OPS Board to hear proposed sex ed. changes;...

Posted at 4:49 PM, Jan 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-04 18:23:18-05

The hot button issue that created a firestorm at a meeting in October is front and center yet again to start 2106, sex education.

For the first time the Omaha Public School Board will hear the possible changes to the Human Growth and Development Standards for the district.

In October, 1,000 parents and citizens engaged in a contentious meeting on the plan.

The district says the sex education standards haven't been updated in more than 30 years, and that two surveys show people overwhelmingly support the change.

"What we're proposing tonight is to include LGBT as well as current info on STDs, HIV/AIDS, as well as the healthy decision making, abstinence, and of course contraception," said Dr. ReNae Kehrberg the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Instruction and Assessment.

OPS has decided not to include the topics of abortion and emergency contraception because surveys revealed only about 65% of people approved of it being taught to children.

Nebraskans for Founders' Values is opposed to the proposed changes.

“This information it is the right and the duty of parents to provide this information to their children in the context of the home and in the context of the values and beliefs of the family," said Maris Bentley with Nebraskans for Founders’ Values.

Parents can have their kids opt-out of the program.  The district says about  2& of elementary and middle school students and less than 10% of high school students do so.

OPS Board member Marian Fey says it shouldn't be about popularity, but should be about facts.

"It really shouldn't be about emotions and it shouldn't be about opinion, it should be about facts and be about research and be about what's best for students,” Fey explained.

There will be an informational presentation to the board Monday at 6:30pm, but there will be one hour for public comment.  They are expecting a large crowd.

The board could approve or deny the changes in a couple of weeks.  If approved the new standards would start being used in the fall of 2016.

For more information on the HGD Standards to go: OPS Human Growth and Development proposed content standards information page