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As a member of the Education Committee of the Unicameral, I have been receiving a huge number of concerns and complaints from citizens regarding the proposed health standards concerning sex education from the Nebraska Department of Education. I appreciate the quick response from Governor Ricketts and from the public in commenting on this matter.
Currently there are state statute requirements implemented by the Nebraska accreditation office for math, reading, writing, science, and social studies. If these alleged “health standards“ were to be adopted, they would likely carry the same weight as the requirements for the other five subjects. These draft standards were written by so-called “professionals“ and “experts“ that were given bias training before writing and were advised by OutNebraska and HIV/sexual health education experts and others. In my view they need input from the real experts: the parents and every day common sense Nebraskans.
The most concerning areas are under “human growth and development“ The following is a list of concerns but there are many more:
It is the primary duty of parents to educate their children, not the state. While schools would not currently be required to adopt these standards, it is important that we let the Department of Education know what we think of the standards. The survey can be found at https://www.education.ne.gov/ and click on the health education standards survey box.
The website of Nebraska Family Alliance (nebraskafamilyalliance.org) has more information and a link to connect to the Department of Education to complete the survey of your ideas. Good information can also be found at the Nebraskans for Founders Values website (nffv.org). Click on minuteman alert #28 at the nffv.org site. On both of these sites you will find parts of the health standards that are most concerning and who to contact to make your voice heard! You may subscribe to both of these sites to get up-to-date information on proposals such as this one and bills being presented at the Legislature.
No matter what website you reference, it is imperative that you promptly contact or email your representative on the State Board of Education and Commissioner Blomstedt and, preferably in your own words, respectfully tell them you oppose the proposed health standards and why. Also complete the survey. Most likely, it will be important to be persistent because it is probable we will need to contact them again in the early fall before the standards are finalized.
While these particular health standards will not be required under state law, school districts are required by the state to have written health standards for health education so, it’s important to contact your local school district as well.
I would welcome any comments, questions or ideas you may have. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at 402-471-2732.