State Sex Education Policies and Requirements at a Glance
Sex education is not currently mandated in Idaho, but schools that do teach sex education must emphasize abstinence. As a result, school districts are left to decide what, if any, type of sex education they provide to youth.
- Idaho schools are not required to teach sex education.
- If a school offers sex education, the curriculum must encourage abstinence.
- Curriculum is not required to include instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Curriculum is not required to include instruction on consent.
- Parents or guardians can file a written request to the school board to remove their children from sex education instruction. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
- Idaho statute has no regulation on medically accurate sex education. However, the Idaho Department of Education’s health education standards state that growth, development, and family life instruction should be medically accurate.
Sex education is not mandated in Idaho. Idaho Statute §33-1608 states that the “primary responsibility of family life and sex education” rests with a student’s home and church and that “the schools can only complement and supplement those standards which are established in the family.” Local school boards may decide to offer sex education. If a school board institutes sex education, the program must place “major emphasis” on the home (including “appreciation of the important place the family home holds in the social system of our culture”), family, and church as areas of importance for learning such knowledge. School boards must include parents and community groups in all aspects of instituting and evaluating sex education programs.
In addition, the statute states that programs should give young people “the scientific, physiological information for understanding sex and its relation to the miracle of life.” They must also include “knowledge of the power of the sex drive and the necessity of controlling that drive by self-discipline.”
Parents or guardians who wish to excuse their children from sex education must file a written request to the school board. The school board will then supply the parent with the necessary forms to remove the child from the class. 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/idaho-state-profile-23/