SEX EDUCATION | Maryland schools to be required to teach 'consent'
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WBFF) -- The Maryland General Assembly has enacted legislation to update the state's sexual education curriculum which emphasizes the word "consent."
Del. Ariana B. Kelly, a Democrat who represents Montgomery County, sponsored the bill which she admits was inspired by her teenage daughter.
Kelly said: "It was interesting that when she was taught family life human sexuality they talked about preventing pregnancy, they talked about preventing sexually transmitted infection, but they didn't start at step one, which is: You don't engage in any physical activity with someone who doesn't agree to be engaging in it."
Del. Kelly added: "No means no, yes means yes, and make sure that you have a clear understanding of what your partner is interested in."
Kelly says the bill would require local school systems to offer age-appropriate instruction on the meaning of consent for middle-school and high-school students.
"We actually did some research and found that about 80 percent of high-school seniors who are boys don't understand what consent is. So it makes sense, then, [when] we send these kids off to college and there's a crisis with sexual assaults on campus."
"It's our obligation, not just as parents of daughters but also as parents of sons to make sure that everybody understands how to express consent and to make sure they've received consent," said Kelly.
A spokeswoman for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says the Governor has not yet indicated whether he would sign the sexual education consent measure into law.
The 2018 General Assembly session adjourns next Monday, April 9.