Bill would require New Mexico students to learn about consent

Politics - Government

A New Mexico lawmaker is trying to expand sex and health education in the classroom. 

The bill would also require them to learn about consent. 

Democratic State Rep. Elizabeth Thomson, who is sponsoring the bill, said in the wake of the ‘Me-Too’ movement it also makes a strong statement. 

“Some people kind of think this is taboo and I hope this becomes part of our…you know, we teach kids to say stranger danger, we teach kids what to do about guns, and we need to teach kids about what they do about their own bodies,” Rep. Elizabeth Thomson, D-Albuquerque, said. 

House Bill 133, also known as the ‘Only Yes Means Yes Bill’ is an affirmative consent bill. 

The bill explains that students will be required to be taught the need for consent in sexual activity with all partners, and that silence or not saying no does not mean consent. 

High school and college students would have to go through sexual consent training as a graduation requirement. 

The bill drew bipartisan support at a committee meeting. 

“I do believe this will be an improvement for addressing the…our young people’s misinterpretation of what consent is, so I do believe it will be a clarification on that,” Rep. Gregg Schmedes, R-Tijeras, said.

The bill also explains that if a student gets sexually assaulted, schools must tell them how they can get help. 

Rep. Thomson said this bill is close to her heart.

It quickly passed at the House Health and Human Services Committee. Next, it goes to the Education Committee before it would head to a full House vote.

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