Bill to advance Oklahoma's mandatory HIV education is dead

The Gayly graphic.

By Jordan Redman
Staff Writer

SB 1105, a bill proposed to direct school districts to provide certain age-appropriate instruction about HIV, AIDS and related issues failed to make it to committee.

The Oklahoma AIDS Care Fund made this statement:

 “SB 1105 which updates the state’s mandatory HIV education instruction for the first time since 1987 was not heard in committee and is dead for the session. While we are disappointed in the outcome, the bill did not die due to lack of support or based on its merits—other policy issues were pushed to the forefront over the last two weeks and many good public policy measures face the same fate. Despite this set back, the Oklahoma AIDS Care Fund and its partners will continue to educate Oklahomans, particularly young people, about HIV. The work is not done until Oklahoma reaches zero new transmissions and all people living with HIV are in care. We wish to thank Sen. AJ Griffin (R-Guthrie) and Rep. Marcus McEntire (R-Duncan) for authoring SB 1105 and the bill’s co-authors: Sen. Anastasia A. Pittman (D-OKC), Rep. Emily Virgin (D-Norman) and Rep. Katie Henke (R-Tulsa). And of course, all of our amazing advocates from across Oklahoma who stood up to support this important measure.”

The bill passed in the Oklahoma Senate and was sent to the Common Education committee, which meets Thursday, at 3:00 p.m..

The agenda for the meeting:

SB1370 - Schools; adding certain mathematics and science courses to curriculum units. - Hilbert, Smalley*

SB1287 - Schools; modifying definitions under the School Safety and Bullying Prevention Act; adding person to Safe School Committee. Effective date. Emergency. - Baker, Smalley*

SB929 - State Aid Formula; modifying certain definitions. Effective date. Emergency. - Baker, Stanislawski*

SB960 - School employees; prohibiting certain conditions from being placed on certain payroll deductions. Effective date. Emergency. - Sears, Daniels*

SB950 - Schools; requiring public schools to permit students to apply sunscreen. Effective date. Emergency. - Rogers, Stanislawski*

SB980 - Teachers; providing criteria for issuance of certain teaching certificates. Effective date. - Baker, Griffin*

SB936 - Teacher pay; directing the State Board of Education to accept certain teaching experience. Effective date. Emergency. - Baker, Bice*

SB1435 - Student discipline; allowing a school district to adopt alternative disciplinary actions. Effective date. Emergency. - Nollan, Sharp*

According to the Oklahoma AIDS Care Fund, at the end of 2016, an estimated 5,965 persons were living with HIV/AIDS in Oklahoma.

Additionally, in 2016, five counties in Oklahoma accounted for over 75% of the newly diagnosed cases of HIV: Oklahoma (35.3%), Tulsa (21,7%), Cleveland (10.8%), Canadian (3.4%) and Comanche (3.4%).

The Gayly. April 12, 2018. 2:11 p.m. CST.