Legislation that would let public high school students take part in a national survey on sexual risks was rejected Thursday by the Senate Education Committee.

The vote was 2-4.

The measure, House Bill 402, earlier passed the House with the minimum votes needed for approval.

The survey is put together by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Louisiana is one of two states of 42 that use it that prevent students from answering questions about their sexual behavior, said Rep. Patricia Smith, D-Baton Rouge and sponsor of the bill.

Smith has repetedly noted that Louisiana ranks among the top states in the nation for teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases among teenagers.

“We can no longer allow our children to be at risk in this way,” Smith said. “All the safeguards are in place.”

Opponents said state leaders already understand what the problem is and that invasive questions on teen sex habits would do nothing to change things.

“We already know what is going on,” said Sen. John Milkovich, D-Shreveport and a member of the committee.

“There is a frightening breakdown in the moral structure,” Milkovich said.

Milkovich voted “no” on the bill and was joined by Sens. Bodi White, R-Central; Mike Walsworth, R-West Monroe and Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton.

Backers were Sens. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie and Gerald Boudreaux, D-Lafayette.

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