States

Montana Gov. Uses Branding Iron to Veto Sex-Ed Bill

By Catherine Gewertz — April 18, 2011 1 min read

There are vetoes, and there are particularly hot vetoes. Last week, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, took a branding iron to a bunch of Republican-drafted bills, including one that would have imposed new limits on schools’ ability to provide sex education to students. I’m not kidding; read about it in the Billings Gazette. There’s even a video.

The governor noted that castrations often accompany brandings, and cast himself as a merciful guy for restricting himself just to the fiery vetoes.

The sex-ed bill that Schweitzer nixed, HB456, would have required students to have written parental consent to participate in sex-education classes. It also would have forbidden schools from accepting course materials from abortion providers.

Apparently Schweitzer had local-control concerns about interfering with schools’ freedom to teach; he had no local-control qualms, apparently, in vetoing another piece of legislation that day: he also branded a measure that would have let counties weigh in about the relocation of wild bison.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.