ACLU of Wisconsin Responds to Juneau County District Attorney’s Attack on New Comprehensive Sexuality Education Law

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The district attorney in Juneau County has made an ill-advised attack on Wisconsin’s newly passed comprehensive sexuality education law. The Healthy Youth Act raises the state standards for human growth and development curricula. But the letter from District Attorney Southworth erroneously compares teaching the facts about reproduction and contraception to the sexual assault of children. “The district attorney in Juneau County has taken it upon himself to threaten possible prosecution of public school teachers in the county, if they follow a new state law that requires medically accurate and age appropriate sex education. He says that accurate information encourages teens to have sex, but the new law actually requires teachers to inform their students that sex with a minor is illegal.”

“He apparently believes that good teaching will contribute to the delinquency of a minor. The Healthy Youth Act on the other hand recognizes that, despite the best advice of teachers and parents, some teenagers will still have sex, and it is best that they have accurate information, rather than unreliable information from peers or the internet. ”

“School districts in Juneau County will be wiser if they listen to the guidance coming from the Department of Public Instruction on the new law and to their own teachers, principals, advisory councils and school attorneys. Parents may continue under the new law to withdraw their children from sex education.”

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