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Omaha, Neb. School Board Reviews Sexuality Education Curriculum

January 14, 2016 — The Omaha Public Schools Board on Monday reviewed a new proposed curriculum for health and sexuality education, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports. The board is scheduled to vote to finalize the curriculum Jan. 20.

The school district affected by the curriculum changes includes 52,000 students. Parents can opt their children out from some or all of the classes that use the curriculum.

According to the AP/Bee, the proposal would update the district's curriculum on human growth and development. The new curriculum would include discussion of gender identity and gender roles beginning in sixth grade; discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity beginning in the seventh grade; and discussion of abortion and emergency contraception in a 10th-grade curriculum on birth control (AP/Sacramento Bee, 1/12).

After several public discussions, standards referencing abortion and EC were removed. However, those standards will be reassessed and may be included in the final proposal, according to KETV 7 News.

Comments from School Officials

Several school board members questioned the decision to remove education on abortion and EC. Board member Katie Underwood said she "received a lot of emails from constituents in regards to comprehensive sex education."

Separately, board member Justin Wayne said, "We hire individuals and experts to tell the board what's best for kids, and I haven't heard that really at all today" (Maskel, KETV 7 News, 1/11).