- Associated Press - Thursday, February 18, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Parents, teachers and others will be able to help vet the sex education textbooks and other materials that the Omaha school district will use in its classrooms.

Fifteen textbooks, websites and other materials will be up for inspection during the curriculum nights at four district high schools, according to the Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/1PTxbg4 ).

The school board approved new sex education standards in January after months of heated debate. A public meeting in October regarding proposed changes ended after shouting and shoving broke out between supporters and opponents of the changes.

Parents and community members, especially those who fought against overhauling the curriculum, have pressed the district to be transparent as educators select new materials.

“Our parents need time to prepare and properly review the information, and there’s so much of it,” said Charlene Edmundson, who has grandchildren in the district.

At the curriculum nights that will happen over the next few weeks, people will be able to inspect materials and fill out scoring guides to assess whether they think the materials are age-appropriate, inclusive, contain real-world relevance and engage students, among other criteria. Some of the materials are used by neighboring districts. “The Great Body Shop” is used by Millard district elementary and middle school students, for instance.

The materials that pass muster at the Omaha curriculum nights will be tested in classrooms this spring. Teachers will vote on the textbooks, and the school board is expected to vote on a final curriculum purchase in May. The new curriculum will be in place this coming fall.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com


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