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Senators issue letter opposing proposed health standards

Twenty-eight state senators sent a joint letter to Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt about...
Twenty-eight state senators sent a joint letter to Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt about proposed health standards.(Senator Joni Albrecht)
Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 4:39 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 1, 2021 at 5:00 PM CDT
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Neb. (KSNB) - Twenty-eight Nebraska state senators have sent an open letter to the Nebraska Department of Education commissioner opposing new proposed health standards.

The senators are specifically opposed to health education standards related to sex education, marriage and family, and gender. Topics are geared toward various age groups. The senators want those materials removed. They say it violates “the rights of parents as first educators of their child.”

The letter mentions past legislative attempts to mandate statewide comprehensive sex education, which the Nebraska Legislature has “repeatedly rejected,” and calls the proposed Health Education Standards a “back door attempt to propose what the people of this state have rejected.”

It goes on to say “We understand the current draft is the first, and that the process of revision will take time. However, we find the content and tenor of this first draft so problematic that it demands immediate attention.”

The senators ask the commissioner to relay their concerns to the State Board of Education and to those involved in advising and writing the standards.

The State Board of Education has a public meeting on Friday.

Senators who signed the letter:

Joni Albrecht (District 17-Thurston)

Tim Gragert (District 40- Creighton)

Steve Halloran (District 33- Hastings)

John Lowe (District 37- Kearney)

Steve Erdman (District 47- Bayard)

Tom Brewer (District 43- Gordon)

Suzanne Geist (District 25- Lincoln)

Curt Friesen (District 34- Henderson)

Robert Clements (District 2- Elmwood)

John Arch (District 14- La Vista)

Bruce Bostelman (District 23- Brainard)

Ben Hansen (District 16- Blair)

Lou Ann Linehan (District 39- Elkhorn)

Julie Slama (District 1- Peru)

Robert Hilkemann (District 4- Omaha)

Brett Lindstrom (District 18- Omaha)

Tom Brandt (District 32- Plymouth)

Rita Sanders (District 45- Bellevue)

Mike Groene (District 42- North Platte)

Dave Murman (District 38- Glenvil)

Myron Dorn (District 30- Adams)

Mike Moser (District 22- Columbus)

Mike McDonnell (District 5- Omaha)

Dan Hughes (District 44- Venango)

John Stinner (District 48- Gering)

Mike Hilgers (District 21- Lincoln)

Tom Briese (District 31- Albion)

Ray Aguilar (District 35- Grand Island)

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