Current Status Bill Number:
819Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: SenateIntroduced Date: 19970604Primary Sponsor: FairAll Sponsors: FairDrafted Document Number: gjk\20846sd.97Residing Body: SenateCurrent Committee: Education Committee 04 SEDSubject: Health education programs, contents and requirements revised, comprehensive; Schools and School Districts
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ Senate 19970604 Introduced, read first time, 04 SED referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
TO AMEND ACT 437 OF 1988, RELATING TO THE COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH EDUCATION ACT, SO AS TO REVISE THE PURPOSE OF THE ACT AND STATE ITS GOALS; AND TO AMEND CHAPTER 32, TITLE 59, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH EDUCATION ACT AND THE PROGRAM OF COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH EDUCATION, SO AS TO REVISE THE CONTENTS AND REQUIREMENTS OF THE PROGRAM.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 2 of Act 437 of 1988 is amended to read:
"Section 2. The purpose of this act is to foster the development and dissemination of educational activities and materials which will assist South Carolina students, teachers, administrators, and parents in the perception, appreciation, and understanding of health principles and problems and responsible sexual behavior. The goal of this act is to reduce the incidence of sexual activity among school age youth."
SECTION 2. Chapter 32, Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
Section 59-32-5. This may be cited as the 'Comprehensive Health Education Act'.
Section 59-32-10. As used in this chapter:
(1) 'Comprehensive health education' means health education in a school setting that is planned and carried out with the purpose of maintaining, reinforcing, or enhancing the health, health-related skills, and health attitudes and practices of children and youth that are conducive to their good health and that promote wellness, health maintenance, and disease prevention healthy behavior. It includes age-appropriate, sequential instruction in health either as part of existing courses or as a special course.
(2) 'Reproductive health education' means instruction in human physiology, conception, prenatal care and development, childbirth, and postnatal care, but does not include instruction concerning sexual practices outside marriage or practices unrelated to reproduction except within the context of the risk of disease. Abstinence and the risks associated with sexual activity outside of marriage must be strongly emphasized.
(3) 'Family life education' means instruction intended to:
(a) develop an understanding of the physical, mental, emotional, social, economic, and psychological aspects of close personal relationships and an understanding of the physiological, psychological, and cultural foundations of human development;
(b) provide instruction that will support the development of responsible personal values and behavior and aid in establishing a strong family life for themselves in the future and emphasize the responsibilities of marriage.;
(c) provide instruction as to the laws of this State relating to the sexual conduct of minors, including criminal sexual conduct;
(d) develop an understanding of the value of a two-parent family and the relationship that exists between premarital and extramarital sexual behavior and the breakup of the two-parent family.
(4) 'Pregnancy prevention education' means instruction intended to:
(a) stress the importance of abstaining from sexual activity until marriage;
(b) help students develop skills to enable them to resist peer pressure and abstain from sexual activity;
(c) explain methods of contraception and the risks and benefits of each method. Abortion must not be included as a method of birth control. Instruction explaining the methods of contraception must not be included in any education program for grades kindergarten through fifth. Contraceptive information must be given in the context of future family planning. Since it is unlawful for minors to participate in sexual intercourse, instruction regarding methods of contraception and sexually transmitted diseases may be offered only to students as a means of disease and pregnancy prevention within marriage. Instruction explaining the methods of birth control or prevention of sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS must not be included in any education program for grades kindergarten through eighth. Instruction in methods of contraception and sexually transmitted disease prevention may be offered only in grades nine through twelve and may be offered only to a student whose parents or legal guardian have given their written permission. This written permission must be obtained each year the instruction is offered.
Local districts may opt out of pregnancy prevention education.
(5) 'Local school board' means the governing board of public school districts as well as those of other state-supported institutions which provide educational services to students at the elementary and secondary school levels. For purposes of this chapter, programs, or services provided by the Department of Health and Environmental Control in educational settings must be approved by the local school board.
(6) 'Board' means the State Board of Education.
(7) 'Department' means the State Department of Education.
(8) 'Abstinence' means abstention from unlawful sexual intercourse.
Section 59-32-15. The State Board of Education is empowered to assure compliance by the State Department of Education in overseeing the correct implementation of the Comprehensive Health Education Act by promoting the virtue of chastity.
Section 59-32-20. Before August 1, 1988, the The board, through the department, shall select or develop an instructional unit with separate components addressing the subjects of reproductive health education, family life education, pregnancy prevention education, and sexually transmitted diseases disease prevention education and make the instructional unit available to local school districts. The board, through the department, also shall make available information about other programs developed by other states upon request of a local school district.
Section 59-32-30. (A) Pursuant to guidelines developed by the board, each local school board shall implement the following program of instruction:
(1) Beginning with the 1988-89 school year, for grades kindergarten through five, instruction in comprehensive health education must include the following subjects: community health, consumer health, environmental health, growth and development, nutritional health, personal health, prevention and control of diseases and disorders, safety and accident prevention, substance use and abuse, dental health, and mental and emotional health. Sexually transmitted diseases as defined in the annual Department of Health and Environmental Control List of Reportable Diseases are to be excluded from instruction on the prevention and control of diseases and disorders. At the discretion of the local board, age-appropriate instruction in reproductive health may be included.
(2) Beginning with the 1988-89 school year, for grades six through eight, instruction in comprehensive health must include the following subjects: community health, consumer health, environmental health, growth and development, nutritional health, personal health, prevention and control of diseases and disorders, safety and accident prevention, substance use and abuse, dental health, mental and emotional health, and reproductive health education. Sexually transmitted diseases are to be included as a part of instruction. At the discretion of the local board, instruction in family life education or pregnancy prevention education or both may be included, but instruction in these subjects may not include an explanation of the methods of contraception before the sixth grade.
(3) Beginning with the 1989-90 school year, at least one time during the four years of grades nine through twelve, each student shall receive instruction in comprehensive health education, including at least seven hundred fifty not to exceed a total of two hundred minutes of reproductive health education and pregnancy prevention education during the four years of grades nine through twelve.
(4) The South Carolina Educational Television Commission shall work with the department in developing instructional programs and materials that may be available to the school districts. Films and other materials may be designed for the purpose of explaining bodily functions or the human reproductive process. These materials may not contain actual or simulated portrayals of sexual activities or sexual intercourse, and may present only representations of the human body and form and may not present actual photographs or photography of the human body.
(5) 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, may not consider homosexuality except to say that homosexual behavior is illegal in this State and homosexual marriages are not legal in this State.
(6) In grades nine through twelve, students also must also be given appropriate instruction that adoption is a positive alternative.
(B) Local school boards may use the instructional unit made available by the board pursuant to Section 59-32-20, or local boards may develop or select their own instructional materials addressing the subjects of reproductive health education, family life education, and pregnancy prevention education. 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.
(C) The time required for health instruction for students in kindergarten through eighth grade must not be reduced below the level required during the 1986-87 school year. Health instruction for students in grades nine through twelve may be given either as part of an existing course or as a special course.
(D) 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 abortions, and materials containing this information must not be distributed in schools. Nothing in this section prevents school authorities from referring students to a physician for medical reasons after making reasonable efforts to notify the student's students' parents or legal guardians or the appropriate court, if applicable.
(E) 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.
(F) Instruction in pregnancy prevention education must be presented separately to male and female students.
(G) AIDS education or education on sexually transmitted disease must be presented separately to male and female students.
Section 59-32-40. As part of their program for staff development, the department and local school boards shall provide appropriate staff development activities for educational personnel participating in the comprehensive health education program. Local school boards are encouraged to coordinate the activities with the department and institutions of higher learning.
Section 59-32-50. Pursuant to policies and guidelines adopted by the local school board, public school principals shall 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 include their child from in this instruction, and sexually transmitted diseases if instruction in the diseases is presented as a separate component. Notice must be provided sufficiently in advance of a student's enrollment in courses using these instructional materials to allow parents and legal guardians the opportunity to preview the materials and exempt include their children.
A public school principal, upon receipt of a statement signed by a student's parent or legal guardian stating that participation by the student in the health education program conflicts with the family's beliefs, shall exempt that student from any portion or all of the units on reproductive health, family life, and pregnancy prevention where any conflicts occur. No student must be penalized as a result of an exemption. School districts shall use procedures to ensure that students exempted from the program by their parents or guardians are not embarrassed by the exemption.
School districts shall adopt procedures to ensure that students not included in the program by their parents or guardians are not penalized.
Section 59-32-60. The department shall assure district compliance with this chapter. Each local school board shall consider the programs addressed in this chapter in developing its annual district report. The board shall include a statement of compliance with the State Board of Education.
Section 59-32-70. The provisions of this chapter do not apply to private schools.
Section 59-32-80. Any teacher violating the provisions of this chapter or who refuses to comply with the curriculum prescribed by the school board as provided by this chapter is subject to dismissal.
Section 59-32-90. Films, pictures, or diagrams in any comprehensive health education program in public schools must be designed solely for the purpose of explaining bodily functions or the human reproduction process and may not include actual or simulated portrayals of sexual activities or sexual intercourse or actual photographs showing partial or total nudity.
Section 59-32-100. The proscriptions and instructions included in this chapter are relevant to course content and shall apply to all instruction, grades kindergarten through twelve, without regard to course name, title, or description and shall apply to all who offer the instruction within a school or under the auspices of a school that receives state funding."
SECTION 3. The amendments to Chapter 32 of Title 59 of the 1976 Code, as contained in Section 2 of this act, are applicable beginning with school year 1998-99.
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.