OPS board approves textbooks for new sex ed curriculum

Published: May. 16, 2016 at 10:35 PM CDT
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The Omaha Public School Board approved the new sexual education textbooks by unanimous vote Monday. All but two members were present. It's taken more than a year to make those changes and it's been a process filled with emotion and controversy.

Originally the new sex ed textbooks and supplemental material would cost $500,000, but the district negotiated the cost down to $363,208.

Though the curriculum changes had already been approved, it didn't stop a large group of parents from showing up and voicing their disapproval. Board rules allowed just about an hour for public comments and when time was up, one man refused to leave the podium and was escorted out.

In total, more than 30 people asked to address the board. About half were heard. Most opposed the new text books and curriculum, which would add new lessons on subjects like contraception, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

“I for one, and you should, too, question the background and motives of those who want to fill children’s heads with information about women who have sex with women, or men who wear bras and panties and dresses,” said Maris Bentley

“You’re sewing perverseness into them, lust into them, you’re setting these kids up to get raped, change their sex. You’re going to have to understand that you’re going to have to answer to god for everything you’re doing here today," said Gwen Easter. “If any of my kids, my family, come home and tell me about what’s going on, because I know, we’re gonna sue ya."

Not all of the speakers opposed the sex ed changes, some nurses within OPS and a representative from the Douglas County Board of Health spoke out in support of the new curriculum. In the end, the board sided with supporters, approving the new textbook.