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Julie Slama

Sen. Julie Slama

District 1

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Week of March 15
March 22nd, 2021

The Nebraska Department of Education released its proposed health education standards earlier this month, and to say that I’m concerned is an understatement. Here are some of the standards that the board proposed for consideration, which would be taught statewide if adopted:

  • 4th Grade: “Differentiate between sexual orientation and gender identity.” (HE.4.7.2.d)
  • For fifth grade: “Explain that gender expression and gender identity exist along a spectrum.” (HE.5.7.2.f)
  • 6th Grade: “Define and explain differences between cisgender, transgender, gender non-binary, gender expansive, and gender identity.” (HE.6.7.2.b) AND “Define sexual identity and explain a range of identities related to sexual orientation (e.g. heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian, gay, queer, two-spirit, asexual, pansexual).” (HE.6.7.2.c.)
  • High School:  “Differentiate between sex assigned at birth, gender identity, and gender expression.” (HE.HS.1.19.b.)

Simply put, these overly-politicized standards are not age-appropriate for the children in this state and should not be implemented in our schools. Nebraska’s health education standards should focus on what the name suggests– health. Our state’s children should be learning about how to eat healthy, exercise, and foster strong relationships. Although the proposed plan addresses these issues as well, much of it focuses on a political agenda that is being forced onto Nebraskans who may disagree.

Thankfully for concerned citizens, the Department of Education is now accepting public comment on these proposed changes. There are a few ways you can make yourself heard. First, you can email to give your input and comments on the proposed measures. Second, you can mail the Department of Education at P.O. Box 94987 Lincoln, NE 68509-4987. There is also a Public Input Survey that can be found at this link: 

In the Public Input Survey, you can choose which grade levels that you want to give input on. After answering a couple of questions about how well the standards reflect the needs of students, there are boxes in which you can write out your comments on the standards. Regardless of how you choose to make yourself heard on these proposed standards, I would encourage you to voice your opinion to the Department of Education. Our students deserve to learn about mental, physical, and emotional health in Health Class- not to be pawns in a political agenda.

As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email:

Sen. Julie Slama

District 1
Room 1117
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2733
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