- District of Columbia Municipal Regulations §§ 5-E2304 and 5-E2305 state that public schools must provide comprehensive school health education, including instruction on human sexuality and reproduction. The instruction must be age-appropriate and taught in grades pre-k–12.
- The superintendent of the District of Columbia public schools is charged with ensuring that sexuality education is taught in schools and that students achieve a minimum proficiency in this area.
- The superintendent must provide systematic teacher training and staff development activities for health and physical education instructors. A list of all textbooks for student and teacher training must be included in the list of textbooks submitted annually to the District Board of Education for its approval.
- Parents or guardians may submit a written request to the principal if they wish to remove their children from human sexuality and reproduction education classes. This is referred to as an opt-out policy.
- The District of Columbia provides Health Education Standards for kindergarten through 12th grade. Safety Skills, Human Body and Personal Health, and Disease Prevention are three of the six learning categories. STDs, HIV, unintended pregnancy, abstinence, and contraception are all discussed.
- In 2016, the state standards were updated to ensure students learn how to “differentiate between gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and sex assigned at birth/biological sex,” as well as to understand that “as people grow and develop, they may begin to feel romantically and/or sexually attracted to people of a different gender and/or to people of the same gender.”
Some Sex Ed Advocates Within the State
- Sex Is… and their Wrap MC program
- The Grassroot Project
- Latin American Youth Center
- Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washingon, DC
- Healthy Babies Project
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 District of Columbia profile.