Nebraskans weigh in on controversial NDE health education standards

NebraskansOn Friday, the Nebraska Board of Education heard hours of public testimony to proposed health education standards.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – On Friday, the Nebraska Board of Education heard hours of public testimony to proposed health education standards.

The controversial proposal has been a subject of much discussion and debate in Nebraska since it was drafted in March.

Opponents say the proposed health education standards threaten to sexualize children at a young age and can have damaging long term effects for Nebraska’s youth.

“The [Comprehensive Sexuality Education] curriculum with its emphasis from early elementary school on sexual rights and sexual pleasure is a pedophile’s dream curriculum,” Kearney pediatrician Dr. Susan Greenwald said.

“These standards and corresponding CSE curriculum normalize child sex and desensitize children to sexual things,” Julie Hofer, who is a parent and educator in Kearney, said.

Supporters of the proposal argue that these standards are essential because they can help better prevent sexual abuse while also promoting a more inclusive society for LGBTQ youth to grow up in.

“These standards will help give children the language to say what’s happening to them,” Andrew Gardner of Grand Island said.

“LGBTQ youth experience higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidality,” Kearney mental health therapist Lynae Hall said. “Invalidating messages that their experience and existence are considered defective or evil causes deep trauma.”

The Nebraska Department of Education released a document in advance of today’s public comments, stating that the proposed draft was not mandated by the federal government and asserting that it was written by educators, not activists.

The State Board of Education will not vote to approve the health education standards this month. An updated second draft to the health standards will be made available in mid-summer.

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