Seventh grade health class could change significantly this coming school year. Should Senate Bill 132 become law, instructors would be required to teach about abortion, drug use, and alcohol consumption as some of the causes of pre-term births.
Abstinence would also be taught as the most effective means of preventing STDs and pregnancy. It would also present abstinence as the standard for adolescent behavior and provide opportunities outside of class for parent/student discussion. The House passed a third reading of the bill this week 69 to 42, with both sides of the aisle unwilling to budge. The bill already passed the Senate, which will have to approve some changes made in the House.
Fossils, Frogs Make Up New State Symbols
North Carolina adopted some new state symbols this past week. The General Assembly decided on a state fossil, frog, salamander, marsupial, folk art, and art medium to round out its long list of special flowers, mottos, and birds.
The teeth of the megalodon, a giant prehistoric shark which could weigh up to 100 tons, were chosen as the state fossil. Hyla anderonii, also known as the pine barrens frog, was adopted as the state frog. They are native to the Sandhills region of the state and are currently a threatened species. Marbled salamanders, who prefer the state’s woodlands, made the cut as state salamander. Though its name betrays its newfound honor, the Virginia opossum became the state marsupial. The choice was easy to make, as they are the only true marsupial that lives north of Mexico.
Leaders also the state folk art: the “whirligigs” of Vollis Simpson. Simpson, who passed away earlier this year, was known for repurposing old metal scraps and rusty machinery to create large, surrealistic art installations. The General Assembly didn’t break any molds with their choice for the state art medium however: they decided on clay.
The measure passed 48 to 3 in the Senate, with local Senator Dan Blue being one of the dissenters. The House adopted the new symbols unanimously.