House Bill 2734, a bill that adds consent and healthy relationships education as an optional program for schools, has passed the Oklahoma State House and it now headed for the Senate.
The Bill, championed by Norman-based sexual assault victims advocacy group Yes All Daughters and State Rep. Jacob Rosecrants (D-Norman), passed the House by a vote of 54-34 on Wednesday. It is nicknamed Lauren's Law in honor of Lauren Atkins, who went public with her story of being a sexual assault victim when she was a Norman High School senior.
Rosecrants, a former teacher, took up the legislation this session and pushed it to a unanimous approval through the House Education Committee. Yes All Daughters has been supporting similar legislation for a number of years, but now the bill has caught momentum.
The bill modifies current legislation to allow school districts to take up consent education and instruct age-appropriate content at various grade levels. Districts that opt to start a program can then access materials made available through the bill via the Department of Education and State Department of Health.
Yes All Daughters helped put the materials together, as well as a study that accompanied the bill illustrating how consent education can help reduce instances of sexual violence and dating violence.
State Sen. AJ Griffin (R-Guthrie) has agreed to author the bill in the Senate. Sen. John Sparks (D-Norman) is also a co-author.
If the bill passes the Senate as-is, it will go to Gov. Mary Fallin's desk. This would be Rosecrants' first piece of legislation to become law since he was elected last September.