State Sex Education Policies and Requirements at a Glance
Sex education is mandated in Delaware, although it must stress abstinence, and is not required to be medically accurate.
- Delaware schools are required to teach sex education as part of the Comprehensive Health Education Program required in grades K-12.
- Delaware statute states that curriculum must be comprehensive. However, the state’s standards do not meet the nationally recognized standards for sex education.
- Curriculum must stress abstinence.
- Curriculum is required to include instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity, in accordance with their health education standards.
- Curriculum is required to include instruction on consent.
- Delaware statute has no standard regarding the ability of parents and guardians to enroll or remove their children from sex education instruction.
- Delaware has no standard regarding medically accurate sex education instruction. However, curriculum on consent must be evidence informed.
- In order to graduate high school, students must receive 0.5 credits of comprehensive health education.
Delaware Administrative Code title 14, § 851 requires sex education as part of K-12 health education. This education must be coordinated by an employee in each school district and overseen by a District Consolidated Application Planning Committee. The committee must consist of teachers, parents, school nurses, community leaders, law enforcement, and other community members “with expertise in the areas of health; family life; and safe and drug-free schools and communities.” Sex education must include a HIV prevention program “that stresses the benefits of abstinence from high-risk behaviors.”
Delaware administrative code also sets a minimum number of hours for “comprehensive health education and family life education.” For students in grades K-4, the minimum is set at 30 hours per grade, 10 of which must be dedicated to drug and alcohol education. In grades five and six, the minimum is set at 35 hours per grade, 15 of which must be dedicated to drug and alcohol education. In grades seven and eight, the minimum is set at 60 hours per grade, 15 of which must be dedicated to drug and alcohol education. In order to graduate high school, students must receive 0.5 credits of comprehensive health education. Delaware statute does not require parental permission for students to participate in sexuality or HIV education.
State Profiles provided by SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change. For more information regarding your state’s sex ed policy, visit https://siecus.org/state_profile/delaware-state-profile-23/