7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill amends provisions related to health instruction in public schools.
10 Highlighted Provisions:
11 This bill:
12 ▸ repeals language prohibiting the advocacy of homosexuality in health instruction;
13 ▸ prohibits instruction that advocates premarital or extramarital sexual activity; and
14 ▸ makes technical corrections.
15 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
17 Other Special Clauses:
19 Utah Code Sections Affected:
21 53A-13-101, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2016, Chapter 144
23 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
24 Section 1. Section 53A-13-101 is amended to read:
25 53A-13-101. Instruction in health -- Parental consent requirements -- Conduct
26 and speech of school employees and volunteers -- Political and religious doctrine
28 (1) (a) The State Board of Education shall establish curriculum requirements under
29 Section 53A-1-402, that include instruction in:
30 (i) community and personal health;
31 (ii) physiology;
32 (iii) personal hygiene; and
33 (iv) prevention of communicable disease.
34 (b) (i) That instruction shall stress:
35 (A) the importance of abstinence from all sexual activity before marriage and fidelity
36 after marriage as methods for preventing certain communicable diseases; and
37 (B) personal skills that encourage individual choice of abstinence and fidelity.
38 (ii) (A) At no time may instruction be provided, including responses to spontaneous
39 questions raised by students, regarding any means or methods that facilitate or encourage the
40 violation of any state or federal criminal law by a minor or an adult.
41 (B) Subsection (1)(b)(ii)(A) does not preclude an instructor from responding to a
42 spontaneous question as long as the response is consistent with the provisions of this section.
43 (c) (i) The board shall recommend instructional materials for use in the curricula
44 required under Subsection (1)(a) after considering evaluations of instructional materials by the
45 State Instructional Materials Commission.
46 (ii) A local school board may choose to adopt:
47 (A) the instructional materials recommended under Subsection (1)(c)(i); or
48 (B) other instructional materials as provided in state board rule.
49 (iii) The state board rule made under Subsection (1)(c)(ii)(B) shall include, at a
51 (A) that the materials adopted by a local school board under Subsection (1)(c)(ii)(B)
52 shall be based upon recommendations of the school district's Curriculum Materials Review
53 Committee that comply with state law and state board rules emphasizing abstinence before
54 marriage and fidelity after marriage, and prohibiting instruction in:
55 (I) the intricacies of intercourse, sexual stimulation, or erotic behavior;
56 (II) the advocacy of [
57 (III) the advocacy or encouragement of the use of contraceptive methods or devices;
59 (IV) the advocacy of sexual activity outside of marriage;
60 (B) that the adoption of instructional materials shall take place in an open and regular
61 meeting of the local school board for which prior notice is given to parents and guardians of
62 students attending schools in the district and an opportunity for them to express their views and
63 opinions on the materials at the meeting;
64 (C) provision for an appeal and review process of the local school board's decision; and
65 (D) provision for a report by the local school board to the State Board of Education of
66 the action taken and the materials adopted by the local school board under Subsections
67 (1)(c)(ii)(B) and (1)(c)(iii).
68 (2) (a) Instruction in the courses described in Subsection (1) shall be consistent and
69 systematic in grades eight through 12.
70 (b) At the request of the board, the Department of Health shall cooperate with the board
71 in developing programs to provide instruction in those areas.
72 (3) (a) The board shall adopt rules that:
73 (i) provide that the parental consent requirements of Sections 76-7-322 and 76-7-323
74 are complied with; and
75 (ii) require a student's parent or legal guardian to be notified in advance and have an
76 opportunity to review the information for which parental consent is required under Sections
77 76-7-322 and 76-7-323.
78 (b) The board shall also provide procedures for disciplinary action for violation of
79 Section 76-7-322 or 76-7-323.
80 (4) (a) In keeping with the requirements of Section 53A-13-109, and because school
81 employees and volunteers serve as examples to their students, school employees or volunteers
82 acting in their official capacities may not support or encourage criminal conduct by students,
83 teachers, or volunteers.
84 (b) To ensure the effective performance of school personnel, the limitations described
85 in Subsection (4)(a) also apply to school employees or volunteers acting outside of their official
86 capacities if:
87 (i) they knew or should have known that their action could result in a material and
88 substantial interference or disruption in the normal activities of the school; and
89 (ii) that action does result in a material and substantial interference or disruption in the
90 normal activities of the school.
91 (c) Neither the State Board of Education nor local school districts may allow training
92 of school employees or volunteers that supports or encourages criminal conduct.
93 (d) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules implementing this section.
94 (e) Nothing in this section limits the ability or authority of the State Board of
95 Education and local school boards to enact and enforce rules or take actions that are otherwise
96 lawful, regarding educators', employees', or volunteers' qualifications or behavior evidencing
97 unfitness for duty.
98 (5) Except as provided in Section 53A-13-101.1, political, atheistic, sectarian,
99 religious, or denominational doctrine may not be taught in the public schools.
100 (6) (a) Local school boards and their employees shall cooperate and share
101 responsibility in carrying out the purposes of this chapter.
102 (b) Each school district shall provide appropriate inservice training for its teachers,
103 counselors, and school administrators to enable them to understand, protect, and properly
104 instruct students in the values and character traits referred to in this section and Sections
105 53A-13-101.1, 53A-13-101.2, 53A-13-101.3, 53A-13-109, 53A-13-301, and 53A-13-302 and
106 distribute appropriate written materials on the values, character traits, and conduct to each
107 individual receiving the inservice training.
108 (c) The written materials shall also be made available to classified employees, students,
109 and parents and guardians of students.
110 (d) In order to assist school districts in providing the inservice training required under
111 Subsection (6)(b), the State Board of Education shall as appropriate, contract with a qualified
112 individual or entity possessing expertise in the areas referred to in Subsection (6)(b) to develop
113 and disseminate model teacher inservice programs which districts may use to train the
114 individuals referred to in Subsection (6)(b) to effectively teach the values and qualities of
115 character referenced in that subsection.
116 (e) In accordance with the provisions of Subsection (4)(c), inservice training may not
117 support or encourage criminal conduct.
118 (7) If any one or more provision, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this
119 section, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, is found to be
120 unconstitutional, the balance of this section shall be given effect without the invalid provision,
121 subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or word.