[2/15/17] “Affirmative consent” is a fuzzy concept even for adults, which is why one of them taught 10th graders in California that they must say “yes” every 10 minutes during sex or it becomes rape.
The concept was enshrined in state law in October 2015, and since then California has remained the only state to legally require “yes means yes” be taught in public schools.
Maryland could soon be the second.
The Washington Post reports that a House of Delegates committee is considering a bill today (HB 365) that would set up a pilot program in Montgomery County, just outside Washington, D.C.
It would “provide instruction on affirmative consent as part of a specified curriculum in specified grades in public schools in the county beginning in the 2017-2018 school year.”
But that’s just the start for the sponsors, Montgomery County Democratic Dels. Ariana Kelly and Marice Morales, according to the Post:
The two lawmakers say they are drafting a companion piece of legislation that would extend the mandate statewide.
Both measures would define consent as “clear, unambiguous, knowing, informed and voluntary agreement between all participants to engage in each act within the course of sexual activity.”
Local education officials would be required to teach the concept in both seventh and 10th grades, but individual districts would be able to decide how to tailor the lessons in an age-appropriate way.
The Post report fails to note that affirmative consent essentially shifts the burden of proof onto the accused student, which in the vast majority of cases is a male being accused by a female.