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New Mexico

State Information

State Policy Information

State Sex Education Policies and Requirements at a Glance

  • New Mexico schools are required to teach sex education as part of their health education requirement.
  • Curriculum is not required to be comprehensive.
  • Curriculum must stress abstinence.
  • Curriculum is not required to include instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Curriculum is not required to include instruction on consent.
  • Parents and guardians can request to remove their student from sex education instruction. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
  • New Mexico has no standard regarding medically accurate sex education curriculum.

State Law

New Mexico Administrative Codes §§, and 22-13-1.1.1 mandate that schools must teach a course in health education in either middle or high school. Each school district must “provide instruction about [human immunodeficiency virus] (HIV) and related issues in the curriculum of the required health education content area to all students in the elementary grades, in the middle/junior high school grades, and in the senior high school grades.” This instruction must include “ways to reduce the risk of getting HIV/[acquired immunodeficiency syndrome] (AIDS), stressing abstinence.” Outcomes of such instruction should include the “ability to demonstrate refusal skills, overcome peer pressure, and use decision-making skills.”

Educational materials and the grade levels at which they are introduced are determined by local school districts. All instruction must be age-appropriate. Local school boards must “ensure the involvement of parents, staff, and students in the development of policies and the review of instructional materials.” The state neither suggests curriculum nor limits what may or may not be included in sex education instruction.

New Mexico Administrative Code requires schools to adopt the academic content and performance standards and to measure the performance in public schools.”

State Profiles provided by SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change. For more information regarding your state’s sex ed policy, visit