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Sexuality Education Victories in Colorado and Kansas

Recently, both Colorado and Kansas have shifted towards comprehensive sexuality education for students. Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed House Bill 1292 into law on May 14, 2007 and the Kansas Board of Education voted six to three in favor of the state’s new comprehensive sexuality education standards on May 8, 2007.1

The Colorado law requires schools that offer sexuality education to develop scientifically and medically accurate curricula which stress abstinence and also discuss the health benefits of using contraception.2 It applies to all Colorado district schools, charter schools, and institute schools that offer curricula on human sexuality. However, the law does not apply to school districts that receive federal abstinence-only-until-marriage funding.  At this point, the Center Consolidated School District, which currently receives $39,500 in federal funds for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, will be the only district exempt from the law.3 In addition, it allows charter schools to appeal to the State Board of Education in order to be allowed to create a narrower sexuality education curriculum. 4

The Colorado law also includes an “opt-out” clause, allowing parents to remove their children from sexuality education classes.5

This new state law comes after some school districts in Colorado have begun shifting towards implementing comprehensive sexuality education. For example, Poudre School District introduced a 10-lesson comprehensive sexuality education curriculum in 2005.6

In Kansas, the Board of Education enacted an “abstinence plus” policy which replaced an abstinence-only-until-marriage policy.7 The policy states that sexuality education programs should stress abstinence while also discussing birth control and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Under the previous policy, these topics were verboten despite the fact that the vast majority of Americans want young people to learn about them.8

The policy does not require parental permission for sexuality education classes, and instead allows individual school districts to enact their own parental permission policies.9

“These wins will help ensure that young people in Colorado and Kansas have access to accurate and complete information about their sexual health in order to make healthy and responsible decisions throughout their lives,” Jen Aulwes of SIECUS stated. “Moreover, they reflect a larger movement in some states towards advancing the rights of young people to obtain full, accurate information in order to make healthy decisions,” Aulwes continued.

For more information on state laws and policy regarding sexuality education, please visit the SIECUS State Profiles at http://www.siecus.local/policy/states/index.html.


  1. “Governor Signs Bill Requiring Comprehensive Sex Education,” NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado Press Release 14 May 2007, accessed 20 May 2007, <>.
    “Kansas Board of Ed. Repeals conservative sex ed policies,” CNN, 9 May 2007, accessed 20 may 2007, <>.
  2. “Governor Signs Bill Requiring Comprehensive Sex Education.” 
  3. J.P. Eichmiller, “Sex-ed bill on Ritter’s desk,” The Coloradoan, 30 April 2007, accessed 23 May 2007, <>.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  7. “Kansas Board of Ed. Repeals conservative sex ed policies.”
  8. Ibid.
  9. Ibid.