State Sex Education Policies and Requirements at a Glance
Sex education is mandated in Georgia, but it is not required to be comprehensive or medically accurate, and instruction must stress abstinence.
- Georgia schools are required to provide sex education and AIDS prevention education.
- Curriculum is not required to align with the National Sex Education Standards.
- Instruction must emphasize abstinence from sexual activity until marriage as an important personal goal.
- Curriculum is not required to include instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Curriculum is not required to include instruction on consent. However age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention education is required in kindergarten through grade nine.
- Parents may remove their children from all or part of sex education instruction with written notification. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
- Georgia has no regulation regarding medically accurate sex education instruction.
Schools in Georgia are required by Georgia Code Annotated §§ 20-2-143 to teach sex education and AIDS prevention education. Georgia law mandates that the state board of education determines minimum guidelines that sex education programs must satisfy. The guidelines created by the board require instruction to “emphasize abstinence from sexual activity until marriage and fidelity in marriage as important personal goals.” In addition, Georgia Board of Education Rule 160-4-2-.12 states that sex education instruction should address peer pressure and promote “high self-esteem, local community values, and abstinence from sexual activity as an effective method of prevention of pregnancy, STIs, and AIDS.” Local school boards are largely responsible for deciding specific subjects that education must cover, age-appropriate messages, and the grade level in which topics are introduced.
Parents or guardians may remove their children from all or part of sex and/or STI/HIV education by sending written notice to the school. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
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/georgia-state-profile-23/