Last week, the California Department of Education issued a new voluntary Health Curriculum Framework. This has caused some concern to circulate on social media.
California state law, the California Healthy Youth Act (AB 329), requires comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education be provided to students at least once in middle school and once in high school, starting in the 7th grade. Parents that do not wish for their child to participate in the California Healthy Youth Act curriculum may opt out.
The California Healthy Youth Act is intended to ensure that students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to:
- protect their sexual and reproductive health from HIV, other sexually transmitted infections, and 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.
A comparison of the California Healthy Youth Act and the Health Curriculum Framework is provided by the CDE (CHYA and Health Curriculum Framework Comparison).
If you would like to read more about the changes along with a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section please refer to the Department of Education’s “California’s Health Education Initiatives” https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/he/cf/cahealthfaq.asp.
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