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By LAUREN LANGLOIS / Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Sex education still won't be mandated teaching in Louisiana's public schools.

The House Education Committee voted 10-3 Wednesday to reject a proposal by Baton Rouge Rep. Pat Smith that would have required public schools to teach sex education to students in fourth through 12th grades.

It was the third year Smith, a Democrat, has failed to get support for the idea.

Current law allows public schools to teach sex education to students in seventh grade and above. But the instruction isn't required.

Supporters say the teaching would help students develop healthy relationships and avoid sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies. Opponents argued only parents should teach their children about sex.

Smith isn't giving up on the idea for future legislative sessions.

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