Public meeting on proposed health education standards


LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – The State Board of Education held a public meeting on Friday to hear comments on the proposed health education standards.

The proposed health standards drew criticism from Governor Pete Ricketts as well as 28 state senators who sent an open letter to the commissioner of the Nebraska Department of Education.

Senators are specifically opposed to health education standards related to sex education, marriage and family and gender. The topics are aimed at different age groups. Senators want these documents removed. They say it violates “the rights of parents as the first educators of their child.”

The letter cites past legislative attempts to impose comprehensive state-wide sex education, which the Nebraska legislature has “repeatedly rejected”, and calls the proposed health education standards a “back door attempt to propose. what the inhabitants of this state rejected ”.

He goes on to say, “We understand that the current draft is the first and that the review process will take time. However, we find the content and tenor of this first draft so problematic that it demands immediate attention. “

RELATED: Governor Ricketts Wants Proposed Sex Education Standards Scrapped, Calls Some Updates ‘Age Inappropriate’

The standards, which indicate an update date of March 4, 2021, include eight different topics:

  • Foundations of Personal Health
  • Nutrition and physical activity
  • Drug addiction prevention
  • Disease prevention
  • Injury prevention and safety
  • Social, emotional and mental health
  • Human growth and development
  • Consumer and environmental health

The 60-page document sets out the standards for each topic by grade level, Kindergarten through Grade 8, and then in health education at the secondary level. According to the standards, “the comprehensive health education program motivates students to maintain and improve their health; defend oneself and others; prevent disease; building healthy relationships; and avoid or reduce health risk behaviors.

Sex education can be found under Human growth and development. According to the standards, at the kindergarten level, students will learn medically correct names for body parts, discuss different family structures (e.g. safe and dangerous contact and consent.

At the first level, among other things, students will demonstrate ways of showing respect for different family structures, explain that everyone has the right to tell others not to touch their body, discuss ways to react if someone touches them. in a way that makes them uncomfortable and defines gender, gender identity and gender role stereotypes.

Standards increase with grade level, with gender identity and sexual orientation being one of the many talking points throughout a student’s education.

For example, this is the fourth grade section that details identity, sexuality, and healthy relationships:

The image details the section of the Nebraska health education standards for the fourth level in the section: “Students will learn characteristics relating to identity, sexuality and healthy relationships.”(Nebraska Department of Education)

The image details the section of the Nebraska health education standards for the fourth level in the section: “Students will learn characteristics relating to identity, sexuality and healthy relationships” (Department of Education from Nebraska)

Governor Ricketts issued the following statement last month:

“I call on the Nebraska Department of Education to drop the proposed sex education topics that are included in their draft health standards. The department’s new standards would not only teach young children age-inappropriate content as early as kindergarten, but also inject unscientific political ideas into the curriculum standards. Sex education standards represent a significant shift in the approach to health education, and many of the new themes are sensitive topics that should be addressed by parents at home, not schools. “

“The draft standards were developed with the help of political activists and without input from major traditional organizations. I urge parents in Nebraska to speak up now and share their reaction with the department, so that it can become part of the official board record. “

The new sex and health education standards can be viewed by clicking here. The public can submit formal comments by sending an email to

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