- Colorado state law does not require schools to provide sexuality education.
- State law does refer to medically and scientifically accurate information as a “right” of youth in Colorado statute §22-1-128, stating the need for expanded access to sexuality education.
- In 2013, the state legislature established a grant program for comprehensive human sexuality education, via Colorado statute §25-44-102, which requires schools that accept this funding to use curricula that discuss contraception and are based in science, are age-appropriate, are culturally relevant, and are medically accurate.
- Lessons must encourage parental involvement and family communication.
- Curricula must include lessons on consent.
- Lessons must include instruction that helps students develop skills for making responsible and healthy decisions about human sexuality, personal power, boundary setting, and resisting peer pressure.
- Lessons must include discussion of how alcohol and drug use impairs responsible and healthy decision making.
- Lessons must provide instruction on the health benefits and potential side effects of using contraceptives and barrier methods to prevent pregnancy.
- If pregnancy options are taught, abortion must be included as an option for pregnancy.
- Curricula must not exclude the health needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex individuals.
- Parents or guardians must be notified if a sex-ed course is taught, and they must be given an opportunity to review the curriculum. They may remove their children from sex-ed classes by sending written notice to the school. This is referred to as an opt-out policy.
- The Department of Education provides guidelines on curriculum development through the Colorado Academic Standards: Comprehensive Health & Physical Education Standards, which includes guidance on sexual health topics such as HIV and other STD transmission and prevention, unintended pregnancy, abstinence, and sexual assault.
Some Sex Ed Advocates Within the State
For more detailed information on how various districts in the state have been implementing these standards, you can read SIECUS’s Colorado profile.