Breaking News: Gov. Herbert vetoes sex education bill

SALT LAKE CITY – After meaningful review and deliberation, Governor Gary R. Herbert vetoed House Bill 363, Health Education Amendments, tonight. To explain his decision, the Governor provides the following statement:

“As Governor, as a parent, and as a grandparent of children in Utah’s public schools, I consider it important that the topic of human sexuality instruction be approached with utmost care and sensitivity. This topic is best taught in the home, and our public schools should not and cannot replace instruction by parents. It is imperative that public school instruction never supplant, but rather support and supplement, lessons learned in the home.

“Any attempt by the State to instruct in this area must respect two principles: (1) The curriculum must stress the importance of abstinence as the only sure method to avoid the negative effects of premarital sexual activity; and (2) The State must not interfere with a parent’s right and obligation to determine if and how their children will be instructed.

“After careful review of existing law and following extensive discussions with stakeholders on both sides of the issue, I am convinced the existing statutory framework respects these two principles, while HB 363 simply goes too far by constricting parental options.

“Utah Code Section 53A-13-101currently requires that public school instruction stress “the importance of abstinence from all sexual activity before marriage and fidelity after marriage” as well as the “personal skills that encourage individual choice of abstinence and fidelity.” Current law prohibits any instruction that advocates sexual activity outside of marriage, in addition to any message that advocates or encourages the use of contraceptives.

“Existing law respects the ability of Utah parents to choose if and how their student will receive classroom instruction on these topics. Under current law, a parent must opt in, in writing, before their student can attend all or any portions of any class discussing human sexuality. If HB 363 were to become law, parents would no longer have the option the overwhelming majority is currently choosing for their children. I am unwilling to conclude that the State knows better than Utah’s parents as to what is best for their children.

“In order for parents to take on more responsibility, they need more information, more involvement, and more choice-not less. I cannot sign a bill that deprives parents of their choice.”

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • Barbara March 17, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    First of all, is the person who decided to veto this bill a mormon? If so, that’s pure bias and one-sided. This makes me ill!

  • ron March 18, 2012 at 8:16 am

    If I understand the bill correctly, the governor did the right thing this time. Unless I’m misinformed, the bill would have FORBIDDEN any discussion of contraception at all in the public schools as well as any discussion of homosexuality. The veto means that parents will still have the right to opt IN to classes where those topics are covered (as well, of course, to opt out).

    I don’t know what happens to kids whose parents just don’t give a rip; unfortunately, there seems to be an assumption here that all parents are responsible, knowledgeable, and concerned. Not so.

  • Some dude in STG March 18, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Yea, I agree Ron, most parents today I feel, could care less. They’re usually just happy knowing their kids are attending school, often times don’t even care to that degree. There’s just so many bigger concerns and stresses in the world today than worrying about the school system delusionally thinking that teaching pro-abstinance is going to change the behavior of our society.

  • Some dude in STG March 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    …If anything, pushing abstinance is going to make kids more curious and crave sex even more so. Anybody with a half a clue knows sex is a competitive game among peers and friends today, they “hit it” then post it on facebook or some other social media and get dozens of “:likes” “thumbs ups” and “hell yeahs”. Frankly, Utah, although still largely religious, and seemingly reserved, you’re not immune from today’s society.

  • Helen Schuenemann March 19, 2012 at 3:37 am

    I don’t assume that all parents are responsible but I don’t assume that the government school system is any more always knowledgeable either.

  • Rube March 19, 2012 at 11:30 am

    For the record, what does MORMON have to do with this issue? I think it is a racist issue…you know, the guy (governor) is WHITE after all…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.