With the possibility that top state education officials will completely pull the plug on a controversial sex education plan, fall out is already underway.
The ACLU of Nebraska says indefinitely postponing the plan’s adoption would be a “disservice” to every student in the state.
Last month education officials announced that the portion of the plan dealing with gender identity lessons had largely been scrapped.
“All students have a right to a public education and that education should include honest, inclusive, and age-appropriate health education at every grade level, says ACLU’s Sara Rips. “When some State Board of Education members chose to gut the draft standards written by Nebraska teachers and health care professionals by erasing LGBTQIA+ and racial equity health topics, they made a choice to put politics ahead of our students. Now, they’re doing it again.”
The board is scheduled to meet Friday and according to its current agenda the delay appears likely. The agenda notes that the committee working on the plan “proposes a statement to postpone the development of the health education standards, and recommends the State Board adoption of the statement.”
According to the ACLU, the board is attempting to appease a “vocal minority” of Nebraskans.
Among those opposing the sex education portion of the plan—many flooded a board meeting earlier this summer— is Governor Pete Ricketts who said the Department of Education’s new standards would teach “young children-age inappropriate content starting in kindergarten.” Ricketts said “sensitive” topics should be addressed by parents not schools.
At one time the plan reportedly included teaching kindergarten kids the names of private parts and fourth graders would learn about sex assigned at birth versus gender identity.