Where does Missouri stand regarding teaching sex education in elementary school?

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New bills in Missouri Senate aim to change parents' contribution to their children's education.

What age is appropriate for sex ed in Missouri schools?Note Thanun/Unsplash

What age is too young to discuss gender identity issues in the classroom? Fox News reported New Jersey schools plan to implement a 30-minute lesson for their first-grade students this week. The lesson is on gender identity, and many people are furious.

In February, the Board of Education provided parents with the class information at the Westfield Board of Education meeting. According to Fox News, it covers gender, gender identity, and roles and stereotypes.

The lesson includes guidance on how to explain genders to children as young as kindergarten, and that gender identity is a choice:

"Identity starts within I. That's how you can remember it. 'I' feel, 'I' know. Gender identity is that feeling of knowing your gender. You might feel like you are a boy, you might feel like you are a girl. You might feel like you're a boy even if you have body parts that some people might tell you are 'girl' parts. You might feel like you're a girl even if you have body parts that some people might tell you are 'boy' parts. And you might not feel like you're a boy or a girl, but you're a little bit of both." - Westfield School District - Understanding Our Bodies Class Guide

The New York Post reported that a lesson plan for second graders titled "Understanding Our Bodies" targets children as young as 7.

The California Family Council reported in September of 2021, California Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1184 prohibiting insurance companies from revealing to policyholders the "sensitive" services of anyone on their policy.

Although parents are still financially responsible for these services, the bill still protects minors' "privacy" for abortions, sexual assault treatment, drug abuse and mental health treatment, cross-sex hormones, puberty blockers, and sex-change operations.

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Assembly Bill 1184 gives minors approval to everything except sex-change surgeries after age 12 without parental consent, including puberty blockers. Puberty blockers do precisely what the name says. They block puberty. Some say they are safe. Some say there is not enough long-term research to claim safety.

Where does Missouri stand?

According to the CDC website following are the standards for Missouri when it comes to sex education:

Missouri Law Facts

  • Local Education Agencies have the authority to choose or approve the curriculum for sexual health education, HIV Prevention, and STD Prevention instruction.
  • Parents/Guardians must be provided the opportunity to Opt-out students from sexual health education, HIV Prevention, and STD Prevention instruction.
  • Instruction regarding contraception is required for sexual health education, HIV Prevention, and STD Prevention.
  • Abstinence is a required topic of instruction for sexual health education, HIV Prevention, and STD Prevention.

You can read more about Missouri requirements here. SB 645 is a republican sponsored bill in the senate currently addressing Missouri schools and more stringent guidelines on curriculum and transparency in Missouri Schools. Republican Senator Andrew Koeing sponsors this bill. It is co-sponsored by Republican Senator Eric Burlison and Republican Senator Holly Thompson Rehder. The bill contains an emergency clause, which means it will become law immediately upon approval. What is your opinion on gender identity in Missouri schools?

You can see more Missouri bills relating to this subject by clicking here.

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