The Nebraska Department of Education has produced a school curriculum document called ‘Nebraska Health Education Standards’ to teach Nebraska’s preschool through grade 12 children.

“The comprehensive health education program motivates students to maintain and improve their health; advocate for self and others; prevent disease; form healthy relationships; and avoid or reduced health-related risk behaviors.”

I encourage Nebraskans, especially those with children attending our public schools, to read this document. It has a number of things in it that I find shocking and unacceptable. It can be found on the department’s website at education.ne.gov.

Of particular interest is the portion of this proposed curriculum called “Human Growth and Development” which includes the sex education portion of the curriculum. This material is taken from the National Sex Education Standards which “…reflect advancements in research regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, social, racial, and reproductive justice, and the long-term consequences of stigma and discrimination.”

I do not believe that the framing of these curriculum items as “advancements in research” is honest. From what I can see, this is non-scientific political dogma that comes from the wrong-headed “woke” agenda. It has no place in Nebraska’s schools.

When the discussion proceeds past biology to religious and moral instruction, these topics are best addressed in the home by the child’s parents. These topics strongly implicate the sincerely held religious beliefs of many Nebraskans, including my own. Government schools should not be telling students that “science” requires them to reject the moral teachings of their faith. I strongly support parental rights and religious freedom. Those cherished values should not be under attack by taxpayer-funded government schools.

Much of this proposed curriculum material is clearly age-inappropriate. For example, it teaches kindergarten students about same-sex relationships, and first graders about gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, and gender stereotypes.

It would ask fourth graders to “differentiate between sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The whole mindset behind these teachings completely ignores the objective truth that sex is biologically binary. You are either a male or female. Some people are born with ambiguous anatomy, and this has long been recognized for what it is: a physical developmental disability.

According to the “woke” orthodoxy, we are supposed to believe:

1) that gender is fluid and a social construct, and

2) that gender is such an essential part of a person’s identity that healthy body parts should be surgically removed or modified to accommodate it.

In its current form, this document is unacceptable. It indoctrinates school children with concepts and ideas that are at best unproven, and in my view craven and depraved. It puts parents in a place where they will have to un-teach things their children are taught in school.

This is way out of step with Nebraska values, but there is a remedy available to the public.

The good news is this document is currently in a draft form. It will not be finalized and voted on until September.

Citizens interested in providing feedback to this proposed curriculum have a way to do that. The State Board of Education is elected by the voters. They oversee the Nebraska Department of Education and hire the commissioner of education. The state has seven districts. The western half of Nebraska is represented by Mr. Robin Stevens. He can be reached by phone at (402) 615-4095 or email at; robin.stevens@nebraska.gov.

These radical ideas on gender are way out of step with Nebraska values. I urge people to share their feelings with their elected representative on the State School Board.  

Tom Brewer represents dist. 43 — most of the Sandhills — in the state legislature. Contact his office with any comments, questions, or concerns. Email tbrewer@leg.ne.gov, mail a letter to Sen. Tom Brewer, Room #1423, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509, or call (402) 471-2628.