- Missouri state law does not mandate the teaching of sexuality education. However, health education — including HIV/AIDS prevention education — is required. This instruction must be medically accurate.
- All sex ed curricula must present abstinence as the preferred behavior.
- All sex ed curricula must include instruction on consent.
- Sex ed curricula are not required to include instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity.
- All sex ed instruction must teach that teenage sexual activity places them at a higher risk of dropping out of school because of the consequences of STDs and unplanned pregnancy. Other requirements are included in Missouri Revised Statute § 170.015.
- Parents and guardians can remove their children from any part of their sex education instruction. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
- School districts and charter schools cannot allow anyone who provides abortion services to “offer, sponsor, or furnish” course materials related to human sexuality and STDs.
- Missouri provides the Health Education Grade-Level Expectations to guide schools in developing a health education curriculum.
Bills to Watch
- HB 950 was introduced in 2023. It would require school districts to provide period products at no cost in schools and would repeal provisions prohibiting abortion services providers from providing instruction on human sexuality or sexually transmitted diseases.
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 Missouri profile.