EHAA(LOCAL) - BASIC INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAM: REQUIRED INSTRUCTION (ALL LEVELS)
Human Sexuality Education
The District's sexuality education program has been established to provide information and skill development for students in prekindergarten through grade 12 so that they may reach their highest potential for physical, emotional, mental, and social health.
The District's core values of high expectations, respect for the individual, resources to support student needs, and shared ownership and commitment, as specified in the District Improvement Plan, shall be reflected in the design and implementation of the sexuality education program. [See BQ series]
The curriculum content shall be delivered in prekindergarten through grade 12 in a developmentally and age-appropriate manner and shall include the most current and scientifically accurate information regarding child and adolescent health issues, contraception, and accurate information on failure rates, and risk reduction of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV. The curriculum shall focus on the increased risk to children and adolescents from immunological, behavioral, mental, and emotional vulnerabilities.
The curriculum shall recommend and emphasize abstinence from risk-taking behaviors, such as drug and alcohol abuse. Abstinence shall be taught as the only sure protection from risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection. Information on the nature of family violence and physical, emotional, and sexual abuse shall be provided.
The curriculum shall include communication, goal setting, decision making, assertiveness, limit setting (including how to say "no"), anticipating circumstances of risk, anticipating consequences, and the refusal skills necessary to support a student's ability to avoid, postpone, and abstain from risk-taking behaviors prior to, and into, adulthood.
The curriculum shall include instruction on how to discern and evaluate messages present in television, advertising, music, movies, and other adult messages related to sexual behavior and violence.
Students shall be informed of their right to the privacy of their bodies in general, and in particular, their breasts, genital and rectal areas, and their right to be safe from unwanted touches and other intrusions proposed by any person or those that occur with any atmosphere of secrecy of any kind. Each student shall be provided information on how to tell a trusted adult that sexual abuse has been proposed or has occurred, and each student shall be encouraged, if appropriate protective action is not taken by that adult, to inform other trusted adults.
Students shall be informed that physical violence and threats of physical violence as a means of addressing interpersonal conflict and discipline or control are inappropriate and destructive. They shall be taught how to distinguish managed, focused, and controlled "spankings" from physical violence. Each student shall be provided information on how to inform a trusted adult that physical abuse has been threatened or has occurred, and each student shall be encouraged, if appropriate protective action is not taken by that adult, to inform other trusted adults.
Curriculum materials shall reflect child and adolescent health concerns and shall not be adult-focused. Contraceptive devices shall not be demonstrated nor disseminated in District facilities.
Delivery of Instruction
Instruction shall be delivered through various courses or as appropriate to ensure annual delivery of curriculum content.
Instruction related to sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and AIDS, and pregnancy prevention shall be scheduled in blocks of time that will facilitate alternative classes if requested by students or their parents.
Spontaneous class discussions generated by student questions shall not be precluded by this policy.
Adaptation for Special Populations
The curriculum shall be culturally sensitive and adapted to accommodate students who are limited English proficient.
The curriculum shall be appropriately adapted for students with disabilities, including, but not limited to, students who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, developmentally delayed, and severely disabled.
Appropriate training shall be provided for all staff members, including administrators, teachers, counselors, nurses, teacher aides, visiting teachers, and the like, who are involved in program implementation. The training shall include issues related to this policy, sensitivity to community concerns, and applicable state and federal law.
The District shall provide program training through the most cost-effective means available, using such resources as Region XIII Educational Service Center, the medical community, city, county, or state governmental agencies, and other community organizations.
The Superintendent or designee shall recommend to the Board a plan for adequate ongoing training of all involved staff, a time line for the training, and budget implications.
All District employees shall be provided training on methods of HIV or AIDS transmission and prevention of infection to assist them in maintenance of their personal health.
Reporting Child Abuse
District employees shall also be provided training to recognize manifestations of child abuse and how to make appropriate reports to the appropriate agencies as required by law and in accordance with policy FFG(LEGAL).
Parent Orientation and Review
Prior to the implementation of the sexuality education program, the principal shall conduct at least one orientation session for parents and guardians. The orientation shall be scheduled at a convenient time and parents shall be provided reasonable written notice of the time and location of the orientation session. The purpose of the session is to provide every parent or guardian an opportunity for informed consent for his or her child to participate in the program.
Parents shall have ample opportunity to preview all instructional materials, including any obtained from non-District sources and including all updates and modifications to the materials. Films, tapes, and other audio-visual materials shall be made accessible to parents following a written request to the principal.
A student may be exempted from participation in specific lessons of the sexuality education program upon written request to the principal by the parent or guardian of the student. In granting the exemption, the principal shall state his or her expectation that the parent shall provide appropriate instruction to the student regarding sexuality education. Students who are exempted shall be provided alternative instruction and shall not be punished or embarrassed in any manner for nonparticipation. Each school shall set and inform parents of the deadlines for requesting exemptions from the instruction.
A parent or guardian shall be permitted to observe any class session on sexuality education so long as he or she provides reasonable prior notice to the principal and teacher and the observation does not disrupt instruction.
Students shall have access to information on sexual, emotional, and physical abuse without the requirement for explicit parent consent.
Resource for Parents
The District shall serve as a resource for parents and families for sexuality education. The District may offer seminars for parents or guardians that support and encourage their active involvement in the sexuality education of their children.
The District may use existing relationships with organizations and programs, such as the Austin Council of PTA, MegaSkills, Austin Interfaith, Planned Parenthood, and area and vertical team meetings as opportunities for collaboration and for increased cost efficiency.
Superintendent or Designee
The Superintendent or designee shall, through appropriate monitoring, ensure that specific content, skills, and instructional strategies for each grade level are developed, maintained, and updated as appropriate to include the most medically accurate information available on child and adolescent health issues.
The campus advisory council or campus committees composed of teachers, parents, staff, and secondary students may be involved in reviewing the sexuality education curriculum and planning the campus implementation of the program.
The principal shall designate the teachers or other qualified staff, such as nurses, counselors, or assistant principals, to teach the curriculum. The principal shall be responsible for the integrity of the sexuality education program implementation.
School Health Advisory Council
The school health advisory council (SHAC) shall review and make recommendations to the District on any changes to the current human sexuality program or any new program to be implemented. The SHAC shall review, on an annual basis, the health education curriculum, including human sexuality education. An external organization that wants to provide a presentation, information, or service regarding human sexuality to students shall be required to obtain prior approval from the SHAC.
This policy shall be reviewed, evaluated, and updated by the Board as necessary every three years.
Travis County Statistics
The District office of program evaluation shall monitor statistics on adolescent pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, adolescent suicide, and child abuse collected by agencies in Travis County.
This policy shall be effective as of the adoption date, February 22, 2010.