- Schools in Georgia are required by Georgia Code Annotated §§ 20-2-143 to teach sex ed.
- Guidelines created by the state board of education require instruction that emphasizes abstinence until marriage.
- Georgia Board of Education Rule 160-4-2-.12 states that sex ed should address peer pressure and promote “high self-esteem, local community values, and abstinence from sexual activity as an effective method of prevention of pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and AIDS.”
- Local school boards are largely responsible for deciding specific subjects this education must cover, age-appropriate messages, and the grade level in which topics are introduced.
- Parents or guardians may remove their children from all or part of sex ed by sending written notice to the school. This is referred to as an opt-out policy.
- The Georgia Performance Standards for Health Education, for grades K–12, are used by schools to create lesson plans that “enable their students to become healthy and capable of academic success.”
- Beginning in grade 8, the health education standards require discussion on abstinence as the most effective way to prevent STDs.
- Sexual violence prevention instruction is included in the standards for grades 9–12.
Some Sex Ed Advocates Within the State
- Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential (GCAPP)
- Working to Institutionalize Sex Ed (WISE) initiative
- Georgia Department of Public Health’s Adolescent Health & Youth Development program
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 Georgia profile.