Nebraska Department of Education’s New Health Standards Would Teach Kindergarteners About Gender Identity
17 March 2021, Lower Saxony, Wilhelmshaven: The classroom in the Marion-Dönhoff-School is empty after a fire broke out in the school Marion-Dönhoff-School. The fire destroyed large parts of the school. Photo: David Hecker/dpa
Carmen Jaspersen/picture alliance via Getty Images

The Nebraska Department of Education released a new health education framework that would teach kindergarteners about sexual and gender identity. 

According to a draft of the education department’s “Health Education Standards,” kindergarteners may soon be learning about “cohabitating” and same-sex couples in the classroom. The framework encourages teachers to discuss “different kinds of family structures” with six-year-olds. Examples of different family structures include “single parent, blended, intergenerational, cohabitating, adoptive, foster, same-gender, interracial.”

Under the framework, first-grade students would be taught the definition of gender, gender identity, and gender-role stereotypes. The topic is reiterated in the second grade. 

In the third grade, the framework asks teachers to discuss the “range of ways people express their gender and how gender-role stereotypes may influence behavior.” Eight and nine-year-olds must also be able to define “sexual orientation.”  

Discussion of transgenderism becomes more prevalent when Nebraska’s elementary students reach the fourth grade. The framework asks students to be able to “distinguish between sex assigned at birth and gender identity and explain how they may or may not differ” by the end of the school year.  

Fifth-graders are introduced to the gender “spectrum,” which tells students that there are an infinite number of gender identities. Teachers are encouraged to “explain that gender expression and gender identity exist along a spectrum.”

According to the new framework, the LGBT activism ideology becomes the most prevalent in the sixth grade. 11-year-olds are taught the specific difference between “cisgender, transgender, gender non-binary, gender expansive, and gender identity.” 

Sixth graders are also asked to “define sexual identity and explain a range of identities related to sexual orientation.” Examples included being heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian, gay, queer, two-spirit, asexual, and pansexual.  

The sixth-grade framework also spurs conversations about how “prejudice, discrimination, intolerance, and bias” can allegedly lead to violence. 

The framework’s high school health classes focus on analyzing how “cultural biases can affect medical diagnosis, treatment, and procedures.” In the 10th grade, students are told to “evaluate and explain how some law and policies are viewed as tools of systemic racism.”

According to the Nebraska Department of Education, the framework is not a prescribed curriculum or lesson plan. It is designed to give teachers a framework from which they can work from. 

Following the release of the framework draft, Nebraska’s Governor Pete Ricketts released a statement calling on the Department of Education to nix the sex education plan. 

“I am calling on the Nebraska Department of Education to scrap their proposed sex education topics that are included in their draft health standards,” Ricketts said. “The new standards from the department would not only teach young children age-inappropriate content starting in kindergarten, but also inject a non-scientific shift in approach to health education, and many of the new themes are sensitive topics that should be addressed by parents at home and not by schools.”

Ricketts claimed that the framework was developed with the help of “political activists” and without the input of “key mainstream organizations.” 

The Nebraska Department of Education did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.

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