We encourage Nebraska District congregations and schools to share the information below through a bulletin insert you can find by clicking on this link.
Update, 7/2/21: As of July, the Nebraska Department of Education has not altered or retracted the proposed standards described in the second half of this article. Local school boards can act now by adopting resolutions rejecting the proposed health standards. A template for that resolution can be found at this link. Consider sponsoring a resolution in your community.
The Equality Act that is being considered by Congress sounds innocent. All Americans should enjoy equality and the protections of the U.S. Constitution. But in elevating sexual orientation to a protected class, the Equality Act will bring sweeping changes to current laws, to the great detriment of the religious and constitutional freedoms of biblically faithful churches, institutions, Christian schools and individuals.
In fact, those churches and institutions that are bound by the Word of God to the truth of marriage between a man and a woman could be punished for simply standing on our consistent beliefs. The Equality Act effectively outlaws the words of Christ and our free exercise of religion.
The Equality Act expands the definition of “public accommodation” and puts an ultimatum to individuals, religious non-profits, food banks, schools, charities, adoption agencies and others: “Change your faith-based practices or face government punishment.”
What can you do?
- Treat all people with kindness and respect (“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” Mark 12:31).
- Become informed about the Equality Act and the issues of gender dysphoria.
- Consider your role as Christian citizens and make your voice known to your elected officials. Our friends at Association of Christian Schools International (ASCI) have created a simple web tool to allow you to reach out to your congressperson.
- Pray for our officials, government, and the church in these challenging days.
Additional resources regarding the Equality Act:
- President Harrison’s statement
- H.R.5 – Equality Act
- Association of Christian Schools International (ASCI) web tool
- Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty statement
- Alliance Defending Freedom statement
- Heritage Foundation report
Concerns with the K-12 Health Education Standards proposed by the Nebraska Department of Education:
The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) recently released a first draft of K-12 Health Standards. These standards are meant to guide curriculum for all Nebraska schools, including public and non-public schools.
The Health Standards are a deeply flawed, ideologically driven document. Should such standards be adopted by schools, children will be placed in peril, many educators will find their professional judgment and conscience under attack, and the culture will move toward a further normalization of child sexualization.
Read the proposed Health Standards and take special note of the “Human Growth and Development” section in each grade. Here are a few highlights:
- In Kindergarten, students will “discuss different kinds of family structures (e.g. single parent, blended, intergenerational, cohabitating, adoptive, foster, same-gender, interracial). Note that traditional marriage between a man and woman is not mentioned.
- In 1st grade, students “define gender, gender identity, and gender-role stereotypes.”
- In 4th grade, students “distinguish between sex assigned at birth and gender identity and explain how they may or may not differ.”
- In 8th grade, students would be taught that abortion is “reproductive care” and how to develop a plan to eliminate an unplanned pregnancy.
What can you do?
- Pray for Christian teachers and staff serving in our public schools, that they may find opportunities to freely share their faith.
- Double down on your commitment to Christian education for your own family.
- Talk about your concern for the new health education standards with your friends. Make sure that they are aware of the educational standards being proposed for every public school in Nebraska.
- The Nebraska Department of Education is seeking feedback about these standards. Please take some time to fill out the NDE online survey and speak up for all Nebraska kids!
- Watch for local Health Education Standards.
Additional resources regarding the K-12 Health Education Standards:
- First Draft of Health Standards
- Nebraska Catholic Conference statement
- Nebraska Family Alliance statement
- Nebraska Department of Education Public Input Survey
- Statement from Governor Pete Ricketts
- NDE Health Standards Guide (clergy)
- NDE Health Standards Guide (parents)
- NDE Health Standards Guide (teachers)
- Equality Act and Health Standards Sample Letter