- 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.
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.