HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A South Carolina house panel has passed a bill that updates the state's 26-year-old sex education curriculum. Among other things it emphasizes abstinence and seeks to give kids more medically sound information.
Right now, South Carolina schools teach a sex education curriculum meant to encourage healthy attitudes and wellness. The courses are age-appropriate and typically take place during P. E. class. However, a number of things have been removed and added to House bill 3435 in an effort to cut down on teen pregnancy and disease.
In the Palmetto state, 15 teenagers ages 15 to 19 give birth every day according to the South Carolina Campaign to prevent teen pregnancy. one in four nationally has an std according to the CDC.
Some of the new language in the bill says instruction must be medically accurate and factual. Instruction must also be age-appropriate and include education on abstinence, contraception, and methods of disease prevention to prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Sex-Ed courses would start earlier in high school. Instruction must take place before a student leaves the tenth grade. Right now, it has to happen before they graduate.
The bill still needs to go before the full house and then the senate.
Students we talked with believe changes do need to be made.
Ericka Elliott is a recent graduate of Loris High School who says she wasn't taught specifics.
"They talked about the basics.. AIDS," Elliott said. "That's a real hard-hitter, but they didn't talk about herpes simplex or HPV because HPV is everywhere and a lot of people think if symptoms aren't showing it's not contagious.
For a look at the changes in the bill click on the link.