Omaha Public Schools (OPS) Board of Education meeting, board members voted nearly unanimously to update the curriculum of Human Growth and Development (HGD), the OPS sex-education class.
The changes are controversial enough that the Omaha World Herald placed it on the front page of today’s paper. The article begins:
Tackling an issue that has resisted updates for 30 years and exposed deep divides in the Omaha community, the Omaha Public School board voted Wednesday night to adopt an updated set of health and sex education standards that members said would help prepare kids to make healthy decisions when it comes to sex, dating and social media.
What about these changes have been so controversial? New standards include topics such as abortion, emergency contraception (abortifaceants), sexual orientation, gender identity, and transgenderism. 
These are just a few of the questions, parents and concerned citizens are asking:
- How will teachers “Describe how blood borne pathogens are transmitted,” such as HIV and Hepatitis C, to a ten year-old in 5th grade? (See HGD curriculum standards, 5th Grade)
- Should we really teach an 11 year old girl in 6th grade that her gender is disconnected from her body, and only “a person’s internal sense of being male or female”? (See HGD curriculum standards, 6th Grade)
- Does it benefit a 12 year old boy in 7th grade to teach him that he could be sexually attracted to girls or boys? (See HGD curriculum standards, 7th Grade)
- Should we teach middle school students that their sexual desires define them? Curriculum standards for 8th grade state, “A person’s sexual orientation is based on how they feel, not their behavior.”
- How can we teach high school students that “emergency contraception” is safe to use when side effects can include: nausea or vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, abdominal cramps and diarrhea, just to name a few. Also, morning after pills sometimes prevent implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterine wall, effectively resulting in an abortion. 
The answers to these questions are not simple. There isn’t consensus as to what is “medically accurate” in the scientific community, nor is there consensus as to what is “age appropriate” among parents and other adults.
In 4th – 6th grade, HGD is opt-in. In 7th -10th grade, HGD is opt-out. Parents can also choose to opt their child out of any particular sessions they have concerns about as well.
If you are the parent of a child in the Omaha Public Schools system, and you’re concerned about these updated standards, take advantage of the opt-in and opt-out measures for Human Growth and Development.