The California Healthy Youth Act, which took effect in January 2016, requires school districts to provide students with integrated, comprehensive, accurate, and unbiased sexual health and HIV prevention education at least once in middle school and once in high school.
Why is it important?
The law is intended to ensure that students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to protect their sexual and reproductive health, develop healthy attitudes, and have healthy, positive, and safe relationships and behaviors. It promotes understanding of sexuality as a normal part of human development.
What are the requirements? (Taken from the ACLU website, link provided at the end)
According to the Education Code (51933), all instruction and materials in all grades must:
- Be age-appropriate;
- Be medically accurate and objective
- Align with and support the purposes of the California Healthy Youth Act, as described above;
- Be appropriate for use with pupils of all races, genders, sexual orientations, ethnic and cultural backgrounds;
- Be appropriate for and equally available to English language learners;
- Be appropriate for and accessible to pupils with disabilities;
- Affirmatively recognize different sexual orientations and be inclusive of same-sex relationships in discussions and examples;
- Teach about gender, gender expression, gender identity, and the harm of negative gender stereotypes;
- Encourage students to communicate with their parents/guardians and other trusted adults about human sexuality, and provide skills for doing so;
- Teach respect and skills for committed relationships such as marriage;
- Provide knowledge and skills for forming healthy relationships that are free from violence; and
- Provide knowledge and skills for making and implementing healthy decisions about sexuality. In addition, the Education Code (51933) specifies that instruction and materials in all grades may not:
- Teach or promote religious doctrine; or
- Reflect or promote bias against any person on the basis of actual or perceived disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, race or ethnicity, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation, or any other category protected by the non-discrimination policy codified in Education Code 220.
How can PPOSBC help?
The Community Education and Outreach department of PPOSBC provides comprehensive reproductive & sexual health presentations that align with the requirements of the California Healthy Youth Act. All Health Educators are qualified to provide this information and are certified by the California Family Health Council. The presentations are specific to a particular subject to encourage youth between the ages of 12-19 to make healthy, informed decisions regarding their sexuality and health. All topics are gender inclusive, medically accurate, age-appropriate, culturally sensitive, and are available in Spanish. They can be brought to any classroom or community setting and are low to no cost. Please contact us with any further questions, or to schedule our services. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (714) 633-6373 ext.143.
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