Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) Elizabeth Smart, center, along with her father Ed Smart, right listen to debate on HB286 in committee in February. The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, is at left.
Sex abuse-prevention education bill on its way to the governor
Legislature » The bill would require Schools to develop a curriculum aimed at helping prevent child-sex abuse.
First Published Mar 12 2014 03:18 pm • Last Updated Mar 12 2014 11:16 pm

The Senate and House gave final approval Wednesday to a bill requiring development of a school curriculum to teach children about sexual abuse. HB286s2 endured debate at every stop on its way and now heads to Gov. Gary Herbert for signing.

The Senate voted to amend the bill to include a clarification about how the proposal would work with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), an existing federal law that protects students’ privacy. Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, said his amendment flags to privacy provisions already in the law, but HB286s2 carves out a narrow provision so that parents may "opt out if it’s for the narrow issue of child abuse."

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The Senate gallery was filled with proponents of the bill, including Miss Utah Ciera Pekarcik, Elizabeth Smart and Deondra Brown, who have testified on behalf of the bill in earlier hearings.

Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, said the amendment needed more time and with the Senate gallery full of people, the bill should be passed in its current form. But the Senate passed out the amendment in an oral vote. Soon after, the House concurred with the amendment and approved the bill.

Senators gave the bill preliminary approval Tuesday after emotional testimony in which two lawmakers publicly acknowledged for the first time they were sexually assaulted as children.

If the bill becomes law, school programs would not be implemented until the 2016-2017 school year. It attempts to aid in preventing child-sexual abuse by educating children in school programs. Past debate on the bill surrounded parents’ rights to educate their children on sexual abuse, and under the bill, parents can opt out of the school program.

While opponents of the bill were concerned with parents’ rights, proponents argued that much of child-sexual abuse is perpetrated by parents and relatives. Of the perpetrators in confirmed cases of child sexual abuse in 2013, 49 percent were parents or relatives of the victim, according to the Department of Human Services.


Twitter: @amymcdonald89

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.