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HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Prevention Education

Alaska

Last Updated: 4/6/2009

Mandate: Not specifically required.

Parental Approval: None specified.

Curriculum Content: The state recommends that schools follow the standards outlined in Skills for a Healthy Life (1999). The standards call for students to understand the physical and behavioral characteristics of human sexual development and maturity.


Alabama

Last Updated: 5/20/2008

Mandate: The Alabama State Board of Education's "Resolution to Provide Information to Students to Prevent the Spread of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Disease in the Public Schools of Alabama," dated June 11, 1987 (no direct link), specifies that students in grades 5-12 must receive instruction about AIDS through the health education program.

Code 16-40A-2 (1975) specifies that "any program or curriculum in the public schools in Alabama that includes sex education or the human reproductive process shall, as a minimum, include and emphasize [that] abstinence from sexual intercourse is the only completely effective protection against unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and AIDS when transmitted sexually," and that "Abstinence from sexual intercourse outside of lawful marriage is the expected social standard for unmarried school-age persons." Among its long list of provisions the law also states that materials and instruction selected and used at the local level shall be age-appropriate; shall emphasize refusal skills, ethical conduct, applicable laws on child support and sexual abuse, and include "statistics based on the latest medical information that indicate the degree of reliability and unreliability of various forms of contraception." Instruction must also include an emphasis that "homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public and that homosexual conduct is a criminal offense under the laws of the state." A 1992 amendment added comprehensive instruction in parenting skills and responsibilities.

Parental Approval: None specified.

Curriculum Content: The Alabama Course of Study: Health Education (2003) provides the legal foundation for the minimum content of a locally developed health education curriculum, including HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention.


Arkansas

Last Updated: 11/17/2013

Mandate: Mandate: The Physical Education and Health Curriculum Framework for K-8  and Health and Safety Curriculum for grades 9-12 includes requirements for HIV/STI and teen pregnancy prevention education.

Curriculum Content: The curriculum requirements are outlined in Physical Education and Health Curriculum Framework for K-8 and Health and Wellness Curriculum Framework for 9-12. Code 6-18-703 (1993) states schools that offer sex education in school-based health clinics shall include instruction in sexual abstinence, and no funds shall be utilized for abortion referral.

Parental Approval
: No state policy.


Arizona

Last Updated: 4/28/2012

Mandate: These topics are not specifically required to be taught in Arizona schools or included in the state's  Health Education Standards (2009).

Curriculum Content: State Board of Education Administrative Code R7-2-303 (1989) allows schools to "provide a specific elective lesson or lessons concerning sex education as a supplement to the health course of study" so long as they conform to a detailed set of requirements, including:

  • Sex education lessons must be approved by the local governing board after a public hearing process.
  • A representative advisory board must be established to assist in the development of lessons.
  • Lessons shall be taught to boys and girls separately at the K-8 level.
  • Lessons "shall not include tests, psychological inventories, surveys, or examinations containing any questions about the student's or his parents' personal beliefs or practices in sex, family life, morality, values or religion."
  • Materials and instruction shall "recognize local community standards and sensitivities, shall not include the teaching of abnormal, deviate, or unusual sexual acts and practicesshall stress that pupils should abstain from sexual intercourse until they are mature adults, promote honor and respect for monogamous heterosexual marriage; and advise pupils of Arizona law pertaining to the financial responsibilities of parenting, and legal liabilities related to sexual intercourse with a minor."

ARS 15-711 (no date available) says that, "All school districts with existing sex education curricula shall include instruction on the laws relating to sexual conduct with a minor for pupils in grades seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven and twelve."

ARS 15-716 (2002) describes minimum requirements for HIV/AIDS education, including that instruction must be medically accurate, promote abstinence, and dispel myths regarding the transmission of HIV. In addition, "instruction cannot promote a homosexual lifestyle, portray homosexuality as a positive alternative lifestyle, or suggest that some methods of sex are safe methods of homosexual sex." Additional instructional recommendations are included in the Model HIV Administrative Procedures for Schools (no date available), which is based on NASBE's Someone at School has AIDS.

Parental Approval: If a school district offers any sex education curricula, pursuant to section 15-711 or 15-716, SB1309 (2010) requires the governing board, in consultation with parents, teachers and administrators, to  develop procedures to (1) prohibit a school district from providing sex education instruction to a pupil unless the pupil's parent provides written permission for the child to participate in the sex education curricula and (2) procedures by which parents will be notified in advance of an given the opportunity to withdraw their children from any instruction or presentations regarding sexuality in courses other than formal sex education curricula.
 


California

Last Updated: 2/16/2009

Mandates: These topics are addressed in more than a dozen California laws. Education Code 51930 - 51939 (2003), known as the California Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Act," seeks to (1) provide a pupil with the knowledge and skills necessary to protect his or her sexual and reproductive health from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases; and (2) encourage a pupil to develop healthy attitudes concerning adolescent growth and development, body image, gender roles, sexual orientation, dating, marriage, and family." Education Code 51934 (2003) requires each school district to (a) ensure that all pupils in grades 7 to 12, inclusive, receive HIV/AIDS prevention education from instructors trained in the appropriate courses. Each pupil shall receive this instruction at least once in junior high or middle school and at least once in high school; (b) HIV/AIDS prevention education, whether taught by school district personnel or outside consultants, shall satisfy all of the criteria set forth" in the code.

Education Code 51933 (2003) authorizes school districts to provide comprehensive sexual health education, consisting of age-appropriate instruction, in kindergarten to grade 12, inclusive, using instructors trained in the appropriate course." All factual information presented must be medically accurate and objective. Instruction must teach respect for marriage and committed relationships. Other details of the criteria for school districts that elect to offer comprehensive sexual health education is outlined in the code. Code 51933 (2003) requires that commencing in grade 7, instruction and materials teach that abstinence from sexual intercourse is the only certain way to prevent unintended pregnancy and STDs, and provide information about the value of abstinence while also providing medically accurate information on other methods of preventing pregnancy and STDs. Code 51933 (2003) requires that commencing in grade 7, instruction and materials provide information about STDs, including transmission and effectiveness of FDA approved methods of reducing the risk of contracting STDs, information on local resources for testing and medical care for STDs. In addition, instruction and materials must provide information about the effectiveness and safety of all FDA-approved contraceptive methods in preventing pregnancy, including, but not limited to, emergency contraception. In addition, instruction and materials shall provide pupils with skills for making and implementing responsible decisions about sexuality.

Education Code 51202 (1977, 1992) requires instruction about venereal disease and prenatal care. Education Code 51220.5 (1993) requires parenting education to be included in grades 7 or 8. Abstinence may be taught within the context of HIV/AIDS prevention education [Education Code 51934 (3) (2003); however, abstinence-only education is not permitted in California public schools.

Curriculum Content: The state does not require schools to follow a specific curriculum. However, the Health Framework for California Public Schools (2003) emphasizes the need to address HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention and provides curriculum suggestions.

The California Department of Education released Putting It All Together: Program Guidelines and Resources for State-Mandated HIV/AIDS Prevention Education in California Middle and High Schools (2003). It can be ordered but not accessed online. The guidelines were written primarily to give school administrators, board members, and policy-and decision-makers support and direction in meeting the mandates for providing AIDS instruction in middle and high schools. Parents and community members may find the guidelines helpful in understanding the legislative requirements for HIV prevention and the components essential to an effective program. Teachers and health educators may use the guidelines to identify resources and materials to improve the quality of instruction; however, the overall goal of the document is to provide administrative support to counties, districts, and schools in planning and implementing a program of instruction that complies with the Education Code, is educationally sound and appropriate for students.

Parental Approval: Education Code 51938 (2004) allows a parent or guardian of a pupil to excuse their child from all or part of comprehensive sexual health education, HIV/AIDS prevention education and assessments related to that education. The code also requires each school district to notify the parent or guardian of at the time of a pupil's enrollment about instruction in comprehensive sexual health education and HIV/AIDS prevention education and research on pupil health behaviors and risks planned for the coming year. Content requirements for the notice given to parents are outlined in the code. Education Code 51939 (2003) further clarifies that (a) A pupil may not attend any class in comprehensive sexual education or HIV/AIDS prevention education, or participate in any anonymous, voluntary, and confidential test, questionnaire, or survey on pupil health behaviors and risks, if the school has received a written request from the pupil's parent or guardian excusing the pupil from participation."


Colorado

Last Updated: 11/9/2010

Mandate: Colorado does not require students to receive instruction on HIV, STD, or pregnancy prevention education, although the Colorado Comprehensive Health Education Act (2000) encourages school districts to teach about communicably transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS/STDs and Statute 25-4-1405 (1997) for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment states, school districts are urged to provide every secondary school student, with parental consent, education on HIV infection and AIDS and its prevention."

Curriculum Content: Statute 22-1-110.5 (2007) requires school districts that offer a planned curriculum concerning human sexuality  accurate and based on scientific research.  The curriculum must fulfill the following requirements:  (1) Encourage parental involvement and communication, (2) Emphasize abstinence (as defined in the statute) and teach that it is the only certain way to avoid pregnancy, STDs, (3) Include instruction on the link between HPV and cancer and the availability of the HPV vaccine, (4) Include instruction on making responsible decisions, boundary setting, peer pressure and the influence of alcohol on healthy decision making, and (5) Provide instruction about the benefits, side effects and availability of contraceptives and barrier methods, including instruction regarding emergency contraception.  School districts receiving direct or indirect federal funding for abstinence education are not required to adopt the content standards in any year such funding is received.

Statute 22-25-104 (2000) requires that any curriculum and materials developed and used in teaching sexuality and human reproduction shall include values and responsibility and shall give primary emphasis to abstinence by school aged children."

Parental Approval: Statute 22-25-104 requires that School officials shall receive prior written approval from a parent or guardian before his or her child may participate in any program discussing or teaching sexuality and human reproduction. Parents must receive, with the written permission slip, an overview of the topics and materials to be presented in the curriculum" (an opt-in" policy).  State education agency officials clarify that active parental consent is required only if the school district is using state funds to teach about sexuality (they note that the state is providing $600,000 for the Colorado Comprehensive Health Education Act, which may include communicable diseases). Notification to parents that a program is offered, and that parents have the right to see the curriculum and to request an exemption, is required for all districts regardless of funding (an opt-out" policy).

Statute 22-25-110 (1992) requires schools to establish a procedure to exempt a student, upon request of the parent or guardian of such student, from a specific portion of the health education program on the grounds that it is contrary to the religious beliefs and teachings of the student or the student's parent or guardian" (an opt-out" policy).


Connecticut

Last Updated: 6/20/2012

 Mandate: Per Statute Chapter 164 Sec. 10-19 (1995), “each local and regional board of education shall offer during the regular school day planned, ongoing and systematic instruction on acquired immune deficiency syndrome, as taught by legally qualified teachers."

Curriculum Content: Statute Chapter 164 Sec. 10-19 states that “The content and scheduling of the instruction shall be within the discretion of the local or regional board of education." The Guidelines for a Coordinated Approach to School Health (2007) offers recommendations for number of instructional hours for each grade level in mandated content areas. The Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework (2006) defines what students should know and be able to do in grades prek-12 in comprehensive sexuality education including HIV/STD and pregnancy prevention.This document provides content standards and performance indicators for health education as well as a suggested curriculum framework for local school districts. The State Board of Education also provides guidance in the Guidelines for the Sexual Health Component of Comprehensive Health Education (2012).

Parental Approval: Statute Chapter 164 Sec. 10-19 states, “Each local and regional board of education shall adopt a policy, as the board deems appropriate, concerning the exemption of pupils from such instruction upon written request of the parent or guardian" (an “opt-out" policy).


District of Columbia

Last Updated: 4/21/2013

Mandate:  Rule 5-E2304 (1994) requires public schools to provide health instruction within a planned, sequential, pre K-12 comprehensive school health education curriculum that includes the physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of health and well-being. Comprehensive school health education is defined as age appropriate instruction that improves the knowledge, skills, and behaviors of students so they choose a health enhancing lifestyle and avoid behaviors that may jeopardize their immediate long term health status. Eleven content areas, including HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, are identified.

Rule 5-E2305 (1979) requires human sexuality and reproduction course content to be taught sequentially in grade levels pre-K through 12. The content of the courses shall be appropriate to the age group of the students receiving instruction.

Curriculum Content:  Rule 5-E2305 (1979) requires public schools to offer, as part of the regular curriculum, instruction in human sexuality and reproduction which shall include, but not be limited tothe following: information on human anatomy, physical changes during adolescence, menstruation, intercourse, pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, venereal disease, contraception, abortion, homosexuality, reduction of infant mortality, improvement of pregnancy outcomes, and awareness and prevention of rape and other sex offenses; and discussion of the process of making personal decisions in matters involving parenting and sexuality.

Per Rule 5-E2305 (1979) all textbooks used for instruction in the area of human sexuality and reproductionmust be included in the list oftextbooks submitted annually for approval by the Board of Education. All instructional materials, including textbooks, teachers’ manuals, audio-visual aids, and other supplementary materials thatare used for instruction in human sexuality and reproduction shall be available for inspection and review by parents or guardians of students receiving instructionin human sexuality and reproduction.

Parental Approval: Rule 5-E2305 (1979), Prior to offering human sexualityand reproduction courses or programs, the principal shall notify in writing the parents or guardians of minor students. A minor student shall be excused fromparticipating in human sexuality and reproduction instruction upon receiptby the principal of written notification fromthe student’s parent or guardian (opt out).

According to the Department of Health’s Condom Availability Policy (CAP) (2009), School nurses supported by the Department of Health-Community Health Administration can provide sexual health counseling, education and distribution of barrier methods in accordance with the scope of services specified by the Community Health Administration. Students will receive information on barrier methods during HIV and STD risk reduction classes conducted by agencies and organizations that are approved by the Local Education Agency. All students will have the option of receiving individual health education by the school nurse during the school year and they will be notified of this option by flyer. Nurses are required to provide monthly activity reports with non-identifiable student information. 

 Individuals that have received training approved by the Department of Health HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and Tuberculosis Administration (HAHSTA) may, with the authorization of the Local Education Agency, provide sexual health education, counseling, and condom distribution services to students individually and in groups. These sessions will stress the risks of sexual activity including the potential exposure to sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. Students who are engaging in sexual activity will be instructed on safer sex practices and the proper use of male and female condoms and dental dams. Schools participating in the Supplemental Condom Availability Services shall provide reports to HAHSTA on the services provided to students.


Delaware

Last Updated: 4/6/2009

Mandate: Administrative Code 14:851 (2005) requires each school district to offer a K-12 health education program that includes "comprehensive sexuality education and HIV prevention that stresses the benefits of abstinence from high-risk behaviors."

Curriculum Content: Schools must follow the Delaware Recommended Curriculum for Health Education as the basis for instruction. The state does not specify additional limitations on what can or cannot be included in such instruction.

Parental Approval: No state policy.


Florida

Last Updated: 3/27/2013

Mandate: Statute 1003.42 (2012) requires each district school board to provide courses and appropriate instruction in comprehensive health education that addresses twelve components. Those which include instruction in HIV, STD and pregnancy prevention are family life, including awareness of the benefits of sexual abstinence as the expected standard and the consequences of teenage pregnancy; personal health; prevention and control of disease; and substance use and abuse. The statute mentions that the state's course descriptions for comprehensive health education "shall not interfere with the local determination of appropriate curriculum which reflects local values and concerns."

Curriculum Content: The skills-based Sunshine State Standards for Health and Physical Fitness (1996) are written in general terms and do not specifically call for instruction in HIV/AIDS, STDs, or pregnancy prevention, though these topics are implied.

Statute 1003.46 (2002) allows school to teach about the risk factors associated with AIDS and the means used to control its spread, specifying that the instruction shall be appropriate for the grade and age of the student and shall reflect current theory, knowledge, and practice regarding AIDS and its prevention." The statute directs that any instruction regarding human sexuality shall emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage is a certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, STDs including AIDS, and other associated health problems," and that instruction must teach that each student has the power to control personal behavior and encourage students to base actions on reasoning, self-esteem, and respect for others."

Parental Approval: Statute 1003.42 (2012) allows that, "Any student whose parent makes written request to the school principal shall be exempted from the teaching of reproductive health or any disease, including HIV/AIDS, it symptoms, development, and treatment" (an "opt-out" policy).


Georgia

Last Updated: 8/25/2009

Mandate: Georgia Code 20-2-143 (1988) requires "each local board of [to] prescribe a course of study in sex education and AIDS prevention instruction for such grades and grade levels in the public school system as shall be determined by the State Board of Education Each local board of education shall be authorized to supplement and develop the exact approach of content areas of such minimum course of study with such specific curriculum standards as it may deem appropriate. Such standards shall include instruction relating to the handling of peer pressure, the promotion of high self-esteem, local community values, the legal consequences of parenthood, and abstinence from sexual activity as an effective method of prevention of pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome." The Code further states, the course may include instruction concerning human biology, conception, pregnancy, birth, sexually transmitted diseases, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome. The course shall include instruction concerning the legal consequences of parenthood, including, without being limited to, the legal obligation of both parents to support a child and legal penalties or restrictions upon failure to support a child, including, without being limited to, the possible suspension or revocation of a parent's drivers license and occupational or professional licenses."

Curriculum Content: The Quality Core Curriculum Standards and Resources recommend resources and curricula for teaching HIV/AIDS in grades 6-12.

Parental Approval: In carrying out the requirements laid out in Georgia Code 20-2-143, State Board of Education Rule 160-4-2-.12 (2000) charges local schools with offering the instruction, with decisions about grades and curriculum being left to the local schools to decide. The Code requires schools to develop procedures to allow parents to remove a student from instruction, in writing (an opt-out policy). In addition, there must be a local board that reviews materials and decides on the most appropriate ages for instruction.


Hawaii

Last Updated: 3/8/2010

Mandate: State Board of Education Policy 2110 (1995) requires the Department of Education to instruct students that “abstention from sexual intercourse is the surest and most responsible way to prevent unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and consequent emotional distress,” however, grades or levels are not specified. The Content and Performance Standards for Health (2005) list sexual health among the content areas to be addressed but does not go into detail.

Curriculum ContentHRS 321-11.1 (2009) requires that sexuality education programs funded by the state must include medically accurate and factual information that is age appropriate and includes education on abstinence, contraception, and methods of disease prevention to prevent unintended pregnancy and STDs, including HIV.

The state does not require schools to follow a specific curriculum, nor does it provide curriculum resources. State Board of Education Policy 2245 (1994) on Prophylactics in the Public Schools states, “The Board of Education is committed to the health education of our students which may include, within its study of human reproduction, a discussion of birth control devices but the distribution of condoms and other prophylactic devices to students shall be prohibited in the classroom, on the school campus or at any school-related activities.”

Parental Approval: No state policy.


Iowa

Last Updated: 12/12/2012

Mandate: Code 279.50 requires each school board to provide instruction in human growth and development including instruction regarding human sexuality as required in section 256.11, in grades one through twelve. Human growth and development instruction includes human sexuality, interpersonal relationships, HPV and the availability of a vaccine to prevent HPV and acquired immune deficiency syndrome.   

The school accreditation standards, 281 IAC 12.5 requires kindergarten programs to include development of life skills and human growth and development;" elementary programs to include prevention and control of disease, and the characteristics of communicable diseases, including acquired immune deficiency syndrome;" grades 7-8 to include prevention and control of disease and the characteristics of communicable diseases, including sexually transmitted diseases and acquired immune deficiency syndrome;" and grades 9-12 to include, in the mandated one-unit of health education, instruction in sexually transmitted diseases and acquired immune deficiency syndrome, human sexuality, and interpersonal relationships.

Code 256.11 specifies that instruction in seventh and eight grade include age-appropriate and research-based information regarding the characteristics of sexually transmitted diseases, including HPV and the availability of a vaccine to prevent HPV, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome. The required high school health education course shall include family life; age-appropriate and research-based human growth and development and prevention and control of disease, including age-appropriate and research-based information regarding sexually transmitted diseases, including HPV and the availability of a vaccine to prevent HPV,  and acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

Curriculum Content: The state does not require or suggest that schools follow a specific curriculum. The state does not have limitations on what can or cannot be included in the instruction. The district or school determines the specific curriculum and resources based on community, school needs and research-based information.  The Department of Education provides a list of age-appropriate and research-based materials and resources which schools and school districts may use to update their human growth and development curricula, including regarding sexual exploitation by means of the Internet, health and wellness literacy, sexually transmitted diseases (including HPV), and human sexuality 

Parental Approval: Code 279.50 requires each school board to annually provide to a parent or guardian of any pupil enrolled in the school district information about the human growth and development curriculum used in the pupil's grade level and the procedure for inspecting the instructional materials prior to their use in the classroom. A pupil shall not be required to take instruction in human growth and development if the pupil's parent or guardian files with the appropriate principal a written request that the pupil be excused from the instruction. ("Opt out policy"). Notification that the written request may be made shall be included in the information provided by the school district.


Idaho

Last Updated: 2/25/2013

Mandate: Prevention of pregnancy and STDs including HIV is addressed in Statute 33-1608 (2001) states that the primary responsibility for family life and sex education, including moral responsibility, rests upon the home and the church and the schools can only complement and supplement those standards which are established in the family. The decision as to whether or not any program in family life and sex education is to be introduced in the schools is a matter for determination at the local district level by the local school board of duly selected representatives of the people of the community.

Curriculum Content: The state does not require schools to follow a specific curriculum for such instruction, nor does it provide a suggested framework. Idaho does not have limitations on what can or cannot be included in the instruction.  Statute 33-1608 states the major emphasis in such a program should be to assist the home in giving them the knowledge and appreciation of the important place the family home holds in the social system of our culture, it’s place in the family and the responsibility which will be there much later when they establish their own families.  The program should supplement the work in the home and the church in giving youth the scientific, physiological information for understanding sex and its relation to the miracle of life, including knowledge of the power of the sex drive and the necessity of controlling that drive by self-discipline and should focus upon helping youth acquire a background of ideals and standards and attitudes which will be of value to him now and later when he chooses a mate and establishes his own family.

Parental Approval: Statute 33-1611 (2003) Any parent or legal guardian who wishes to have his child excused from any planned instruction in sex education may do so upon filing a written request to the school district board or trustee and the board of trustees shall make available the appropriate forms for such a request. Alternative educational endeavors shall be provided for those excused.


Illinois

Last Updated: 3/12/2010

Mandate: 105 ILCS 110/3 (2006) requires that curricula in all elementary and secondary schools include: human ecology and health, human growth and development, the emotional, psychological, physiological, hygienic and social responsibilities of family life, including sexual abstinence until marriage, prevention and control of disease, including instruction in grades 6 through 12 on the prevention, transmission and spread of AIDS..."  

Curriculum Content: The state neither requires schools to follow a specific curriculum nor does it provide a suggested framework, and the Illinois Learning Standards for Physical Development and Health do not specify these topics. 105 ILCS 5/27-9.1 (2006) requires that each class in comprehensive sex education offered in any of grades 6 through 12 include information on the prevention, transmission and spread of AIDS.  105 ILCS 5/27-9.1 (2006) requires that abstinence be emphasized as the only protection that is 100% effective against unwanted teenage pregnancy, STDs, and AIDS when sexually transmitted.  Additional criteria for content is outlined in the statute.

Parental Approval: 105 ILCS 110 (1999) allows parents to request, in writing to the school's principal, that a student be exempt (an "opt-out" policy).  105 ILCS 5/27-9.1 (2006) states No pupil shall be required to take or participate in any class or course in comprehensive sex education if his parent or guardian submits written objection thereto, and refusal to take or participate in such course or program shall not be reason for suspension or expulsion of such pupil."


Indiana

Last Updated: 12/6/2010

Mandate: Code 20-30-5-12 (2005) requires that each school "include in its curriculum instruction concerning the disease known as acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and shall integrate this effort to the extent possible with instruction on other dangerous communicable diseases."

Code 20-30-5-13 (2005) states that "throughout instruction on human sexuality or sexually transmitted diseases, an accredited school shall: teach abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for all school age children; include that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems; and include that the best way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases and other associated health problems is to establish a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in the context of marriage."

In addition, Code 20-34-3-17 (2005) states that "the state board of education shall provide information stressing the moral aspects of abstinence from sexual activity in any literature that it distributes to schoolchildren and young adults concerning available methods for the prevention of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Such literature must state that the best way to avoid AIDS is for young people to refrain from sexual activity until they are ready as adults to establish, in the context of marriage, a mutually faithful monogamous relationship."

Code 20-34-4-3 (2007) requires schools that enroll grade 6 female students to provide each parent of a female student who is entering grade 6 with information prescribed by the state department of health concerning the link between cervical cancer and the human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and that an immunization against the human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is available. The information must include the following: (1) The latest scientific information on the immunization against the human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and the immunization's effectiveness against causes of cervical cancer, (2) Importance of a pap smear for the detection of precancerous changes in the cervix to allow for treatment before cervical cancer develops, (3) Information concerning the means in which the human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is contracted, and (4) A statement that any questions or concerns concerning immunizing the child against human papillomavirus (HPV) could be answered by contacting a health care provider.

Curriculum Content: A school corporation shall consider the recommendations of the AIDS advisory council concerning community standards on the content of the instruction, the manner in which the information is presented, and the grades in which it is taught. The department, in consultation with the state department of health, shall develop AIDS educational materials." Code 20-34-1-3 (2005) requires each school corporation to establish a 13-member AIDS Advisory Council for the purpose of reviewing materials.

Parental Approval: No state policy.


Kansas

Last Updated: 11/2/2011

Mandate: Kansas does not specifically require HIV, STD, or pregnancy prevention education to be taught in schools.  91-31-32 (2005) requires that as a prerequisite for accreditation, each school should provide physical education, which shall include instruction in health and human sexuality."  Each of the local school districts determine to which extent they cover the topics of HIV/AIDS/STDs and human sexuality education.

The Kansas Model Curricular Standards for Health Education (2007) states Each board education shall provide a complete program of abstinence until marriage in human sexuality that is developmentally appropriate, including information about sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/AIDS."

Curriculum Content: The state does not require schools to follow nor endorse a specific curriculum.  The Kansas Model Curricular Standards for Health Education (2007) provides benchmarks, indicators and instructional examples for school districts to follow when implementing curriculum.

Parental Approval: Per the Kansas Model Curricular Standards for Health Education (2007), the Health Education Standards Committee believes that parents should be involved with the health education of their children. Parents are encouraged to visit with their school’s health teachers about the health topics that will be covered in class, and to talk with their children about these health issues.


Kentucky

Last Updated: 5/19/2013

Mandate: The Kentucky Core Academic Standards (2010) require instruction for students in grades 6-8 and in high school that focuses on abstinence as the only sure means of avoiding pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Curriculum Content: No state policy.

Parental Approval: No state policy.


Louisiana

Last Updated: 11/22/2010

Mandate: In Bulletin 741 (2005), 1131 requires instruction in the prevention of communicable diseases, including, but not limited to HIV infection"; however, no grades or levels are specified. RS 17:279 (1993) requires all public high schools to provide instruction in parenthood education; instruction must include family living and community relationships, the consequences of the lack of adequate prenatal care, home management, and the responsibilities of parenthood."  RS 17:281 (1993) states instruction in sex education may be offered only in grades 7-12.

Curriculum Content: The state does not require schools to follow a specific curriculum framework for any of the above instruction, nor does it provide suggestions. Bulletin 741 (2005) Section 2305, Ancillary Areas of Instruction, provides that any public school in Louisiana may offer instruction in sex education and other provisions for such instruction. RS 17:281 (1993) outlines requirements for schools that choose to offer instruction in sex education for students in grades 7-12, stating that no contraceptive or abortifacient drug, device, or other similar product shall be distributed at any public school; no sex education course offered in the public schools of the state shall utilize any sexually explicit materials depicting male or female homosexual activity; and, emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity is a way to avoid unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, including acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and other associated health problems."

Parental Approval: RS 17:281 allows parents to request that a student be exempted from such instruction according to procedures developed by the local school district (an opt-out" policy).


Massachusetts

Last Updated: 7/19/2009

Mandate: Students are not required to receive instruction in HIV, STD, or pregnancy prevention at any level. However, in 1990 the Massachusetts Board of Education approved a formal policy [no direct link available] that urges local school districts to create programs which make instruction about AIDS/HIV available to every Massachusetts student at every grade level. These programs should be developed in a manner that respects local control over education and involves parents and representatives of the community. The Board believes that AIDS/HIV prevention education is most effective when integrated into a comprehensive health education and human services program." In addition, the Board recommended that all school districts consider making condoms available to students in a 1991 policy.

Curriculum Content: The Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum Framework (1999) provides a suggested curriculum for schools to follow should they choose to offer instruction in HIV, STD, or pregnancy prevention.

Parental Approval: General Law 71.32A (no date available) requires that "every city, town, regional school district or vocational school district implementing or maintaining curriculum which primarily involves human sexual education or human sexuality issues shall adopt a policy ensuring parental/guardian notification. Such policy shall afford parents or guardians the flexibility to exempt their children from any portion of said curriculum through written notification to the school principal" (an opt-out" policy).


Maryland

Last Updated: 12/28/2011

Mandate: State Board of Education Regulation 13A.04.18.01 requires the local school system to provide annual instruction in AIDS to all students at least once in grades 3—5, 6—8, and 9—12. The board will determine the three grades at which all students will receive instruction. It also requires instruction on human sexuality, with instruction of the objectives beginning in or prior to the fifth grade. Students must demonstrate " the ability to use human development knowledge, social skills, and health enhancing strategies to promote positive relationships and healthy growth and development throughout the lifecycle." In the area of disease prevention and control, students must  demonstrate the ability to apply prevention and treatment knowledge, skills, and strategies to reduce susceptibility and manage disease.

Curriculum Content: State Board of Education Regulation 13A.04.18.04 on HIV/AIDS prevention education lists several required topic areas and the content must be appropriate to the age, interests, and needs of students. The curriculum must be examined and reviewed for accuracy at least annually by an appointed committee comprised of educators, representatives of the community including parents/guardians of students enrolled in a public school program, and the local health department.

Parental Approval: The HIV/AIDS educational mandate, State Board of Education 13A.04.18.01, states that students may be excused from the instructional unit upon a written request from their parents/guardians (opt-out"). For students excused, the local school must provide apropriate learning activities in health education. When practical, curricular materials may be made available by the school system for home instruction use by parents/guardians of students excused from HIV/AIDS prevention instruction in the school. This regulation also requires that a committee comprised of educators, representatives of the community including parents/guardians, and the local health department examine all instructional materials.

State Board of Education Regulation ,13A.04.18.01 which describes the goals and subgoals of the required skills-based comprehensive health education program, does not require parental approval (opt-in") or to allow parents to remove students from class (opt-out").

State Board of Education Regulation 13A.04.18.01 requires notificaiton to parents announcing the human sexuality unit of study. Students may be excused from classes on family life and human sexuality upon a written request from their parents/guardians (opt-out). The regulation also requires the establishment of a joint committee of educators and representatives of the community for the purpose of reviewing and commenting on instructional material, to be submitted to the superintendent for consideration when recommending instructional material to be approved by the local Board of Education.


Maine

Last Updated: 12/13/2012

Mandate: 22 MSRS 1910 (2002) requires the Commissioner to implement "comprehensive family life education" services. The definition of "comprehensive family life education" in 22 MSRS 1902 (2002) includes instruction in kindergarten to grade 12 regarding human development and sexuality, "including education on family planning and sexually transmitted diseases, that is medically accurate and age appropriate; that respects community values and encourages parental communication." The education education must promote "responsible sexual behavior with an emphasis on abstinence; addresses the use of contraception; promotes individual responsibility and involvement regarding sexuality; and teaches skills for responsible decision making." 

Education Rule Chapter 132 provides the standards for health education, including C. Healthy Practices and Behaviors with a specific reference that high school students demonstrate healthy practices and or behaviors to improve the health of self and others in the prevention of STDs, HIV, and unintended pregnancy.

Curriculum Content: The state does not require schools to follow a specific curriculum; however, the Department of Education provides no-cost training on evidence-based curricula to schools.

Parental Approval: Education Rule Chapter 127 (2002) allows parents to request that accommodations be made for a student when the curriculum "conflicts with sincerely held religious beliefs" (an "opt-out" policy).

Maine also funds training to school and youth staff in 2 to 4 day session.

 


Michigan

Last Updated: 12/19/2012

Mandate: The Michigan legislature has passed several highly detailed laws regarding HIV/AIDS and sex education. A set of new laws and amendments to existing laws passed in 2004 are collectively known as Public Act 165. The Michigan Department of Education has assembled a useful website with many guidance and resource materials.

MCL 380.1169 (2004) requires that all public schools teach about dangerous communicable diseases, including, but not limited to, HIV/AIDS. The law does not specify grades or a minimum amount of instruction. MCL 380.1507 (2004) allows school districts to provide a broad sex education program so long as the courses are elective and are taught by qualified teachers. MCL 380.1507b (2004) spells out additional instructional requirements for required courses on HIV/AIDS and any optional sex education courses.

MCL 380.1506 (1977) requires that each district appoint a state-approved sex education program supervisor. MCL 388.1766 (1996) spells out financial penalties to districts that allow distribution of family planning methods or referrals to abortion services. MCL 388.1766a (2004) expands the list of violations subject to financial penalty and outlines a detailed parent complaint process through various layers of the education system.

The Michigan State Board of Education's nonbinding Policy on Comprehensive School Health Education (2004) calls for a "focus on behaviors that have the greatest effect on health, especially those related to sexual behaviors that lead to HIV, sexually transmitted disease, or unintended pregnancy, emphasizing their short-term and long-term consequences." The state board also adopted the Policy to Promote Health and Prevent Disease and Pregnancy (2003), which urges that the content of sexuality education programs be "medically accurate and include current information," and that programs be age, developmentally, linguistically, and culturally appropriate and consistent with research and principles of effective instruction. They recommend that districts administer a Parent/Community Sex Education Survey to ascertain local wishes.

Curriculum Content: MCL 380.1169 directs that HIV/AIDS instruction must address the principal modes of transmission and "the best methods for the restriction and prevention of these diseases." Teachers must "stress that abstinence from sex is a responsible and effective method for restriction and prevention of these diseases and is a positive lifestyle for unmarried young people." Teachers must be trained in the subject, and the state department of education is required to provide the training and develop and distribute medically accurate instructional materials.

MCL 380.1507 allows school districts to provide a broad sex education program so long as the courses are elective and are taught by qualified teachers. Instruction must stress the benefits of abstinence but districts are not prohibited from teaching about behavioral risk reduction strategies, including the use of condoms, within a sex education program. The law prohibits the teaching of abortion "as a method of reproductive health."

MCL 380.1507b spells out in great detail additional instructional requirements for required courses on HIV/AIDS and any optional sex education courses. In addition to a strong stress on abstinence, materials must be age-appropriate and "shall not be medically inaccurate." Instruction must include a discussion of the possible emotional, economic, and legal consequences of sex with direct references to numerous Michigan laws. Instruction must also address sexual harassment and exploitation; healthy dating relationships; and information about adoption services.

The Michigan State Board of Education adopted the Policy to Promote Health and Prevent Disease and Pregnancy, which urges that the content of sexuality education programs be "medically accurate and include current information," and that programs be age, developmentally, linguistically, and culturally appropriate and consistent with research and principles of effective instruction. The state board recommends that districts administer a Parent/Community Sex Education Survey to ascertain local wishes as to content.

Michigan’s model health education curriculum, the Michigan Model for Health® includes model curricula on HIV/STD prevention for Grades 4-5, 7-8, and 9-12.

Parental Approval: MCL 380.1506 requires that, "Upon the written request of a pupil or the pupil's parent or guardian, a pupil shall be excused, without penalty or loss of academic credit, from attending classes in which the subject of reproductive health is under discussion" (an "opt-out" policy). MCL 380.1507a (1996) allows parents to file "a continuing written notice" to excuse a pupil from such classes through the entire period of the student's enrollment in a school.

MCL 380.1169 requires that HIV/AIDS curricula must go through a formal approval process including two public hearings. MCL 380.1507 contains detailed requirements for advance notification of a sex education course to parents; parental opportunities to review materials in advance; and the composition and duties of district-level sex education advisory boards. MCL 388.1766 establishes financial penalties to districts that allow distribution of family planning methods or referrals to abortion services. MCL 388.1766a expands the list violations subject to financial penalty and outlines a detailed parent complaint process through various layers of the education system.

The Michigan State Board of Education adopted the nonbinding Policy to Promote Health and Prevent Disease and Pregnancy in 2003 that recommends local advisory boards meet semi-annually to review the progress of sexuality education programs and make necessary recommendations to the local school board.


Minnesota

Last Updated: 5/21/2008

Mandate: Statute 121A.23 (2003) requires a program to prevent and reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections and diseases, including but not exclusive to HIV and HPV. Each district must have "a comprehensive, technically accurate, and updated curriculum that includes helping students to abstain from sexual activity until marriage and, a targeting of adolescents, especially those who may be at high risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections and diseases, for prevention efforts."

Grade levels and amount of instructional time are not specified. The state also does not provide funds for HIV, STD, or pregnancy prevention activities.

Curriculum Content: Schools are not required to follow a set of standards or specific curriculum framework.

Parental Approval: Statute 120B.20 (1998) requires "each school district [to] have a procedure for a parent, guardian, or an adult student, 18 years of age or older, to review the content of the instructional materials to be provided to a minor child or to an adult student and, if the parent, guardian, or adult student objects to the content, to make reasonable arrangements with school personnel for alternative instruction" (an "opt-out" policy).


Missouri

Last Updated: 11/27/2011

Mandate: The Missouri School Improvement Program school accreditation standards (2001) requires schools offer comprehensive health instruction (including tobacco, alcohol and other drug abuse prevention education, and HIV/AIDS education). Junior high/middle schools must teach health (including tobacco, alcohol and other drug abuse prevention education, and HIV/AIDS prevention education) at the elementary, middle and high school levels.and safety.  Junior and high school students must receive a m inimum of1,500 minutes a year.High schools must offer at least unit of health education out of 40.5 units.

Curriculum Content: Revised Statute 170.015 (2007) requires any course materials and instruction relating to human sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases shall be medically and factually accurate and shall do the following: (1) Present abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior in relation to all sexual activity for unmarried pupils, (2) Stress that sexually transmitted diseases are serious, possible, health hazards of sexual activity. Pupils shall be provided with the latest medical information regarding exposure to HIV, AIDS, HPV, hepatitis and and other sexually transmitted diseases, (3) Present students with the latest medically factual information regarding both the possible side effects and health benefits of all forms of contraception, including the success and failure rates for the prevention of pregnancy and STDs; or present students with information on contraceptives and pregnancy in a manner consistent with the provisions of the federal abstinence education law, 42 U.S.C. Section 710, (4) Include a discussion of the possible emotional and psychological consequences of preadolescent and adolescent sexual activity and the consequences of adolescent pregnancy, as well as the advantages of adoption ,(5) Teach skills of conflict management, personal responsibility and positive self-esteem through discussion and role-playing at appropriate grade levels to emphasize that the pupil has the power to control personal behavior, (6) Advise pupils of the laws pertaining to their financial responsibility to children born in and out of wedlock and advise pupils of the provisions of chapter 566, RSMo, pertaining to statutory rape.

Missouri's Framework for Curriculum Development in Health Education and Physical Education (2009), which school districts are not required to follow, includes instructional guidelines for the prevention of HIV/AIDS, other STD's, and pregnancy at the high school level.

Parental Approval: Revised Statute 170.015 (1999) requires each school district to provide advance notice of course content and inform parents or guardians of their right to remove a student from human sexuality education (an opt-out" policy).


Mississippi

Last Updated: 5/13/2011

Mandate: Code 31-13-171 (2011) requires the local school board of every public school district to adopt a policy to implement abstinence-only or abstinence-plus education into its curriculum by June 30, 2012, for instruction to begin in the 2012-13 school year. The local board may also adopt the program developed by the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the Department of Health. The Department of Education must approve each district’s curriculum for sex-related education. Descriptions of abstinence-only and abstinence-plus education are included in the statute.

Abstinence-only education may include a discussion on condoms or contraceptives, but only if it includes a factual presentation of the risks and failure rates. It may not include any demonstration of how condoms or contraceptives are applied. Abstinence-plus education includes all of the elements of abstinence-only education, and in addition may discuss the following: contraceptives, the nature, causes and effects of sexually transmitted diseases, or the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, along with a factual presentation of the risks and failure rates. At all times when sex-related education is discussed or taught, boys and girls must be separated according to gender into different classrooms. Neither abstinence-only nor abstinence-plus education may teach that abortion can be used to prevent the birth of the baby.

Code 31-13-171 (2011) creates the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Task Force to study and make recommendation to the Legislature on the implementation of sex-related educational courses through abstinence-only or abstinence-plus education into the curriculum of local school districts and the coordination of services by certain state agencies to reduce teen pregnancy and provide prenantal and postnatal training to expectant teen parengs. The Task Force must make an annual report of its findings and recommendations to the Legislature. The responsibilities of the Task Force are outlined in the statute. One of the requirements is to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the adoption of a sex education policy on teen pregnancy rates and dropout rates on the local school district and statewide levels. This includes a comparison of data in districts implementing abstinence-only education vs. abstinence-plus.

Curriculum Content: The Comprehensive Health Framework addresses prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases if schools choose to offer sex education for grades 9-12. Code 31-13-171 (2011) outlines the curriculum content for abstinence-only and abstinence-plus education.

Parental Approval: Code 37-13-173 (2011) requires that schools give at least one week's written notice of an intent to provide any kind of sex education, and to provide parents an opportunity to review all materials. The written notice must inform parents of their right to request inclusion of their child for instruction or presentation (an opt-in policy).

 
 
 
 

Montana

Last Updated: 12/19/2012

Mandate: The Montana State Board of Public Education's Position Statement on HIV/AIDS (1999) says that, "All Montana school districts are strongly encouraged to develop appropriate communicable disease policies that specifically include HIV and AIDS, and which address age-appropriate education, rights and accommodations of students and staff who are infected, and safety procedures." The Montana Office of Public Instruction and the Montana School Boards Association have jointly published "Communicable Diseases: Model Policies and Procedures for HIV Education, Infected Students and Staff, and Work Site Safety" (2003) that contains specific policy language for local school districts to consider.

Curriculum Content: HIV prevention, though not STD or pregnancy prevention, is addressed in State Board of Public Education Administrative Rules 10.54.7011, 7012, and 7013 (1999) through the benchmarks for the Health Enhancement K-12 Content and Performance Standards (1999) for students at the end of grades 4, 8, and 12. The state does not require schools to follow a specific curriculum for such instruction.

Parental Approval: No state policy: exemption requests are a local district prerogative.

Montana does not provide state funds for school-related HIV, STD, or teen pregnancy prevention activities.


North Carolina

Last Updated: 9/27/2010

Mandate: Statute 115C-81 (2009) requires schools to provide instruction for students in grades K-9 on preventing sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS and other communicable diseases, and reproductive health and safety education.  Each local school administrative unit must provide a reproductive health and safety education program commencing in the seventh grade. The requirements of the curriculum are outlined in the statute. Materials must be age appropriate and the information conveyed must be objective and based upon peer reviewed scientific research and accepted by professionals and credentialed experts in the field of sexual health education.

Statute 115C-81 (2009) requires each local school administrative unit to provide instruction on sexually transmitted diseases, the effectiveness and safety of all FDA-approved methods of reducing the risk of contracting a STD and preventing pregnancy, and information on local resources for testing. Instruction must include rates of infection among pre-teen and teens of each known STD and the effects of contracting each STD, including HPV. Instruction must also address awareness of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and risk reduction.

Statute 115C-47 (2007) requires local boards of education to ensure that schools provide parents and guardians of students in grades 5-12 with information about cervical cancer, cervical dysplasia, HPV and the vaccines available to prevent these diseases. The information must be provided at the beginning of the school year. It must include causes and symptoms, methods of transmission, methods of prevention and benefits of vaccination.

Curriculum Content: The North Carolina Healthful Living Standard Course of Study (2006) outlines the content that districts are expected to follow.

North Carolina offers a model policy, Communicable Diseases - Students, that suggests that schools' curriculum include age-appropriate information concerning safe health practices that will inhibit and prevent the spread of diseases, including HIV and AIDS."

Parental Approval: Statute 115C-81 requires that "local boards of education shall adopt policies to provide opportunities either for parents and legal guardians to consent or for parents and legal guardians to withhold their consent to the students' participation in any or all of these programs." In other words, each school district is required to establish either an opt-out" or opt-in" policy.


North Dakota

Last Updated: 12/13/2012

Mandate: Code 15.1-21.24 (2012) requires every school district, both public and nonpublic, to ensure that the portion of its health curriculum which is related to sexual health includes instruction pertaining to the risks associated with adolescent sexual activity and the social, psychological, and physical health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity before and outside of marriage. 

Curriculum Content: None specified.

Parental Approval: No state policy.

North Dakota does not provide state funds for school-related HIV, STD, or teen pregnancy prevention activities.


Nebraska

Last Updated: 11/30/2011

Mandate: The Nebraska State Board of Education does not require HIV, STD, or pregnancy prevention education to be taught in schools, explicitly stating that this is a matter of local control.

Curriculum Content: Schools are not required to follow a specific curriculum if they choose to offer such instruction, nor are any limitations on what can be taught. However, officials do recommend that schools follow the standards outlined in the Nebraska Health Education Frameworks (1998), the introduction to which emphasizes that the State Board of Education favors an abstinence approach.

Parental Approval: No state policy.


New Hampshire

Last Updated: 12/22/2011

Mandate: RSA 186:11 (2005) and RSA 189:10 (1975) require instruction for students in the prevention of diseases, including communicable diseases, and the effects of venereal diseases and AIDS on the human body. High school students are required to take a course of at least credit in health education that must address venereal diseases and AIDS. Pregnancy prevention is not mentioned.

Curriculum Content: New Hampshire's Health Education Curriculum Guidelines (2003) suggests instruction in Family Life and Sexuality topics in elementary, middle, and high school grades, including the prevention of HIV, other STDs, and unintended pregnancy.

Parental Approval: The state does not require parents to grant permission for participation in AIDS education ("opt-in").


New Jersey

Last Updated: 1/19/2013

Mandate: New Jersey's state's core curriculum content standards are mandatory.  Standard 2.4 of the standards for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education (2009), titled Human Relationships and Sexuality, states, "all students will acquire knowledge about the physical, emotional, and social aspects of human relationships and sexuality and apply these concepts to support a healthy, active lifestyle.”  For example, by the end of grade 6, students will, "Determine behaviors that place one at risk for HIV/AIDS, STIs, HPV or unintended pregnancy."

N.J.S.A. 18A:40-42 (2007) requires public school districts to distribute to parents and guardians of students in grades seven an educational fact sheet about the causes, symptoms and means of transmission of HPV , and where additional information can be obtained.

Curriculum Content: Content standards relevant to HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention are in state Core Curriculum Content Standards 2.1 through 2.4.  The Comprehensive Health Education and Physical Education Curriculum Framework provide detailed suggestions for instruction on HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention and related content and skills. 

N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.20 (2001) requires that "Any sex education that is given as part of any planned course, curriculum or other instructional program and that is intended to impart information or promote discussion or understanding in regard to human sexual behavior, sexual feelings and sexual values, human sexuality and reproduction, pregnancy avoidance or termination, HIV infection or sexually transmitted diseases shall stress that abstinence from sexual activity is the only completely reliable means of eliminating the sexual transmission of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases and of avoiding pregnancy."

N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.21 (2001) goes on to stress that, "The [local] board of education shall include in its family life and HIV/AIDS curriculum instruction on reasons, skills and strategies for remaining or becoming abstinent from sexual activity.  Any instruction concerning the use of contraceptives or prophylactics such as condoms shall also include information on their failure rates for preventing pregnancy, HIV, and other sexually transmitted diseases in actual use among adolescent populations and shall clearly explain the difference between risk reduction through the use of such devices and risk elimination through abstinence."

State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:7-1.7 provides that “portions of classes which deal exclusively with human sexuality may be conducted in separate developmentally appropriate sessions for male and female students, provided that the course content for such separately conducted sessions is the same.”

Parental Approval: N.J.S.A. 18:35-4.7 (1979) gives parents the right to exclude a student from any part of health, family life or sex education with no penalties to credit or graduation (an "opt-out" policy). However, schools should provide alternative activities for students to meet the core standards. The New Jersey Department of Education recommends that parents and teachers work together to meet the curricular objectives.

State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:8-3.1(d) (2009) further states that, "district boards of education shall establish procedures whereby any student whose parent or guardian presents to the school principal a signed statement that any or part of the instruction in health, family life education, or sex education is in conflict with his or her conscience or sincerely held moral or religious beliefs shall be excused from that part of the course where such instruction is being given" (an "opt-out" policy).


New Mexico

Last Updated: 3/17/2011

Mandate 6.12.2.10 NMAC (2005) requires each school district to provide instruction about HIV and related issues in the local curriculum that is aligned to the required NMPED K-12 Health Education content standards with benchmarks and performance standards as set forth in 6.29.6 NMAC, to all students in the elementary grades, middle school and high school.

Curriculum Content6.12.2.10 NMAC states that the instructional program shall include, but not necessarily be limited to - definition of HIV and AIDS; the symptoms and prognosis of HIV and AIDS; how the virus is spread; ways to reduce the risks of getting HIV/AIDS, stressing abstinence; societal implications for this disease; local resources for appropriate medical care; and ability to demonstrate refusal skills, overcome peer pressure and use decision making skills.

Parental Approval: 6.12.2.10 NMAC (2005) requires community involvement. Each local board of education shall insure the involvement of parents, staff; and students in the development of policies and the review of instructional materials."


Nevada

Last Updated: 9/9/2009

Mandate: NRS 389.065 (1987) requires that The board of trustees of a school district shall establish a course or unit of a course of: factual instruction concerning acquired immune deficiency syndrome; and instruction on the human reproductive system, related communicable diseases and sexual responsibility Any course offered pursuant to this section is not a requirement for graduation."

Curriculum Content: The state does not provide specific guidance on curriculum content apart from the general description in the legislation. The student performance health standards do not specifically mention HIV, STD, or pregnancy prevention.

Parental Approval: NRS 389.065 states that the parent or guardian of each pupil to whom a course is offered must first be furnished written notice that the course will be offered... Upon receipt of the written consent of the parent or guardian, the pupil may attend the course. If the written consent of the parent or guardian is not received, he must be excused from such attendance without any penalty as to credits or academic standing" (an opt-out" policy). Each district must establish an advisory committee to make recommendations on curriculum materials."


New York

Last Updated: 9/16/2009

Mandate: Under Commissioner's Regulation 135.3 (2004), HIV instruction is required as part of health instruction in grades Kindergarten through grade 6, in grades 7 or 8, and during grades 9 through 12. "Such instruction shall be designed to provide accurate information to pupils concerning the nature of the disease, methods of transmission, and methods of prevention; shall stress abstinence as the most appropriate and effective premarital protection against AIDS, and shall be age appropriate and consistent with community values." The Regulation also requires HIV/AIDS instruction to be taught by teachers who have been given appropriate training and curriculum materials by the board of education or trustees.

Curriculum Content: New York State's Learning Standards for Health, Physical Education, and Family and Consumer Sciences (1996), which provides a suggested curriculum framework, does not specifically mentioned sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy prevention although these topics are implied (e.g., Students [will]apply prevention and risk reduction strategies to adolescent health problems"). Commissioner's Regulation 135.3 (2004) also requires each local board of education to establish an advisory council responsible for making recommendations concerning the content, implementation, and evaluation of the AIDS instruction program.

Commissioner's Regulation 135.3 (2004) further states that a local board of education that may decide to make condoms available to students must, among other things "make condoms available only to students who participate in an appropriate AIDS instruction program as defined in this section; provide each student receiving condoms with accurate and complete health guidance as to the risks of disease that may result from the student's use or misuse of such product, which appropriately takes into account the child's age; and, assure that such personal health guidance is provided by health service personnel or school personnel trained and supervised by competent health professionals or health educators. 

Parental Approval: Regulation 135.3 states "no pupil shall be required to receive instruction concerning the methods of prevention of AIDS if the parent or legal guardian of such pupil has filed with the principal of the school which the pupil attends a written request that the pupil not participate in such instruction, with an assurance that the pupil will receive such instruction at home" (an opt-out" policy).


Ohio

Last Updated: 5/28/2008

Mandate: As part of the health education requirements under ORC 3313.60 (2001), students must receive instruction in venereal diseases." Grades or levels are not specified.

Curriculum Content: ORC 3313.6011 (2001) outlines guidelines for venereal disease education, stating that the curriculum must emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is one hundred per cent effective against unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, and the sexual transmission of a virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome," and must advise students of the laws pertaining to financial responsibility of parents to children born in and out of wedlock," among other stipulations.

Parental Approval: ORC 3313.60 (2001) states that, upon written request of the student's parent or guardian, a student shall be excused from taking instruction in venereal disease education" (an opt-out" policy).


Oklahoma

Last Updated: 2/18/2013

Mandate: Statute 70-11-103.3 (1987) requires students to receive instruction on AIDS prevention education at least once during grades 5-6; 7-9; and, 10-12. Instruction about STDs or pregnancy prevention is not required at any level.

Curriculum Content: Statute 70-11-103.3 requires the State Departments of Education and Health to develop curriculum and materials and keep them updated. A school district may develop its own AIDS prevention education curriculum but they must be approved for medical accuracy by the State Department of Health. Statute 70-11-105.1 (1995) requires the district superintendent to approve all curricula and materials related to sex education.

The PASS Integrated Curriculum: Health, Safety and Physical Education (2002) includes a set of standards specifically for HIV/AIDS education in grades 7-12: 1. Investigate and examine current information about HIV/AIDS in order to differentiate related facts, opinions, and myths.  2. Examine and identify the importance of sexual abstinence in adolescent relationships.  3. Demonstrate refusal skills (saying "no"), negotiation skills and peer resistance skills related to sexual health.  4. Analyze the transmission and methods of prevention for STDs and HIV.  5. Identify risk behaviors and situations involving possible exposure to HIV.  6. Examine the relationships between injecting drug use (IDU) and contact with contaminated blood products and the transmission of HIV.  7. Analyze the efficiency of artificial means of birth control in preventing the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Statute 70-11-103.3 stipulates that, AIDS prevention education shall be limited to the discussion of the disease AIDS and its spread and prevention." The statute also requires teachers to instruct students that engaging in homosexual activity or promiscuous sexual activity is now known to be primarily responsible for contact with the AIDS virus, and that sexual intercourse, with or without condoms, with any person testing positive for HIV antibodies, or any other person infected with HIV, places that individual in a high risk category for developing AIDS." The program must also teach that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain means for the prevention of the spread or contraction of the AIDS virus through sexual contact. It shall also teach that artificial means of birth control are not a certain means of preventing the spread of the AIDS virus and reliance on such methods puts a person at risk for exposure to the disease."

Parental Approval: Statutes 70-11-103.3 and 70-11-105.1 (1995) allow parents to remove a student from AIDS prevention or sex education classes upon written request (an opt-out" policy). Both laws also contain detailed requirements for prior notice of classes and parental inspection of the materials.


Oregon

Last Updated: 5/26/2009

Mandate: ORS 336.455 (2009) requires each school district to provide age-appropriate, medically accurate human sexuality education courses in all elementary and secondary schools as a part of the health education curriculum. Instruction must include information about responsible sexual behavior and the risks of exposure to HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and other infectious or sexually transmitted diseases. ORS 336.455 (2009) and OAR 581-022-1440 stress the promotion of abstinence for school age youth as the most effective way to prevent pregnancy, however, not to the exclusion of materials and instruction on other contraceptive and disease reduction measures. Human sexuality education courses must acknowledge the value of abstinence while not devaluing or ignoring those young people who have had or are having sexual intercourse.

OAR 581-022-1210 (2005) requires school districts to provide instruction in infectious diseases, including AIDS/HIV and Hepatitis B. ORS 336.035 (1993) allows for instruction in sexually transmitted diseases. OAR 581-022-1440 (2007) provides further guidance, detailing the required instruction in comprehensive human sexuality education, infectious diseases, including HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis B and C for elementary, middle, and high school students. At a minimum, instruction must be provided annually for all students in grades 6 through 8, and at least twice grades 9 through 12. 

Curriculum Content: The state does not require schools to follow a specific curriculum, nor does it provide a suggested curriculum. Further, the state does not have policies regarding limitations on HIV, STD, or pregnancy prevention education.

Parental Approval: The state allows parents or guardians to remove students from portions of health education per ORS 336.465 (1993) and OAR 581-022-1440 (an "opt-out" policy).


Pennsylvania

Last Updated: 9/28/2010

Mandate: 022 PA Code 4.29 (1999) requires instruction regarding the prevention of HIV and other life-threatening and communicable diseases in all primary, intermediate, middle school and high schools throughout the state.

Curriculum Content: 022 PA Code 4.29 specifies that HIV prevention materials and instruction are determined by the local school district. The program of instruction shall include information about the nature of the diseases, treatments and cures, methods of transmission, and how infection can be prevented. The local school district may omit instruction in the elementary grades on transmission of disease through sexual activity." Further, programs discussing transmission through sexual activity shall stress that abstinence from sexual activity is the only completely reliable means of preventing sexual transmission" and programs shall stress that avoidance of illegal drug use is the only completely reliable means of preventing transmission of disease through shared drug paraphernalia."

The nonbinding Academic Standards for Health, Safety, and Physical Education (2003) include the topics of abstinence, STD, and HIV prevention. The state does not require schools to follow a specific curriculum for such instruction but does require them to use the standards as a curricular framework for the development of the local curriculum.  Local districts are required to develop performance assessments for their districts.

Parental Approval: 022 PA Code 4.29 allows a school district to excuse a pupil from HIV/AIDS instruction when the instruction conflicts with the religious beliefs or principles of the pupil or parent or guardian of the pupil and when excusal is requested in writing" (an opt-out" policy). Curricular materials, if practical, shall be made available by the school district for home instruction use by a parent or guardian of a student excused from the district's HIV/AIDS instruction. Prior to the commencement of instruction, school districts must publicize that parents may review curriculum outlines and curricular materials.


Rhode Island

Last Updated: 1/29/2013

Mandate: Statute 16-22-17 (1987) requires the state department of elementary and secondary education to  establish comprehensive AIDS instruction, which shall provide students with accurate information and instruction on AIDS transmission and prevention, and which course shall also address abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred means of prevention, as a basic education program requirement."

Statute 16-1-5 (2004) assigns the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish a state mandated health education curriculum in grades K-12. This is fulfilled in Section 5 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009), which lists education on HIV/AIDS, Family Life and Sexuality, Human Growth and Development, and Prevention and Control of Disease, among other topics. The framework for this policy is found in Rhode Island'sComprehensive Health Instructional Outcomes (2012), which is an addendum to the Health Education Framework (2010).

Curriculum Content: As noted earlier, Statute 16-22-17 (1987) requires comprehensive AIDS instruction, which shall provide students with accurate information and instruction on AIDS transmission and prevention. According to Statute 16-22-18 (1987), Family Life and Sexuality courses must address the responsibilities of family membership and adulthood, including issues related to reproduction, abstinence, dating, marriage, and parenthood as well as information about sexually transmitted diseases, sexuality and lifestyles... courses in family life or sex education within this state shall include instruction on abstinence from sexual activity and refraining from sexual intercourse as the preferred method for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases." Section 5.1.7 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009) additionally includes sexual orientation as a part of the required family life and sexuality curriculum.

Health Literacy for All Children: The Rhode Island Health Education Framework (2010), which contains standards and student performance indicators, recommends that districts choose curriculum programs that address sexual behaviors that result in HIV, STDs and unintended pregnancy, among other topics.

Parental Approval: Statute 16-22-18 (1987) allows a parent to review curriculum program instruction materials for courses in family life or sex education, and to remove a student from such instruction (an opt-out" policy).


South Carolina

Last Updated: 4/8/2012

Mandate: The Comprehensive Health Education Act Code 59-32-30 (2002) requires that "in grades 6 through 8 sexually transmitted diseases are to be included as a part of instruction. And, at least one time during the four years of grades 9-12, each student shall receive at least 750 minutes of reproductive health education and pregnancy prevention education The program of instruction provided for in this section may not include a discussion of alternate sexual lifestyles from heterosexual relationships including, but not limited to, homosexual relationships except in the context of instruction concerning sexually transmitted diseases."

Curriculum Content: Code 59-32-30 (2002) states, "to assist in the selection of components and curriculum materials, each local school board shall appoint a thirteen-member local advisory committee consisting of two parents, three clergy, two health professionals, two teachers, two students, one being the president of the student body of a high school, and two other persons not employed by the local school district ... No contraceptive device or contraceptive medication may be distributed in or on the school grounds of any public elementary or secondary school. No school district may contract with any contraceptive provider for their distribution in or on the school grounds. Except as to that instruction provided by this chapter relating to complications which may develop from all types of abortions, school districts may not offer programs, instruction, or activities including abortion counseling, information about abortion services, or assist in obtaining abortion, and materials containing this information must not be distributed in schools. Any course or instruction in sexually transmitted diseases must be taught within the reproductive health, family life, or pregnancy prevention education components or it must be presented as a separate component. Instruction in pregnancy prevention education must be presented separately to male and female students."

The South Carolina Health and Safety Education Standards  (2009) address HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention, but schools are neither required to follow a specific curriculum nor are one suggested.

Parental Approval: Code 59-32-50 requires "public school principals [to] develop a method of notifying parents of students in the relevant grades of the content of the instructional materials concerning reproductive health, family life, pregnancy prevention, and of their option to exempt their child from this instruction, and sexually transmitted diseases if instruction in the diseases is presented as a separate component" (an "opt-out" policy).


South Dakota

Last Updated: 1/8/2013

Mandate: Statute 13-33-6.1 (1997) requires abstinence education as part of character education in all schools, unless the governing body elects, by resolution, effective for not less than one or more than four school terms, to do otherwise. Specific grades or details are not provided.

Curriculum Content:   The state does not require students to receive instruction on HIV,STD and Pregnancy Prevention Education. However, the South Dakota Health Education Standards (2010) broadly and collectively articulate what students should know and be able to do to adopt or maintain health-enhancing behaviors. Knowledge of core health concepts and underlying principles of health promotion and disease prevention are included in Standard 1. Standards 2 through 8 identify key processes and skills that are applicable to healthy living. Each of the 8 health education standards include performance indicators that are specific to what students should know or be able to do in support of each standard by the conclusion of each of the four grade spans. (Pre-K-Grade 2, Grade 3-5, Grades 6-8 and Grade 9-12.) 
 
There are nine health education content areas which are organized around a combination of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Adolescent Risk Behaviors and traditional health education content areas. The content areas include: Alcohol and Other Drugs, Injury Prevention, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Family Life and Sexuality, Tobacco, Mental Health, Personal and Consumer Health and Community and Environmental Health.

Parental Approval: No state policy.


Tennessee

Last Updated: 6/11/2012

Mandate: Code §49-6-1008 (1989) states that the adoption of any AIDS education program shall be permissive and shall not be required until adopted by the LEA.  This law further requires that “all material which includes information pertaining to the prevention of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) or other sexually transmitted diseases … shall place primary emphasis on abstinence from premarital intimacy and on the avoidance of drug abuse in controlling the spread of AIDS.”

In accordance with Code § 49-6-1301 (1989), “if the most recent, annual data maintained by the department of health, state center for health statistics, indicate that pregnancy rates in any county exceeded nineteen point five (19.5) pregnancies per one thousand (1,000) females aged fifteen (15) through seventeen (17), then every LEA within such county shall locally devise, adopt and implement a program of family life instruction in conformance with the curriculum guidelines established for such programs by the state board of education.”  

Curriculum Content: Code §49-6-1302 requires the state board of education to develop a complete family life instruction suitable for any local education agency which fails to devise, adopt and implement a local program pursuant to Code § 49-6-1301. Code § 49-6-1303 states that the the curriculum must exclusively  and  emphatically  promote  sexual  risk  avoidance through  abstinence,  regardless  of   a  student's  current  or   prior  sexual experience. In addition, it must: (1) Encourage  sexual  health  by  helping  students  understand  how sexual  activity  affects  the  whole  person  including  the  physical,  social, emotional,  psychological,  economic  and  educational  consequences  of   nonmarital sexual activity;  (2)  Teach  the  positive  results  of   avoiding  sexual  activity,  the  skills needed  to  make  healthy decisions,  the  advantages  of  and  skills  for   student success  in  pursuing  educational  and  life  goals,  (3) Provide factually and medically-accurate information;  (4) Teach  students how to form  pro-social  habits that enable students to  develop  healthy relationships,  create  strong  marriages,  and  form  safe  and stable future families; (5)  Encourage  students  to  communicate  with  a  parent,  guardian,  or  other  trusted adult about  sex or  other  risk behaviors; (6) Assist students in  learning and  practicing refusal skills that will help them resist sexual activity;  (7)  Address  the  benefits  of   raising  children  within  the  context  of   a marital  relationship  and  the  unique  challenges  that  single  teen  parents encounter; (8)  Discuss  the  interrelationship  between  teen  sexual  activity  and exposure  to  other  risk  behaviors  such  as  smoking,  underage  drinking,  drug use,  criminal activity, dating violence,  and sexual aggression; (9)  Educate  students  on  the  age  of   consent,  puberty,  pregnancy, childbirth,  sexually  transmitted  diseases,  and  the  financial  and  emotional responsibility of  raising a child; and (10) Teach students how to identify and form healthy relationships, and how to identify and avoid unhealthy relationships.

Per Code § 49-6-1304, the instruction of the curriculum may not promote,  implicitly  or   explicitly,  any  gateway  sexual  activity  or  health  message  that  encourages  students  to  experiment  with  non-coital sexual activity. "Gateway sexual activity" is defined as means sexual  contact encouraging an  individual to  engage in a non-abstinent behavior. It may not  (1) provide  or  distribute  materials  on  school  grounds  that  condone, encourage or  promote student sexual activity among unmarried students; (2)  Display  or   conduct  demonstrations  with  devices  specifically manufactured for  sexual stimulation; or  distribute  contraception  on  school  property;  provided,  however, medically-accurate  information  about  contraception  and  condoms  may  be provided so long as it is presented in a manner consistent with the other requirements and clearly informs students that only absinence removes all risk.  

Code § 49-6-1304 allows a parent or  legal guardian of  a student enrolled  in  family life may file a complaint with the director of  schools i f  the parent  or  legal  guardian  believes  that   a  teacher,  instructor,  or  representative  of  an organization  has  not  complied  with  the  requirements  of code Code § 49-6-1301 to 49-6-1304.

Tennessee State Board of Education, Standards and Guidelines for Tennessee’s Coordinated School Health Program 4.204 (2000) states that districts seeking funding for establishing a Comprehensive Health Education program must develop and maintain efforts in focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention education.

Tennessee State Board of Education, HIV/AIDS Policy for Employees and Students of Tennessee Public Schools 5.300 (2005) states that HIV prevention education is to promote healthful living and discourage the behaviors that put people at risk.

Parental Approval: Code § 49-6-1303 (1999) allows parents to request, in writing to the school’s principal, director of schools and board of education, that a student be exempt from family life instruction (an “opt-out” policy).


Texas

Last Updated: 10/1/2010

Mandate: Texas does not require schools to provide instruction in HIV, STD, or pregnancy prevention education, although these topics are included throughout theTexas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Health Education (1997) guidance document. If school districts choose to provide this instruction, Education Code

§28.004 (2005) requires that they must present abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior in relationship to all sexual activity for unmarried persons of school age; devote more attention to abstinence from sexual activity than to any other behavior; emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity, if used consistently and correctly, is the only method that is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, infection with human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and the emotional trauma associated with adolescent sexual activity; direct adolescents to a standard of behavior in which abstinence from sexual activity before marriage is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and infection with human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome; and teach contraception and condom use in terms of human use reality rates instead of theoretical laboratory rates, if instruction on contraception and condoms is included in curriculum content. A school district may not distribute condoms in connection with instruction relating to human sexuality.

Curriculum Content: Per Education Code §28.004, curriculum must be approved by “a local school health education advisory council to assist the district in ensuring that local community values are reflected in the district's health education instruction.”

Parental Approval: Education Code §28.004 (1995) allows for a parent to remove a student from instruction (an “opt-out” policy). In addition, Education Code §26.010 (1995) states, “a parent is entitled to remove the parent's child temporarily from a class or other school activity that conflicts with the parent's religious or moral beliefs if the parent presents or delivers to the teacher of the parent's child a written statement authorizing the removal of the child from the class or other school activity. A parent is not entitled to remove the parent's child from a class or other school activity to avoid a test or to prevent the child from taking a subject for an entire semester” (an “opt-out” policy). Education Code §28.004 (1995) requires districts that provide sexuality instruction to students to provide written notice to parents including a basic summary of the basic content of the instruction, a statement of a parent's rights, and information describing the opportunities for parental involvement in the development of the curriculum.
 


Utah

Last Updated: 4/28/2012

Mandate: Code 53A-13-101 (2004) requires the Utah State Board of Education to establish curriculum requirements that include instruction in the prevention of communicable diseases in grades 8-12. The Health Education Core - Secondary (2009) and Health Education Core - Elementary (1997) provides further detail on suggested grades and topics: in grades 3-12 students are to receive instruction in the prevention of communicable diseases, including HIV; in grades 7-12 students should additionally receive instruction in HIV, other sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy prevention.

Curriculum Content: While Code 53A-13-101 requires the state board to develop a curriculum, schools are not required to follow it. The state board-approved standards found in the Health Education Core - Secondary (2009) and Health Education Core - Elementary (1997), provides a suggested curriculum framework.

R277-474 (2009) provides further guidance about local district responsibilities. Material taught must be medically accurate, and must not teach the intricacies of intercourse, sexual stimulation or erotic behavior, and cannot advocate homosexuality or the use of contraceptive methods or devices, or sexual activity outside of marriage. It is also required that each newly hired or newly assigned Utah educator with responsibility for any aspect of human sexuality instruction to annually attend a state-sponsored in-service outlining the human sexuality curriculum and the criteria for human sexuality instruction in any courses offered in the public education system. The professional development focuses on the requirements of Code 53A-13-101, which details a number of limitations on HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention education in Utah schools. For example, at no time may instruction be provided, including responses to spontaneous questions raised by students, regarding any means or methods that facilitate or encourage the violation of any state or federal criminal law by a minor or an adult. In addition, the materials adopted by a local school board must prohibit instruction in: the intricacies of intercourse, sexual stimulation, or erotic behavior; the advocacy of homosexuality; the advocacy or encouragement of the use of contraceptive methods or devices; or the advocacy of sexual activity outside of marriage."

Parental Approval: R277-474 requires written parent or guardian permission in order for a student to participate in human sexuality instruction (an opt-in" requirement).


Virginia

Last Updated: 11/15/2010

Mandate: Code 22.1-207.1 (2008) requires the board of education to develop K-12 standards of learning and curriculum guidelines for "comprehensive, sequential family life education curriculum. The guidelines shall include age appropriate instruction in "family living and community relationships, abstinence education, the value of postponing sexual activity, the benefits of adoption as a positive choice in the event of an unwanted pregnancy, human sexuality, human production, steps to take to avoid sexual assault, and availability of counseling and legal resources. " Curriculum matters, however, are left to the local schools, as outlined in Virginia 8VAC20-170-10 (2000). The state's Health Education Standards of Learning do not specifically mention HIV, STD, or pregnancy prevention, however, the Board of Education Guidelines on Family Life Education (2004) does outline instruction on the etiology, prevention and effects of STDs, including AIDS, and choices involving unwanted pregnancies.

Curriculum Content: 8VAC20-131-170 says, "each school may implement the Standards of Learning for the Family Life Education program promulgated by the board or a Family Life Education program consistent with the guidelines developed by the board, which shall have the goals of reducing the incidence of pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases and substance abuse among teenagers."

Parental Approval: Code 22.1-207.2 (1991) reserves the right for each parent/guardian to review the complete family life curricula. 8VAC20-170-10 (1980) allows parents to remove a student from class for the duration of the treatment of a sensitive or controversial topic. Parents should be required to justify their requests." Similarly, the Board of Education Guidelines for Family Life Education calls for an "opt-out" procedure that allows parents or guardians to excuse students from all or part of the program.


Vermont

Last Updated: 3/26/2013

Mandate: 16 VSA 131 (2005) details several requirements for a comprehensive health education program, including "body structure and function, including the physical, psychosocial and psychological basis of human development, sexuality and reproduction; disease, such as HIV infection, other sexually transmitted diseases, as well as other communicable diseases, and the prevention of disease; and human growth and development, including understanding the physical, emotional and social elements of individual development and interpersonal relationships including instruction in parenting methods and styles [including] information regarding the possible outcomes of premature sexual activity, contraceptives, adolescent pregnancy, childbirth, adoption, and abortion." This statute does not specify grades, levels, or amounts of instruction.

Curriculum Content: Not specifically required.

Parental Approval: 16 VSA 134 (1987) states that "any pupil whose parent shall present to the school principal a signed statement that the teaching of disease, its symptoms, development and treatment, conflicts with the parents' religious convictions shall be exempt from such instruction, and no child so exempt shall be penalized by reason of that exemption" (an opt-out policy).

Vermont offers a Sample Comprehensive HIV Policy for Schools: Pre-K12 (2006) that contains suggestions for HIV/AIDS education and prevention.


Washington

Last Updated: 3/6/2012

Mandate: Offering sex education is a local decision as specified in WAC 180-410-140 (2006). RCW 28A.230.020 (2006) requires students to receive instruction in the methods to prevent exposure to and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. The Healthy Schools Act (2007) requires that sexual health education must be medically and scientifically accurate, age-appropriate, appropriate for students regardless of gender, race, disability status, or sexual orientation, and include information about abstinence and other methods of preventing unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases."  Abstinence may not be taught to the exclusion of other materials and instruction on contraceptives and disease prevention.  Medically and scientifically accurate" is defined in the Act. 

RCW 28A.230.070 (1994) requires AIDS instruction at least once each school year beginning no later than the 5th grade. This law requires that "AIDS prevention education shall be limited to the discussion of the life-threatening dangers of the disease, its spread, and prevention. The program of AIDS prevention education shall stress the life-threatening dangers of contracting AIDS and shall stress that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain means for the prevention of the spread or contraction of the AIDS virus through sexual contact. It shall also teach that condoms and other artificial means of birth control are not a certain means of preventing the spread of the AIDS virus and reliance on condoms puts a person at risk for exposure to the disease."

Code 28A.210.080 (2007) requires every public school to provide parents and guardians with information about human papillomavirus (HPV) disease and its vaccine at the beginning of every school year beginning with students entering sixth grade. The information about HPV must include the following: (1) Its causes and symptoms, how human papillomavirus disease is spread, and the places where parents and guardians may obtain additional information and vaccinations for their children; and (2) Current recommendations from the United States centers for disease control and prevention regarding the receipt of vaccines for human papillomavirus disease and where the vaccination can be received.

Curriculum Content: The state does not require schools to follow a specific curriculum; however all HIV curricula and supporting materials used in public schools must be approved by the State Department of Health for medical accuracy.  The Healthy Schools Act (2007) requires all sexual health information, instruction and materials to be medically and scientifically accurate."

The state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and Department of Health have jointly developed and disseminated Guidelines for Sexual Health and Disease Prevention (2005) for voluntary use by schools and other community organizations serving adolescents. The state also provides the KNOW HIV/STD Prevention Curriculum for grades 5/6 (2003), 7/8 (2005), 9/10 (1997), and 11/12 (1995).  The Healthy Schools Act (2007) requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction and Department of Health to develop a list of sexual health education curricula containing medically and scientifically accurate" information and consistent with the Guidelines for Sexual Health Information and Disease Prevention (2005) for use as a resource for schools and other groups.

Parental Approval: RCW 28A.230.070 states "no student may be required to participate in AIDS prevention education if the student's parent or guardian, having attended one of the district presentations, objects in writing to the participation" (an opt-out" policy). WAC 180-410-140 further states, "any parent or legal guardian who wishes to have his or her child excused from any planned instruction in sex education or human sexuality may do so upon filing a written request with the school district board of directors or its designee and the board of directors shall make available the appropriate forms for such requests. Alternative educational opportunities shall be provided for those excused" (an opt-out" policy).  The Healthy Schools Act (2007) also allows a parent or legal guardian to opt-out" of planned instruction in sexual health education with the same procedure outlined in WAC 180-410-140.


Wisconsin

Last Updated: 3/26/2013

Mandate: Statute 118.019 (2011) permits a school board to provide an instructional program in human growth and development in grades kindergarten to 12. If the school board elects to provide an instructional program under this section, when the school board establishes the curriculum for the instructional program, the school board shall make determinations as to whether and, if so, for what subjects covered in the curriculum the pupils shall be separated by gender. If an instructional program is provided, the statute provides specific recommendations, including presenting medically accurate information, addressing self-esteem and personal responsibility, and identifying dentify counseling, medical, and legal resources for survivors of sexual abuse and assault, including resources for escaping violent relationships. Any instructional method used must not discriminate against a pupil based upon the pupil's race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnic or cultural background or against sexually active pupils or children with disabilities. The statute specifies that nothing prohibits a school board from approving an instructional program under this section that includes instruction on abstinence from sexual activity or that is abstinence-centered.

If a school board provides instruction in any of the areas of human growth and development outlined in the statute, the school board shall ensure that the includes the following instruction, when age appropriate, in the same course and during the same year:

  • Presents abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior for unmarried pupils.
  • Emphasizes that abstinence from sexual activity before marriage is the only reliable way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
  • Provides instruction in parental responsibility and the socioeconomic benefits of marriage for adults and their children.
  • Explains pregnancy, prenatal development, and childbirth.
  • Explains the criminal penalties for engaging in sexual activities involving a child.
  • Explains the sex offender registration requirements.
  • Provides medically accurate information about the human papilloma virus and the human immunofeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

Statute 118.01 (1997) identifies educational goals and expectations of public education, and as part of the goal of personal development states that each school board shall provide an instructional program designed to give pupils knowledge of the human body and the means to maintain lifelong health. This statute continues that instruction in physiology and hygiene shall include instruction on sexually transmitted diseases and shall be offered in every high school.

Curriculum Content: Wisconsin's Model Academic Standards for Health Education (2011) do not specifically mention HIV, STD, or pregnancy prevention. However, Wisconsin does provide guidance on the development with their School HIV/AIDS Policy Tool Kit (2003) and HGD programs (2012).  Statute 118.019 (2011) outlines the recommended content for school boards that chose to provide instruction in human growth and development. 

If a school board provides instruction in any of the areas of human growth and development outlined in the statute, the school board shall ensure that the includes the following instruction, when age appropriate, in the same course and during the same year:

  • Presents abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior for unmarried pupils.
  • Emphasizes that abstinence from sexual activity before marriage is the only reliable way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
  • Provides instruction in parental responsibility and the socioeconomic benefits of marriage for adults and their children.
  • Explains pregnancy, prenatal development, and childbirth.
  • Explains the criminal penalties for engaging in sexual activities involving a child.
  • Explains the sex offender registration requirements.
  • Provides medically accurate information about the human papilloma virus and the human immunofeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

Parental Approval: Statute 118.019 (2011) allows parents to remove a student from instruction in human growth and development with a written request to the teacher or principal (an "opt-out" policy). 


West Virginia

Last Updated: 3/18/2012

Mandate: Board Policy 2422.4 (1989) requires students in grades 6-12 to receive instruction in the prevention of AIDS, either by integrating it into health education or into other programs. Code §18-2-9  requires the State Board to require instruction in health education in all public schools, including instruction in any of the grades six through twelve as considered appropriate by the county board, on (1) the prevention, transmission and spread of  AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. The course curriculum requirements and materials for the instruction shall be adopted by the State Board by rule in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Resources. A parent or guardian may exempt the child from participation in instruction by giving notice in writing to the school principal. WV SBOE Policy 2423 also requires instruction on the principle modes by which communicable diseases, including, but not limited to, HIV/AIDS are prevented, spread and transmitted shall be taught to students as outlined in Board of Education Policy 2520.5, Health Content Standards and Objectives. 

Curriculum Content: The course curriculum requirements and materials for the instruction of health education, including the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, shall be adopted by the State Board by rule in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Resources.

Parental Approval: Code §18-2-9 allows a parent to request in writing to the school's principal that a student be exempted from participation in AIDS education (an "opt-out" policy).


Wyoming

Last Updated: 3/22/2012

Mandate: Wyoming does not require students to complete a specified amount of instruction in HIV, STD, or pregnancy prevention; however, the Wyoming Health Content and Performance Standards (2008) include the prevention and control of disease and family life and sexuality in its seven major strands.

The HIV/AIDS Model Policy for Wyoming Public Schools (1998), which is based on NASBE's Someone at School has AIDS, includes recommendations for HIV prevention education.

Curriculum Content: No state policy.

Parental Approval: No state policy.


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