- Associated Press - Friday, November 6, 2015

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A school district in Nevada is considering expanding sex education to include topics like sexual orientation and gender identity — a proposal that has some parents outraged.

The Clark County School Board overlooked the outcry when it voted Thursday night to consider the expansion, according to the Las Vegas Sun (https://bit.ly/1MN7HVn0 ).

The board voted unanimously to have the district’s superintendent and administrators look at ways to include topics like sexual orientation, gender identity and gender stereotypes in the curriculum for middle and high schoolers.

Former district students, Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada have called for such updates.

“I understand there are sensitivities for different groups of my constituents, but no student should feel as though they are not valid,” said School Board Trustee Chris Garvey.

But a group of parents who mostly live in the county’s rural communities has expressed opposition to the change. Some said topics like homosexuality would “confuse” students, while others are adamant that they should be able to control what their kids are exposed to.

One man from Logandale, 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, argued that homosexuality isn’t real.

“We’ve known many people who have felt that way before but got over it,” said Thatcher Cardon, to jeers from students in the audience.

Many parents attended an earlier meeting on the topic and gave an impassioned defense of Nevada’s current opt-in law.

Nevada ACLU legal director Amy Rose was among those defending the inclusion.

“My interest here is protecting students. (LGBTQ) is a protected category of people in Nevada,” she said. “This is not something that the ACLU came and made up, this is the law in Nevada. These are facts.”

While the school board voted to consider the changes for older students, they were dismissive of the idea of doing so at the elementary level — but they didn’t reach a definitive decision Thursday.

The proposal suggests adding topics like making responsible sexual choices to the fifth-grade courses.

“This is way over the top,” said Trustee Linda Young. “It’s too young, it really is.”

None of the changes to the sex ed curriculum are final unless approved by the school board at a later date.

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Information from: Las Vegas Sun, https://www.lasvegassun.com


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