December 2013 (To print, click the print icon on your browser
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Lyon County School District Board of Trustees Approves New Sex Education Policy

By Emily Ike, SIECUS Program Research Assistant

On November 26, 2013, the Lyon County (NV) School District Board of Trustees approved a new sex education policy which states that the district’s sexual health and HIV/AIDS prevention curriculum must be based on medically accurate and factual information designed to reduce high-risk behaviors and encourage healthy decision making among students.[1]

Nevada ranks 17th in the country for teen births, with a rate of 38.6 births per 1,000 young women ages 15-19, and has an HIV infection rate of 6.6 new diagnoses per 100,000 among adolescents ages 13-19 years. Additionally, Nevada ranks 25th in the United States for reported cases of chlamydia, 27th for reported cases of gonorrhea, and 11th for reported cases of primary and secondary syphilis.[2]

In August 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), made a formal inquiry into the curriculum that had been adopted by the Lyon County School District Board of Trustees in 2008, calling it “discriminatory and homophobic,” as well as opinion-based rather than fact-based. Lyon County students had also voiced concerns about the quality of the sexuality education they received.[3] The ACLU cited concerns over such themes as “homosexuality shall not be presented as an acceptable lifestyle,” as well as “girls are the object of pornography addiction,” and “second virginity” present in the Lyon County sex education curriculum.[4]

At the time of the inquiry, several trustees voiced their own concerns about the district’s curriculum, and argued that an updated policy and curriculum were needed to better serve students.[5] Following the review, Lyon County School District staff worked alongside the ACLU of Nevada to draft a new sex education policy, which was unanimously approved at the November 26th meeting.[6]

Tod Story, executive director of the ACLU of Nevada applauded the Lyon County School District’s decision, stating:

The Lyon County school board is to be commended for adopting a meaningful policy that will serve their students for years to come. And the staff has been open and responsive since our public records act request was fulfilled. We look forward to continuing to work with not only Lyon and Clark counties, but every county throughout the state.[7]

[1], “Trustees approve sex ed policy,”, December 3, 2013, accessed December 16, 2013 at

[2]SIECUS, “Nevada State Profile,” SIECUS, 2013, accessed December 16, 2013 at


[4]ACLU, “As the School Year Begins, the ACLU of Nevada is Set to Examine Lyon County’s Proposed Sex Education Curriculum,” ACLU, August 22, 2013, accessed December 16, 2013

[5], “Trustees approve sex ed policy,”, December 3, 2013, accessed December 16, 2013 at

[6]ACLU, “Students Win with Recent School Board Decisions in Lyon and Clark Counties,” ACLU, December 13, 2013, accessed December 16, 2013 at