- North Carolina state law mandates the teaching of sexuality education, though classes are not required to be comprehensive. They are, however, required to be medically accurate, and curricula must include instruction on pregnancy prevention, STDs, and HIV.
- All sex ed curricula must explain the benefits of abstinence.
- Sex ed curricula are not required to include instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity. Rather, all sex ed curricula must teach that a faithful monogamous heterosexual marriage is the best lifelong means of avoiding STDs.
- Sex ed curricula are not required to include instruction on consent, though they must teach refusal skills and strategies to handle peer pressure.
- The State Board of Education must make a list of reviewed materials and approved textbooks available to parents and legal guardians at least 60 days before such instruction is provided in the classroom.
- Parents and guardians have the ability to either exempt their children from any portion of sex ed instruction through written notification to the school principal or to give written permission for their children to participate in sex ed instruction, depending on the school district. These are referred to as “opt-out” and “opt-in” policies, respectively.
Some Sex Ed Advocates Within the State
- Sexual Health Initiatives for Teens (SHIFT NC)
- North Carolina Pediatric Society
- NC Child
- ACLU of North Carolina
- Planned Parenthood South Atlantic
- NC AIDS Action Network
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 North Carolina profile.