NEBRASKA -- Nearly 40 community and youth organizations from across Nebraska are signing a letter of support to the Nebraska State Board of Education to include some elements in the final version of the Nebraska health education standards.
Officials are asking the education standards are informed by national experts in children’s physical and mental health and health education.
The Women's Fund of Omaha, for example, told NCN they support the standards as a way to prevent violence against women.
They say schools should supplement and add resources for kids -- that education is not a replacement for parent responsibility.
The organizations who have signed the letter in support of the essential elements include:
- ACLU of Nebraska
- Black & Pink National
- CAPstone Child Advocacy Center of Western Nebraska
- Charles Drew Health Center, Inc.
- enCourage Advocacy Center
- Family Health Services, Inc.
- First Light – Central Nebraska Child Advocacy Center
- Girls Inc. of Omaha
- GLSEN Omaha
- Haven House Family Services Center
- Heartland Family Service
- I Be Black Girl
- Inclusive Communities
- Magdalene Omaha
- National Association of Social Workers, Nebraska Chapter
- Nebraska AIDS Project
- Nebraska Alliance of Child Advocacy Centers
- Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
- Nebraska Family Planning
- Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition, Inc.
- Omaha Girls Rock
- OneWorld Community Health Centers
- Parent-Child Center
- PFLAG Hastings
- Project Harmony Child Advocacy Center
- Project Response Inc.
- Rape/Domestic Abuse Program of North Platte
- Survivors Rising
- The Bridge
- The S.A.F.E. Center
- The Wellbeing Partners
- Voices for Children in Nebraska
- Voices of Hope
- Women’s Center for Advancement (WCA)
- Women’s Fund of Omaha
- Youth Emergency Services (YES)
- YWCA Lincoln
“Change can be difficult, particularly when it has to do with the education of our children," said Jenny Bonta, Executive Director of the Rape/Domestic Abuse Program of North Platte. "However, we need to examine how we approach health education as a state, just as we do for almost every other subject matter taught in schools."
"Health education should include sex education and information about how to be a better community member," Bonta said. "We all want our kids to be healthier, happier and less at risk for negative health outcomes, including dating violence. The foundation of violence prevention is comprehensive, age-appropriate, science-based health education for all students."