State Sex Education Policies and Requirements at a Glance
Maine schools are required to teach sex education through their course on “comprehensive family life education”. This curriculum, however, does not align with the National Sex Education Standards.
- Curriculum must emphasize abstinence.
- Curriculum is not required to include instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Curriculum is required to include instruction on consent.
- Parents or guardians may remove their children from “comprehensive family life education” classes. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
- “Comprehensive family life education” must be medically accurate.
Maine Revised Statutes Annotated Title 22, §§ 1902 and 1910 mandate that the state’s Department of Health and Human Services “undertake initiatives to implement effective, comprehensive family life education services.” The state must provide:
- Training for teachers, parents, and community members in the development and implementation of comprehensive family life education curriculum;
- Resource staff persons to provide expert training, curriculum development, and implementation and evaluation services on a statewide basis;
- Funding to promote and coordinate community youth forums in communities identified as having high needs for comprehensive family life education;
- Funding for issue management and policy development training for school boards, superintendents, principals, and administrators; and
- Funding for grants to school-based comprehensive family life education programs to recognize outstanding performance and share strategies for success.
Comprehensive family life education must be taught in kindergarten through grade 12. The information provided must be medically accurate, age-appropriate, and t respect community values and encourage parent-child communication. Programs must teach about abstinence, healthy relationships, contraception and family planning, STDS, affirmative consent, and conflict resolution. No specific curriculum is mandated.
In 2017, the state passed Legislative Directive 1180, requiring child sexual abuse prevention education in schools. While educators report that some schools in Maine have included instruction on consent for many years, they view the new statute as an important opportunity to ensure that all schools include uniform instruction statewide.
Parents or guardians may remove their children from “comprehensive family life education” classes. 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/maine-state-profile-23/