After an 18-month battle and much heated reaction on a hot button issue, Nebraska’s largest school district considers changing the way it teaches sex education.
For grades 4,5,6,7,8 it was an unanimous vote 9-0, but for 10th grade only OPS board member Justin Wayne voted nay, 8-1.
“We are now setting the trend for the state,” said OPS board member Marque Snow.
Most of the room was filled with opponents of the changes and made their voices heard.
I'm just very concerned for their ability to be able to take in all that is going to be taught,” said Jennifer Cole.
While others celebrated this decision by the board.
“I'm just really grateful at the end of the day that the votes were there to pass comprehensive sex ed--that the students will learn the standard that are medically accurate,” said Megan Hunt.
The standards include emergency contraception, aborting, LGBTQ issues, and recent scientific information on sexual transmitted diseases. Parents can chose to opt their children out of these classes.
If you don't want your son or daughter taught about cyber bullying or some of the other puberty changes that are taught in those HGD standards please by all means it's voluntary,” said OPS Superintendent Mark Evans.
Hunt said what OPS did on Wednesday night will set an example for other school districts, “I know that the rest of the state is looking at this vote tonight and looking at what standards they can play in their own districts based on the success we've had tonight”.
Now that the standards are set, the next battle will be what the curriculum will look like.
“I suspect we'll have a lot of input on that just as well as we did on the standards,” said Evans.
The board is set to take up curriculum in May.