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West Virginia

State Information

State Policy Information

State Sex Education Policies and Requirements at a Glance

  • West Virginia schools are required to teach sex education.
  • Curriculum is not required to be comprehensive.
  • Curriculum must include instruction on 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 may remove their children from any part of this instruction by written notification to the principal. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
  • West Virginia has no standard on medically accurate sex education.

State Law

West Virginia law (West Virginia Code §18-2-9) requires “course curriculum requirements and materials [to] be adopted by the state board by rule in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Resources.” This means all school districts must adhere to the West Virginia College- and Career-Readiness Standards for Wellness EducationWest Virginia Code §18-2-9 also requires human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) prevention education within the general health education curriculum in grades 6–12. According to the West Virginia Board of Education’s AIDS Education Policy 2422.4, “[t]he goal of this policy is to assist in the protection of students by providing them with the knowledge and skills necessary to avoid behaviors that will put them at the risk of infection with [HIV].” Each county board must integrate HIV prevention education into health courses and may also include it in “science, social studies, and developmental guidance” courses in order to “assure total understanding of the disease and its consequences.” Educators conducting classroom instruction about HIV/AIDS must be qualified professionals who participate in staff development to ensure they teach current AIDS information.

Parents or guardians may remove their children from any part of this instruction by written notification to the principal. 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/west-virginia-state-profile/