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New Hampshire

State Information

State Policy Information

State Sex Education Policies and Requirements at a Glance

  • New Hampshire schools are required to teach sex education.
  • Curriculum is not required to be comprehensive. However, the Health Education Curriculum Guidelines asserts that comprehensive school health education furthers the goal of education and a productive society.
  • New Hampshire has no statute regarding instruction on abstinence. However, the Health Education Curriculum Guidelines emphasizes abstinence as the most effective prevention method.
  • Curriculum is not required to include instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Curriculum is not required to include instruction on consent. However, curriculum must include instruction on dating violence and date rape.
  • Parents or Guardians may remove their children from sex education instruction based on religious objections. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
  • New Hampshire has no standard regarding medically accurate sex education instruction.

State Law

In New Hampshire, according to Revised Statutes §§ 186:11 and 189:10, local school boards must “ensure that health education [is] taught to pupils as part of the basic curriculum” and “that all studies prescribed by the state board of education are thoroughly taught, especially physiology, hygiene, and health and physical education as they relate to the effects of … human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and sexually transmitted diseases [STDs] on the human system.” The Department of Education is required to develop curriculum frameworks that address those subjects and provide information on HIV/AIDS to all public and private schools to assist them in developing courses and programs.

Additionally, Revised Statutes § 193-E:2-a specifies that “public schools and public academies shall adhere to the standards identified” for health education. The standards, which were defined and identified as the school approval standards beginning in the school year 2008-2009, cover “kindergarten through twelfth grade and shall clearly set forth the opportunities to acquire the communication, analytical and research skills and competencies, as well as the substantive knowledge expected to be possessed by students at the various grade levels.”

State law requires “school districts to adopt a policy allowing an exception to a particular unit of health or sex education instruction based on religious objections.” This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy. As of 2017, New Hampshire law requires school districts or classroom teachers to provide a minimum of two weeks advance notice to parents prior to instruction of human sexuality or human sexual 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/new-hampshire-state-profile/