When the Nebraska Department of Education released the original draft of Nebraska’s Health Education Standards, we were inspired by the level of commitment to all young people and the opportunity to provide students with the information they need to live full and healthy lives. Today’s announcement to postpone the process of developing life-saving information and to push it farther out of reach for young people is devastating, especially to the young people who have had the courage to speak up in difficult circumstances about the information they want and need.
The State Board of Education has the opportunity right now to set the standard for health education in our state that is led by research and expertise and is inclusive of all students. Denying young people a complete and accurate education about their health is an avoidance of responsibility to provide all students the information they need and safe spaces in which to learn. This postponement is also a departure from what scientific research, health education professionals and medical expertise clearly support—comprehensive and inclusive sex education for all students.
We urge the State Board of Education to do the right thing for young people by finishing the work they have started and enacting effective health education standards that provide all young people with the information they need to live healthy lives. Call or email the State Board of Education to ask them to support effective health education for Nebraska students now.