Delaware Public Media

Legislation planned to teach consent in First State schools

Jan 7, 2019

The definition of consent could soon be taught in First State schools.

State Sen. Nicole Poore (D-New Castle) is planning to sponsor a bill that would add teaching consent to health class curriculum starting in the seventh grade.

She said students are sometimes confused by what consent means when learning about their bodies and sex.

“If we’re educating our kids on you know how their bodies will react and how to create a baby, then we should also teach them what the word consent means,” she said.

Poore said her measure won’t ask teachers to go into what is criminal activity and what is not.

“What we’re doing is educating the students on what the word consent means and meaning that you’re not taking something from someone, but that is, you know, freely given in the agreement,” she said.

Poore said the definition includes everyone voluntarily participating in physical acts and respecting others’ personal boundaries. Poore adds both girls and boys will be taught about consent the same way and that it doesn’t necessarily require a verbal “yes.”

She adds she hopes to have a draft of the legislation finished by the end of the month and to introduce the bill by early Spring. She said she doesn't expect the legislation will be considered controversial.