Title 53A Chapter 13 Section 101

State System of Public Education
Curriculum in the Public Schools
Section 101
Instruction in health -- Parental consent requirements -- Conduct and speech of school employees and volunteers -- Political and religious doctrine prohibited.

            

53A-13-101.   Instruction in health -- Parental consent requirements -- Conduct and speech of school employees and volunteers -- Political and religious doctrine prohibited.

            (1) (a) The State Board of Education shall establish curriculum requirements under Section 53A-1-402, that include instruction in:

            (i) community and personal health;

            (ii) physiology;

            (iii) personal hygiene; and

            (iv) prevention of communicable disease.

            (b) (i) That instruction shall stress:

            (A) the importance of abstinence from all sexual activity before marriage and fidelity after marriage as methods for preventing certain communicable diseases; and

            (B) personal skills that encourage individual choice of abstinence and fidelity.

            (ii) (A) At no time may instruction be provided, including responses to spontaneous questions raised by students, regarding any means or methods that facilitate or encourage the violation of any state or federal criminal law by a minor or an adult.

            (B) Subsection (1)(b)(ii)(A) does not preclude an instructor from responding to a spontaneous question as long as the response is consistent with the provisions of this section.

            (c) (i) The board shall recommend instructional materials for use in the curricula required under Subsection (1)(a) after considering evaluations of instructional materials by the State Instructional Materials Commission.

            (ii) A local school board may choose to adopt:

            (A) the instructional materials recommended under Subsection (1)(c)(i); or

            (B) other instructional materials as provided in state board rule.

            (iii) The state board rule made under Subsection (1)(c)(ii)(B) shall include, at a minimum:

            (A) that the materials adopted by a local school board under Subsection (1)(c)(ii)(B) shall be based upon recommendations of the school district's Curriculum Materials Review Committee that comply with state law and state board rules emphasizing abstinence before marriage and fidelity after marriage, and prohibiting instruction in:

            (I) the intricacies of intercourse, sexual stimulation, or erotic behavior;

            (II) the advocacy of homosexuality;

            (III) the advocacy or encouragement of the use of contraceptive methods or devices; or

            (IV) the advocacy of sexual activity outside of marriage;

            (B) that the adoption of instructional materials shall take place in an open and regular meeting of the local school board for which prior notice is given to parents and guardians of students attending schools in the district and an opportunity for them to express their views and opinions on the materials at the meeting;

            (C) provision for an appeal and review process of the local school board's decision; and

            (D) provision for a report by the local school board to the State Board of Education of the action taken and the materials adopted by the local school board under Subsections (1)(c)(ii)(B) and (1)(c)(iii).

            (2) (a) Instruction in the courses described in Subsection (1) shall be consistent and systematic in grades eight through 12.

            (b) At the request of the board, the Department of Health shall cooperate with the board in developing programs to provide instruction in those areas.

            (3) (a) The board shall adopt rules that:

            (i) provide that the parental consent requirements of Sections 76-7-322 and 76-7-323 are complied with; and

            (ii) require a student's parent or legal guardian to be notified in advance and have an opportunity to review the information for which parental consent is required under Sections 76-7-322 and 76-7-323.

            (b) The board shall also provide procedures for disciplinary action for violation of Section 76-7-322 or 76-7-323.

            (4) (a) In keeping with the requirements of Section 53A-13-109, and because school employees and volunteers serve as examples to their students, school employees or volunteers acting in their official capacities may not support or encourage criminal conduct by students, teachers, or volunteers.

            (b) To ensure the effective performance of school personnel, the limitations described in Subsection (4)(a) also apply to school employees or volunteers acting outside of their official capacities if:

            (i) they knew or should have known that their action could result in a material and substantial interference or disruption in the normal activities of the school; and

            (ii) that action does result in a material and substantial interference or disruption in the normal activities of the school.

            (c) Neither the State Office of Education nor local school districts may provide training of school employees or volunteers that supports or encourages criminal conduct.

            (d) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules implementing this section.

            (e) Nothing in this section limits the ability or authority of the State Board of Education and local school boards to enact and enforce rules or take actions that are otherwise lawful, regarding educators', employees', or volunteers' qualifications or behavior evidencing unfitness for duty.

            (5) Except as provided in Section 53A-13-101.1, political, atheistic, sectarian, religious, or denominational doctrine may not be taught in the public schools.

            (6) (a) Local school boards and their employees shall cooperate and share responsibility in carrying out the purposes of this chapter.

            (b) Each school district shall provide appropriate inservice training for its teachers, counselors, and school administrators to enable them to understand, protect, and properly instruct students in the values and character traits referred to in this section and Sections 53A-13-101.1, 53A-13-101.2, 53A-13-101.3, 53A-13-109, 53A-13-301, and 53A-13-302 and distribute appropriate written materials on the values, character traits, and conduct to each individual receiving the inservice training.

            (c) The written materials shall also be made available to classified employees, students, and parents and guardians of students.

            (d) In order to assist school districts in providing the inservice training required under Subsection (6)(b), the State Board of Education shall as appropriate, contract with a qualified individual or entity possessing expertise in the areas referred to in Subsection (6)(b) to develop and disseminate model teacher inservice programs which districts may use to train the individuals referred to in Subsection (6)(b) to effectively teach the values and qualities of character referenced in that subsection.

            (e) In accordance with the provisions of Subsection (4)(c), inservice training may not support or encourage criminal conduct.

            (7) If any one or more provision, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this section, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, is found to be unconstitutional, the balance of this section shall be given effect without the invalid provision, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or word.


Amended by Chapter 196, 2004 General Session