Media Contact

Sam Petto, ACLU of Nebraska Communications Director

August 30, 2021

LINCOLN, Neb. – This afternoon, the Nebraska State Board of Education published a meeting agenda update indicating it would indefinitely postpone consideration of its draft Nebraska Health Education Standards, disregarding its own planned approval date of Fall 2021. 

The move comes after the board revised its original draft to erase health topics related to LGBTQIA+ people and racial equity in an attempt to appease a vocal minority of Nebraskans.

ACLU of Nebraska Legal & Policy Counsel Sara Rips said plans to indefinitely postpone adoption of comprehensive standards do a disservice to every Nebraska student.

“When some State Board of Education members chose to gut the draft standards written by Nebraska teachers and health care professionals by erasing LGBTQIA+ and racial equity health topics, they made a choice to put politics ahead of our students. Now, they’re doing it again,” Rips said. “All students have a right to a public education and that education should include honest, inclusive, and age-appropriate health education at every grade level. We’re grateful for the board members who advocated for best practices in Nebraska schools and the youth and families who bravely shared their stories in the face of unbelievable vitriol. Locally and statewide, we will continue this critical work despite this temporary roadblock.”