While few would argue the importance of teaching children and adolescents about child sexual abuse, says Kimberly Lawson, many schools in conservative states, like Tennessee, are ignoring legislation designed to promote awareness, thanks to conservative state legislatures and their insistence upon abstinence-only sex education classes.

“In 2014, the Tennessee legislature passed Erin’s Law—named after child sex abuse survivor Erin Merryn—which requires public schools to give kids K-12 age-appropriate instruction on personal body safety and how to report abuse,” says Lawson.

It seems that some Tennessee schools and teachers intentionally avoid the subject for fear that the conversation will turn to other topics that are considered taboo, thanks to the state’s so-called gateway law, passed in 2012, “which bans teachers from endorsing any “gateway sexual activity,” such as genital touching, Kim Janecek, education curriculum manager at the Sexual Assault Center in Tennessee told Broadly.

So, despite state Department of Education guidelines to implement Erin’s Law and available resources—including school counselors and social workers and curricula from the Sexual Assault Center—kids are missing out because, as Hopper points out, the department does not monitor the implementation of these guidelines or resources.

Read more at Broadly

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