REFERENCE TITLE: schools; sex education instruction
State of Arizona
Second Regular Session
amending sections 15-102, 15-113 and 15-711, Arizona Revised Statutes; relating to school curricula.
(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:
Section 1. Section 15-102, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:
15-102. Parental involvement in the school; definition
A. The Each school district governing board and each charter school governing body, in consultation with parents, teachers and administrators, shall develop and adopt a policy to promote the involvement of parents and guardians of children enrolled in the schools within the school district or charter school, including:
1. A plan for parent participation in the schools or charter school that is designed to improve parent and teacher cooperation in such areas as homework, attendance and discipline. The plan shall provide for the administration of a parent-teacher satisfaction survey.
2. Procedures by which parents may learn about the course of study for their children and review learning materials, including the source of any supplemental educational materials.
3. Procedures by which parents who object to any learning material or activity on the basis that the material or activity is harmful may withdraw their children from the activity or from the class or program in which the material is used. Objection to a learning material or activity on the basis that the material or activity is harmful includes objection to the material or activity because it questions beliefs or practices in sex, morality or religion.
4. If a school district offers any sex education curricula pursuant to section 15-711 or 15-716 or pursuant to any rules adopted by the state board of education, Procedures to prohibit allow the school district from providing or charter school to provide sex education instruction to a pupil student unless the pupil's student's parent provides written permission for the child student to not participate in the sex education curricula instruction.
5. Procedures by which parents will be notified in advance of and given the opportunity to opt withdraw their children in to from any instruction, learning materials or presentations regarding sexuality, in courses other than formal sex education curricula.
6. Procedures by which parents may learn about the nature and purpose of clubs and activities that are part of the school curriculum, extracurricular clubs and activities that have been approved by the school.
7. Procedures by which parents may learn about parental rights and responsibilities under the laws of this state, including the following, as applicable:
(a) The right to opt in to a out of sex education curriculum if one is provided by the school district instruction as provided in section 15-711.
(b) Open enrollment rights pursuant to section 15-816.01.
(c) The right to opt out of assignments pursuant to this section.
(d) The right to opt out of immunizations pursuant to section 15-873.
(e) The promotion requirements prescribed in section 15-701.
(f) The minimum course of study and competency requirements for graduation from high school prescribed in section 15-701.01.
(g) The right to opt out of instruction on acquired immune deficiency syndrome pursuant to section 15-716.
(h) The right to review test results pursuant to section 15-743.
(i) The right to participate in gifted programs pursuant to section 15-779.01.
(j) The right to access instructional materials pursuant to section 15-730.
(k) The right to receive a school report card pursuant to section 15-746.
(l) The attendance requirements prescribed in sections 15-802, 15-803 and 15-821.
(m) The right to public review of courses of study and textbooks pursuant to sections 15-721 and 15-722.
(n) The right to be excused from school attendance for religious purposes pursuant to section 15-806.
(o) Policies related to parental involvement pursuant to this section.
(p) The right to seek membership on school councils pursuant to section 15-351.
(q) Information about the student accountability information system as prescribed in section 15-1041.
(r) The right to access the failing schools tutoring fund pursuant to section 15-241.
B. The policy adopted by the governing board or governing body pursuant to this section may also include the following components:
1. A plan by which parents will be made aware of the school district's or charter school's parental involvement policy and this section, including:
(a) Rights under the family educational rights and privacy act of 1974 (20 United States Code section 1232g) relating to access to children's official records.
(b) The parent's right to inspect the school district or charter school policies and curriculum.
2. Efforts to encourage the development of parenting skills.
3. Communicating to parents techniques that are designed to assist the child's learning experience in the home.
4. Efforts to encourage access to community and support services for children and families.
5. Promoting communication between the school and parents concerning school programs and the academic progress of the parents' children.
6. Identifying opportunities for parents to participate in and support classroom instruction at the school.
7. Efforts to support, with appropriate training, parents as shared decision-makers and to encourage membership on school councils.
8. Recognizing the diversity of parents and developing guidelines that promote widespread parental participation and involvement in the school at various levels.
9. Developing preparation programs and specialized courses for certificated employees and administrators that promote parental involvement.
10. Developing strategies and programmatic structures at schools the school district or the charter school to encourage and enable parents to participate actively in their children's education.
C. The governing board or governing body may adopt a policy to provide to parents the information required by this section in an electronic form.
D. A parent shall submit a written request for information pursuant to this section during regular business hours to either the school principal at the school site, or the superintendent of the school district at the office of the school district or the chief administrator of the charter school at the charter school. Within ten days after receiving the request for information, the school principal, or the superintendent of the school district or the chief administrator of the charter school shall either deliver the requested information to the parent or submit to the parent a written explanation of the reasons for denying the requested information. If the request for information is denied or the parent does not receive the requested information within fifteen days after submitting the request for information, the parent may submit a written request for the information to in writing from the school district governing board or charter school governing body, which shall formally consider the request at the next scheduled public meeting of the governing board or governing body if the request can be properly noticed on the agenda. If the request cannot be properly noticed on the agenda, the governing board or governing body shall formally consider the request at the next subsequent public meeting of the governing board or governing body.
E. For the purposes of this section, "parent" means the natural or adoptive parent or legal guardian of a minor child.
Sec. 2. Section 15-113, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:
15-113. Rights of parents; public educational institutions; definitions
A. A parent of a student in a public educational institution has the right to review learning materials and activities in advance. A parent who objects to any learning material or activity on the basis that the material or activity is harmful may request to withdraw that parent's student from the activity or from the class or program in which the material is used and request an alternative assignment.
B. A charter school may require parents to waive the right to object to learning materials or activities pursuant to subsection A of this section as a condition of enrollment if the charter school provides a complete list of books and materials to be used each school year before the student enrolls. If the charter school introduces books or materials that were not disclosed prior to enrollment, the parent retains the right to object to those materials pursuant to subsection A of this section.
C. A charter school may require that any request to review learning materials or activities or to withdraw the student from learning materials or activities pursuant to subsection A of this section be made in writing.
D. A public educational institution shall obtain signed, written consent from a student's parent or guardian before doing either of the following:
1. using video, audio or electronic materials that may be inappropriate for the age of the student.
2. Providing sex education instruction to the student. At the same time the public educational institution seeks consent, it shall inform the student's parent or guardian of the parent's or guardian's right to review the instructional materials and activities.
E. For the purposes of this section:
1. "Objects to any learning material or activity on the basis that the material or activity is harmful" means objecting to the material or activity because of sexual content, violent content or profane or vulgar language.
2. "Public educational institution" means any of the following:
(a) A school district, including its schools.
(b) A charter school.
(c) An accommodation school.
(d) The Arizona state schools for the deaf and the blind.
Sec. 3. Section 15-711, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:
15-711. Sex education instruction; minimum grade; parental review of curricula; sexual conduct with a minor; review and approval of course of study; public hearings and input; requirements; rules; definitions
A. All school districts and charter schools may not shall provide sex education instruction before grade five that is medically accurate and age-appropriate for students who are in kindergarten programs and grades one through twelve.
B. Before a parent provides written permission for the parent's child to participate in any sex education curricula, The school district or charter school shall make the sex education curricula available for the parent's review online and in person pursuant to section 15-102, subsection A, paragraph 2. The school district or charter school shall notify parents where the sex education curricula are available for review at least two weeks before any instruction is offered pursuant to this section.
C. Each school district or charter school 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.
D. Each school district or charter school may develop its own sex education course of study or adopt an existing sex education course of study to meet the requirements of this section.
E. Before a school district or charter school offers sex education instruction, the school district governing board or charter school governing body shall review and approve the sex education course of study that is developed, adopted, revised or updated pursuant to this section. The governing board or governing body:
1. Shall provide parents with a meaningful opportunity to participate in, review and provide input on any proposed sex education course of study before it is adopted approved.
2. May not approve a course of study unless it complies with this section.
F. Before approving any sex education course of study developed, adopted, revised or updated pursuant to this section, the school district governing board or charter school governing body shall do all of the following:
1. Require that all meetings of committees that are authorized for the purposes of reviewing and selecting the sex education course of study be publicly noticed at least two weeks before occurring and be open to the public pursuant to title 38, chapter 3, article 3.1.
2. Make any proposed sex education course of study available and accessible for review and public comment for at least sixty days before the governing board or governing body decides whether to approve that course of study.
3. Conduct at least two public hearings within the sixty-day period before the governing board or governing body decides whether to approve any course of study. Public comment may include written comments, oral comments and comments submitted through email.
G. A school district or charter school is not required to provide sex education instruction to pupils. If a school district or charter school decides to provide sex education instruction after school hours, this section and section 15-102 apply.
H. This section does not prohibit age age-appropriate and grade appropriate grade-appropriate classroom instruction regarding child assault awareness and abuse prevention.
I. Sex education instruction shall:
1. Help students gain knowledge about the physical, social and emotional changes of adolescence and subsequent stages of human maturation, including how pregnancy occurs.
2. Help students develop skills in critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making and stress management in order to make healthy decisions about sexuality and relationships.
3. Encourage students to communicate with their parents and guardians, health care and social service professionals and other trusted adults about sexuality and intimate relations.
4. Discuss the perception students have of their bodies, emotions and behaviors.
5. Describe personal boundaries, consent and the right to privacy, including identifying resources where victims of sexual abuse can find help and support.
6. discuss populations that historically have been more vulnerable to sexual abuse and assault, such as the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community and the disability community, and provide tools for students to use to support and be allies for one another.
7. When discussing consent, describe the concept of capacity to consent and how that capacity is impacted by factors such as age and disability.
8. Help students develop relationship and communication skills to form healthy and positive relationships with an emphasis on affirmative consent.
J. Sex education instruction for students in grades six through twelve shall stress the importance of using effective methods of contraception, including hormonal contraceptives, abstinence and barrier methods to prevent unintended pregnancy and to protect against sexually transmitted infections, including the human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
K. Sex education instruction may not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity.
L. School districts and charter schools shall provide sex education instruction to all students, regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity. A student who is identified as a student with a disability and who receives special education or related services in accordance with the individuals with disabilities education act (P.L. 91-230; 84 Stat. 175 to 188) or section 504 of the rehabilitation act of 1973 (P.L. 93-112; 87 Stat. 355) may participate in the same sex education instruction as the student's peers who do not have disabilities, with any accommodations or modifications as identified in the student's individualized education program or section 504 plan as defined in section 15-731 and any ACCOMMODATIONS or modifications that are necessary to make the sex education instruction appropriate for the student's developmental and cognitive levels.
M. A student may be excused from any part of the instruction provided in accordance with this section only at the written request of the student's parent or guardian.
N. A student is not subject to disciplinary action, an academic penalty or any other sanction if the student's parent or guardian requests that the student not receive the instruction provided under this section.
O. Each school district governing board and charter school governing body shall both:
1. Develop and maintain a current list of sex education instruction materials that are consistent with this section and make this list available to the public.
2. Develop guidance for instructors on answering student questions in a medically accurate and evidence-based manner.
P. The state board of education shall designate minimum education and training qualifications for sex education instructors.
Q. The state board of education may adopt rules pursuant to title 41, chapter 6 that prescribe procedures to enforce this section, including procedures to initiate a complaint for a violation of this section and to appeal a final determination by the state board.
R. For the purposes of this section:
1. "Age-appropriate" means that topics, messages and teaching methods are suitable to particular age and developmental levels based on the cognitive, emotional and social levels of most students at that age level.
2. "Medically accurate" means that information is supported by peer-reviewed research conducted in compliance with accepted scientific methods, is recognized as accurate and objective by leading medical, psychological, psychiatric and public health organizations and agencies and, if relevant, is published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Sec. 4. Short title
This act may be cited as the "Safe and Healthy Students Act".