Department of Education Hears Mixed Feedback on Newest Draft of Health Standards

Aug. 6, 2021, 2 p.m. ·

Parent Heather Hall
Parent Heather Hall speaks at a Nebraska Department of Education meeting in Lincoln. (Photo from live stream)

The Nebraska Department of Education board heard more public comment Friday in Lincoln on its latest draft of proposed health standards released last week. The second draft removed many of the controversial references to sex and gender identity, something parent Ashley Schmidt wasn’t happy about.

“It is vital that comprehensive health information includes sexual health. It is not controversial, it is normal and it should not be left to the home,” Schmidt told board members. “I support unbiased, accurate and comprehensive sexual health education so they can protect and plan for their future.”

Parent Heather Hall told board members the state doesn’t need health standards and the second draft isn’t much better than the first draft.

“Although draft number two removes much of the sexually explicit content, it’s still just a watered-down version of draft number one,” Hall said. “How can we as parents trust that you are not going to add this back in the future? I have to be honest. You have lost 100% of my trust and faith in you.”

The state isn’t required to have health standards and each district is typically responsible for its own classes on health and sex education. The Department of Education is expected to gather more public input and then propose final health standards sometime in the fall.