On September 19, 2023 the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to adopt new health and sex education frameworks–for the first time since 1999! The state frameworks are a guide for health education instruction for schools around the state. The 1999 frameworks were incredibly outdated. For example, in the 1999 frameworks, the only mention of “consent” was in terms of “parental consent” and not in peer-to-peer. The new frameworks are age appropriate, inclusive, and medically accurate. 

When the new frameworks were first proposed, they did not include any mention of menstruation education. In response to this oversight, Mass NOW organized over 100 activists to write testimony on why comprehensive menstruation education is integral to the MA health education frameworks.

Not only did the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopt the new frameworks, but they also updated the frameworks to include menstruation education, starting in 3rd grade for all students. 

We could not be more excited about this win in Massachusetts for comprehensive sex education and menstrual equity. This success was made possible by every single person who took the time to submit public comment in support of adding menstruation education to Massachusetts’ health education frameworks!

The frameworks being updated is a huge win, but it is not the end of the fight for comprehensive sex education. We still need to keep advocating for the Healthy Youth Act to be passed! Learn more about the Healthy Youth Act and how to get involved here.