As the School Year Begins, the ACLU of Nevada is Set to Examine Lyon County’s Proposed Sex Education Curriculum

LAS VEGAS, NV – The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada has requested information about the proposed sex education curriculum in Lyon County. On Monday, August 19, the ACLU of Nevada submitted a formal request under the Nevada Public Records Act to the Lyon County School District to release their current and future sex education curricula.

In April of 2008, the Lyon County School District Board of Trustees adopted a Human Development/Sexual Education Curriculum which included themes such as “Homosexuality shall not be presented as an acceptable lifestyle” and gender-based subjective judgments such as “Girls are the object of pornography addiction.” Apparently still in use today, the curriculum also promotes the concept of “second virginity,” and warns that “sexual predators start with pornography.”

“We are deeply concerned that Lyon County has endorsed a homophobic curriculum since 2008,” said the ACLU of Nevada’s Legal Director Staci Pratt. “Discrimination and bias have no place in instructional materials.”

After receiving complaints from local high school students that the sex education they received was inadequate, the Lyon County School District began reviewing its sex education curriculum. Rather than suggesting the inclusion of additional factual information, however, the school district’s Sex Education Committee recommended further endorsement of a stigmatizing curriculum.

“The Lyon County School District received information that promotes opinions, rather than facts, beliefs rather than science. Students should be taught facts in school, and parents are free to teach their beliefs at home. We implore the Lyon County school board members to reject this information and start over,” said Tod Story, Executive Director of the ACLU of Nevada.

Lyon County’s proposed sex ed curriculum, Draft Policy 1B, currently states “Although homosexual behavior is not promoted; if a student initiates the discussion the teacher will provide information of a factual nature only and avoid introducing the discussion of homosexual behavior, except as is necessary to aid student understanding of sexually transmitted diseases.” At the July 23, 2013 Board of School Trustees meeting there was a vote to delay deciding on the proposed curriculum.

The ACLU of Nevada has requested current and proposed materials that the Lyon County School District uses to teach “human sexuality, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, abstinence from sexual activity, and/or pregnancy prevention education.” Although a minimal form of sex education is required in Nevada schools, each Nevada school district may adopt curriculum without reference to comprehensive statewide standards.