- Arkansas law does not require schools to teach sex ed.
- If a school offers sex ed, Arkansas Code § 6-18-703 states that it must be emphasized that abstinence is the only sure means of avoiding pregnancy and the sexual contraction of AIDS and other STDs.
- In 2015, Arkansas Code § 6-16-1004 was amended to include dating violence awareness as a mandatory component of health and safety education for students in grades 7-12. Materials must be age-appropriate and based on scientific research.
- Local school boards are empowered to establish school-based health clinics, which may provide sexuality education. Such education must include instruction on abstinence.
- School-based health clinics may also prescribe and distribute contraceptives with written parental consent; however, no state funds may be used to purchase condoms or contraceptives.
- Arkansas maintains curriculum standards for physical and health education addressing STDs and HIV beginning in grade five. The curriculum standards stress the importance of abstinence, as well as the possible physical, emotional, and social consequences of sexual activity.
Some Sex Ed Advocates Within the State
For more detailed information on how various districts in the state have been implementing these standards — and for recent legislation — you can read SIECUS’s Arkansas profile.