A series of proposed changes to the sex ed curriculum in Omaha, Nebraska generated intense opposition late last year, with hundreds of angry parents packing a meeting to denounce plans to teach students about gender identity, emergency contraception, and abortion. Today the NCAC sent a letter to the Omaha Public Schools board, encouraging them to use scientific and educational standards to guide their decision.
Some of the parents who object to comprehensive sex education curriculum favored an “abstinence-only-until-marriage” approach, or are opposed to discussions regarding gender identity. Drawing on previous skirmishes over health education, the NCAC letter argued that abstinence-only education is a form of censorship, denying students important and relevant information.
Abstinence-only educational materials also raise fundamental church-state questions: "The Constitution forbids the promotion or preference of any religious perspective in a public institution, and public schools must address the educational needs of all students." Proponents of such an approach also seek to exclude discussions of LGBTQ sexuality. And while some of the most vocal critics of comprehensive sex education argue that such discussions serve to encourage sexual activity, the NCAC letter points out:
The evidence shows that providing students uncensored access to comprehensive sex education does not promote sexual activity. And there is no definitive evidence that abstinence-only education is effective in achieving its stated goals of reducing non-marital sex and teen pregnancy rates. Moreover, students who receive uncensored comprehensive sex education, which includes but is not limited to information about abstinence, are more likely than students who do not receive this education to practice safer sex more consistently if they do become sexually active.
The letter encourages board members to vote in favor of the revamped sexual education curriculum.
Read the full letter below; click here for full-screen view.
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