Conservative lawmakers in Indiana are looking to force parents to “opt in” if they want their child to be a part of sexual education classes at public schools.

At a House committee meeting Thursday, State Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, sponsored a bill that would mean public schools would be prohibited from offering any type of sex ed course to a student without a parent’s written permission. Kruse, who is also the Senate Education Committee chairman, proposed the bill which would require parents to not only be notified of the course, but would allow them review the materials being taught.

GOP Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma agreed that parents should be able to make the decision on whether students receive sexual education instead of local teachers or school administrators.

"I do not have a problem with a parent having approval rights over what their children are taught in school about sexual education," the Indianapolis Republican told the AP Thursday. "Notifying parents of their right to review materials, I think, is entirely reasonable and I would want to do so with my own kids."

The bill would give parents the chance to “opt in” to sexual education as opposed to the current proactive approach to parents “opting out.” Indiana Democrats argue that the “opt out” approach is working appropriately but Republican critics say that silence doesn’t necessarily mean consent for courses that don’t potentially teach abstinence-only curriculum.

Under Indiana law, sexual education is not a mandate in the state’s public schools. Current sex ed courses across the state range from abstinence-only lesson plans to those that inform students of healthy practices for avoiding sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) and pregnancy. Some courses also address students’ questions on masturbation and oral sex in place of vaginal sexual intercourse.

One such public school program, Creating Positive Relationships (CPR), is a Central Indiana organization that touts its ability to “equip young people to make healthy life choices through abstinence-centered education.” The course focuses on the physical, emotional and social changes that occur as adolescent students hit puberty. Conservative groups such as the Indiana Liberty Coalition, Advance America and the Indiana Catholic Conference say they support the bill and that courses addressing masturbation, birth control and other contraceptive practices should be “opted in” by written parental consent.

But opponents of the bill say the “opt-in” mandate at public schools could cause fewer students to learn about important sexual health issues.