California Healthy Youth Act
Welcome to the Lodi Unified School District California Healthy Youth Act page.
- What are the purposes of the California Healthy Youth Act (CHYA)?
- Is Lodi USD required to teach comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education?
- Does the law permit Lodi USD to teach comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education in elementary school?
- When does Lodi USD teach comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education?
- Does Lodi USD plan to teach comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education in elementary school?
- What are the instructional criteria requirements for all comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention Education?
- What additional instructional content is required in grades 7-12?
- Does the law allow abstinence-only education?
- What does the law say about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) students, sexual orientation and gender/gender identity?
- What does the law say about parent/guardian notification and consent for instruction?
The purposes of CHYA are to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to:
- Protect their sexual and reproductive health from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and from unintended pregnancy;
- Develop healthy attitudes concerning adolescent growth and development, body image, gender, sexual orientation, relationships, marriage, and family;
- Have healthy, positive, and safe relationships and behaviors;
- Promote understanding of sexuality as a normal part of human development; and
- To ensure pupils receive integrated, comprehensive, accurate, and unbiased sexual health and HIV prevention instruction and provide educators with clear tools and guidance to accomplish that end.
Yes. CHYA requires that students in grades 7-12 receive comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education at least once in middle school and once in high school. The Education Code defines comprehensive sexual health education as “education regarding human development and sexuality, including education on pregnancy, contraception, and sexually transmitted infections” (EC § 51931(b)) and HIV prevention education as “instruction on the nature of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS, methods of transmission, strategies to reduce the risk of HIV infection, and social and public health issues related to HIV and AIDS” (EC § 51931(d)).
Yes. Comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education may be taught in grades K-6, inclusive. All instruction and materials in grades K-6 must meet the instructional criteria or baseline requirements listed below. Content that is required in grades 7-12 may be also be included in an age-appropriate way in earlier grades. (EC §§ 51933, 51934(b).)
According to the Education Code (EC § 51933), all instruction and materials in all grades must:
- Be age-appropriate;
- Be medically accurate and objective;
- Align with and support the purposes of the California Healthy Youth Act, as described above;
- Be appropriate for use with pupils of all races, genders, sexual orientations, ethnic and cultural backgrounds;
- Be appropriate for and equally available to English language learners;
- Be appropriate for and accessible to pupils with disabilities;
- Affirmatively recognize different sexual orientations and be inclusive of same-sex relationships in discussions and examples;
- Teach about gender, gender expression, gender identity, and the harm of negative gender stereotypes;
- Encourage students to communicate with their parents/guardians and other trusted adults about human sexuality, and provide skills for doing so;
- Teach the value of and prepare students to have and maintain committed relationships such as marriage;
- Provide knowledge and skills for forming healthy relationships that are free from violence; and
- Provide knowledge and skills for making and implementing healthy decisions about sexuality including negotiation and refusal skills to assist students in overcoming peer pressure and using effective decision making skills to avoid high-risk activities.
In addition, the Education Code (EC § 51933) specifies that instruction and materials in all grades may not:
- Teach or promote religious doctrine; or
- Reflect or promote bias against any person on the basis of actual or perceived disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, race or ethnicity, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation, or any other category protected by the non-discrimination policy codified in Education Code (EC § 2200.
Instruction provided in grades 7-12, in addition to meeting the instructional criteria or baseline requirements above, must include all of the following content (EC § 51934):
- Information on the nature and transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs);
- Information about all federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved methods of preventing and reducing the risk of transmission of HIV and other STIs, including antiretroviral treatment, and information about treatment of HIV and STIs;
- Information about reducing the risk of HIV transmission as a result of injection drug use by decreasing needle use and needle sharing;
- Discussion about social views of HIV and AIDS, emphasizing that all people are at some risk of contracting HIV and that the only way to know one’s HIV status is by being tested;
- Information about accessing resources for sexual and reproductive health care and assistance with sexual assault and intimate partner violence, as well as students’ legal rights to access these resources;
- Information about the effectiveness and safety of all federal FDA-approved contraceptive methods in preventing pregnancy (including emergency contraception);
- Information that abstinence is the only certain way to prevent unintended pregnancy and HIV and other STIs; information about value of delaying sexual activity must be included and must be accompanied by information about other methods for preventing pregnancy, HIV and STIs;
- Information about pregnancy, including 1) the importance of prenatal care; 2) all legally available pregnancy outcomes, including parenting, adoption, and abortion; and 3) California’s newborn safe surrender law; and
- Information about sexual harassment, sexual assault, adolescent relationship abuse, intimate partner violence, and human trafficking.
No. Abstinence may not be discussed in isolation from other methods of preventing HIV, other STIs, and pregnancy. The Education Code requires that instruction and materials include information that abstinence is the only certain way to prevent HIV, other STIs, and unintended pregnancy. However, it also states: “Instruction shall provide information about the value of delaying sexual activity while also providing medically accurate information on other methods of preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.” (emphasis added) (EC § 51934(a)(3).) “Abstinence-only” sex education, which offers abstinence as the only option for preventing STIs and unintended pregnancy, is not permitted in California public schools.
Comprehensive sexual health education in grades 7-12 must include medically accurate, objective information about the effectiveness and safety of all federal FDA-approved methods for preventing HIV, other STIs, and pregnancy. (EC § 51934.)
All instruction and materials in grades K-12 must be inclusive of LGBTQ students. Instruction shall affirmatively recognize that people have different sexual orientations and, when discussing or providing examples of relationships and couples, must be inclusive of same-sex relationships. (EC § 51933(d)(5).) It must also teach students about gender, gender expression, gender identity, and explore the harm of negative gender stereotypes. (EC § 51933(d)(6).) This means that Lodi USD must teach about all sexual orientations and what being LGBTQ means.
CHYA requires that sexual health education be appropriate for use with students of all genders and sexual orientations (EC § 51933(d)) and clearly states that part of the intent of the law is “to provide pupils with the knowledge and skills they need to develop healthy attitudes concerning adolescent growth and development, body image, gender, sexual orientation, relationships, marriage, and family.” (EC § 51930(b)(2).)
CHYA also prohibits sexual health education classes from promoting bias against anyone on the basis of any category protected by Education Code § 220, which includes actual or perceived gender and sexual orientation.
Parents or guardians must be notified at the beginning of the school year (or at the time of enrollment) about planned instruction in comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education and research on student health behaviors and risks. The notice will advise Lodi USD parents/guardians that the written and audiovisual educational materials used in the comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education course are available for inspection. We must also inform parents/guardians about whether the instruction will be provided by district personnel or outside consultants or guest speakers. Further, all instruction and materials from outside consultants or guest speakers must meet all tenets of the law. If instruction will be provided by outside consultants or guest speakers, our notice must include the name and organizational affiliation of the outside consultant or guest speaker and the date of the instruction. The notice will also inform parents/guardians of their right to request copies of Education Code §§ 51933, 51934, and 51938. If arrangements are made after the initial notification is sent out at the beginning of the year, we must notify parents at least 14 days prior to the instruction via mail or another commonly used method (EC § 51938(b).)
In this notification, we must advise parents/guardians that they have the right to excuse their child from comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education and that in order to excuse their child they must state their request in writing to the school district (EC § 51938(b)(4).) We may not require active consent (“opt-in”) for participation in comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education. Lodi USD parents/guardians must request in writing that their child not participate in the instruction.
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