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A bill providing sexual assault awareness and prevention in schools received unanimous support from the Iowa House Public Safety Committee on Wednesday.

The bill was filed by Rep. Gary Mohr, who last year said it seeks to teach children how to recognize unwanted physical and verbal sexual advances.

It would be included all the way down to preschool students.

There was more conversation on the bill last year than there has been this year.

Last year the Iowa State Education Association lobbied for the bill and said they were against allowing parents to opt-out.

One key element of the bill unanswered from last year was whether Planned Parenthood would be able to provide the curriculum.

Republican Rep. David Kerr managed the bill through committee this year. He said it recognizes the need to equip adults who are professionals and caregivers with the skills, knowledge and ability to protect children rather than placing the responsibility on the children to protect themselves.

“It increases prevention so that it can stop before it happens,” Kerr said.

Democrat Rep. Wes Breckenridge said it is a good bill.

The bill will now move to the full Iowa House.

Author: Jacob Hall