the bill, according to the Associated Press. “Nevada can lead the nation in protecting our young people.”
Further reading on sex and consent:
- California Blazes Trail With New Sex Education Mandates
- Los Angeles to Add ‘Sext’ Ed. to Curriculum
- Teen Birth Rates Hit All-Time Low, But Disparities Persist
- Sex Education Programs Fall Short of CDC Recommendations in Many States
- Advocates for LGBT Students Push for More Inclusive Sex Education in Schools
- Fact-Checking John Oliver on Sex Education (Spoiler: He Was Accurate)
A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.