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Arizona state senator pulls controversial bill

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TUCSON - State Senate Education Chair Sylvia Allen now says she won't advance Senate Bill 1082.

A piece of legislation that would not allow Arizona's public schools to teach sex education until seventh grade.  

First reports also said Allen wanted to strip the word 'homosexuality' from any sex-ed discussion in the classroom.

But Tuesday the senator says that's not true.

“We want to stand up for our children, what we think is right for our children, instead it becomes about Sylvia Allen is a bigot,” Sylvia Allen said.

For several months, the TUSD board has weighed whether to change its family life curriculum to include teachings on homosexuality and the LGBTQ community.

“We should empower students and not hide truths from them. Homosexuality exists. Just because we take it out of a law or a piece paper, it doesn't make it go away,” Board President Kristel Ann Foster said.  “Our students are asking for this, for the last couple of years. So, i try i am responding to the demands of the community.”

Allen argues her bill was intended to get more parents involved in their children’s sex education.

“We should have had the opportunity to debate the merits of the bill not the feather that went out there labeling this bill in a wrong manner because we were protecting all children, we love all children. I love every child,” Allen said.

State-wide, parents have to opt their kids into participating in a sex-ed class.  

“It's a choice and parents always have the ultimate decision when it comes to sex ed for their families,” Foster said.

Eric Fink

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