Petition Closed

On March 21, the House Education Subcommittee passed a family life curriculum bill (HB3621) that increases the focus of sex education in Tennessee schools on abstinence.

House lawmakers advanced the “Put Teens at Risk” bill with no evidence that it will actually reduce teen pregnancy or the spread of sexually transmitted infections or diseases among youth in Tennessee. In fact actual research shows “that increasing emphasis on abstinence education is positively correlated with teenage pregnancy and birth rates.” A study of 13 abstinence-only education programs demonstrated no “enduring effect” on changing teen sexual behavior.

House Sponsor Jim Gotto (R-Hermitage) made a point of noting that Tennessee ranks 7th highest in the nation for teen pregnancy rates and between 8th and 11th for the the spread of sexually transmitted infections and diseases among youth.

Are lawmakers risking the lives of Tennessee’s youth instead of examining current research against their personal beliefs about abstinence-based education? Tennessee’s youth would be better served with a comprehensive sex and STD education program that addresses risk-aversion behaviors and planning for the future.

The State Department of Education has taken a neutral position on HB3621. If the agency tasked with setting education policy for the State of Tennessee can’t support this bill, it increases doubts about whether the bill will actually improve sex education in Tennessee or improve public health outcomes.

Send a message to the full House Education Committee opposing this legislation.

Letter to
House Education Committee
State Representative Dennis Powers
State Representative John Forgety
and 16 others
State Representative John Ragan
State Representative Joe Carr
State Representative Debra Moody
State Representative Ron Lollar
State Representative Lois Deberry
State Representative John DeBerry
State Representative John Windle
State Representative Dale Carr
State Representative Craig Fitzhugh
State Representative Bill Dunn
State Representative Joseph Pitts
State Representative Kevin Brooks
State Representative Barry Doss
State Representative Harry Brooks
State Representative Courtney Rogers
State Representative Ryan Williams
Please vote against the family life curriculum bill (HB3621) in the House Education Committee. This bill increases emphasis on abstinence-based education to the detriment of teaching healthy risk aversion behaviors to Tennessee’s youth.

HB3621 is actually a “Put Teens at Risk” bill advanced with no evidence that it will actually reduce teen pregnancy or the spread of sexually transmitted infections or diseases among youth in Tennessee. Actual research shows “that increasing emphasis on abstinence education is positively correlated with teenage pregnancy and birth rates.” A study of 13 abstinence-only education programs demonstrated no “enduring effect” on changing teen sexual behavior.

The State Department of Education has taken a neutral position on HB3621. If the agency tasked with setting education policy for the State of Tennessee can’t support this bill, it increases doubts about whether the bill will actually improve sex education in Tennessee or improve public health outcomes.

House Sponsor Jim Gotto (R-Hermitage) made a point of noting that Tennessee ranks 7th highest in the nation for teen pregnancy rates and between 8th and 11th for the spread of sexually transmitted infections and diseases among youth. With rates so high, Tennessee cannot afford to increase the health risk of youth based on personal beliefs that do not agree with current public health research on sex education, pregnancy and sexuallly transmitted diseases.

Please vote against HB2621 - the “Put Teens at Risk” bill.