The New Jersey Department of Education has updated the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education and there’s something in it that may catch parents off-guard. According to the guide, which outlines teachings that are meant to lead students to become individuals who “possess health and physical literacy” and can go on to “pursue a life of wellness,” health teachers will now need to define anal sex to middle school students.

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But this isn’t the first time the Dept. of Ed has addressed anal sex. The prior curriculum only included that students should know that sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) could be acquired through anal sex.

Beginning in the 2020/2021 school year, teachers will need to clearly define vaginal, oral and anal sex to eighth graders.

According to the guide, “Successful preparation of students for the opportunities, rigors and advances of the 21st Century cannot be accomplished without a strong and sustained emphasis on the health and wellness of all students. Today’s students are continually bombarded with physical, mental, and social influences that affect not only learning in school, but also the lifelong health of the citizens that schools are preparing for graduation.”

The document goes on to say that revisions were made in order to “address the need for students to gain knowledge and skills in caring for themselves, interact effectively with others, and analyze the impact of choices and consequences.”

The Department of Education defines “Core Ideas” as related to social and sexual health and specifically states the performance expectation of teachers to “define vaginal, oral, and anal sex.”

Other Core Ideas include that: “Inclusive schools and communities are accepting of all people and make them feel welcome and included.”

Students will be taught to “Differentiate between gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.”  Schools will “Develop a plan for the school to promote dignity and respect for people of all genders, gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations in the school community.”

As always, parents can opt their children out if there is any part of health class that conflicts with their moral or religious beliefs. And while some parents are outraged by the inclusion, others might find their children getting information from an educator preferable to him or her looking things up online.  What do you think? Tell us in the comments.

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