Pelath Tries And Fails To Turn Sex-Ed Bill Into School Safety Measure

first_imgFebruary 22, 2018  By Quinn FitzgeraldTheStatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS ­– Members of the Indiana House might not have a solution for addressing school safety yet, but they learned the wrong way to tackle the issue on Thursday.In the aftermath of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., Dr. Jennifer McCormick, Indiana superintendent of public instruction, issued a letter to state and federal lawmakers urging them to take action on school safety in Indiana.“Each day, Indiana schools set safety as a top priority. We train; we partner. We fully understand the importance surrounding this enormous responsibility. As a Department, we remain committed to providing the resources and guidance our schools need to keep safety a top priority. I am urging our State Legislators and Congressional Delegation to do the same,” McCormick wrote.Later in the House, Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, attempted to alter language in Senate Bill 65, a sex-education bill that requires schools to seek parental permission before teaching classes in human sexuality.Pelath’s amendment proposed to replace “human sexuality” with “react to an active shooter” and subsequently make training required.“One thing our kids do need training on in the state is how to react to an active shooter,” Pelath said. He added that while it might sound scary, there has already been training on other things that scare children, such as tornadoes and fires, or even nuclear bombs.“Maybe there are issues that we’re not equipped to deal with,” he said. “There should be no disagreement on this. Kids should be trained. They should be trained on what to do if this happens. If they are trained, they will be safer.”Pelath lost on procedural grounds with House members voting 63-26 against the amendment because school safety training was irrelevant to human sexuality.In a media availability at the end of the House session, House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said it’s not too late in the session to carry out McCormick’s request and that the House will take a look into how. But he said Pelath’s motion was not the way to do it.“It’s certainly not the right way to do it to strip a bill out and cabbage together some mandatory program that doesn’t consider what we’re already doing here in the state,” Bosma said. “It has to be thoughtful and not just a political reaction to very tragic circumstances.”FOOTNOTE: Quinn Fitzgerald is a reporter for, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img

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