Who would've guessed a topic like sexual education would be so controversial in Nebraska?
An angry crowd estimated at between 1,000 and 1,500 Nebraskans turned up at a Tuesday evening Omaha Public Schools meeting on the district's proposed update to sex education.
A vocal contingent of the crowd was opposed to updating the standards, with protesters picketing the building holding signs opposing comprehensive sex education. Local TV station KETV reported the angrier attendees spoke out in favor of abstinence-only sex education, which the district already does not have, and were upset about moving even further down the path of corruption. Allegations that Planned Parenthood was involved in planning the curriculum (surprise! not true) did not help.
The Omaha World-Herald reports officials appeared to be caught off-guard by the size and intensity of the crowd, as a similar meeting on the same subject last April only drew about 150 protesters. Tuesday's meeting had to be moved to the an auditorium at the district's Teacher Administrative Center to accommodate the number of attendees.
A document distributed at the meeting and uploaded by the World-Herald shows the proposed changes as including lessons on gender identity, sexual orientation, contraception and sexually-transmitted diseases. The board also handed out an FAQ document, including some important answers to some intelligent questions.
Q: Will OPS be showing pornography?
A: Absolutely not.
Parents also have the option under both the current and new standards to opt their child out of sex ed classes.
The already-agitated crowd was reportedly not happy with the board requesting attendees write down their comments, and wanted a chance to speak/shout at the board. Some people did anyway.
The meeting came to an abrupt end when a fight broke out and police had to disperse the crowd.
The World-Herald reports the school board was undeterred by the rowdy meeting.
“Yes, it is a taboo subject and a very hot topic for a lot of people, but again, you’ve got to educate your kids, and teaching with an outdated curriculum is not a good thing,” board member Matt Scanlan told the World-Herald.
What's the world coming to when shouting and disrupting public meetings won't change elected officials' minds?