Florida Senate - 2016 SB 1056 By Senator Bullard 39-00522B-16 20161056__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to education in public schools 3 concerning human sexuality; providing a short title; 4 requiring public schools that provide certain 5 information or programs to students relating to human 6 sexuality to provide information that meets specified 7 criteria; providing definitions; requiring schools to 8 make certain curriculum available to parents and 9 guardians upon request; authorizing students to be 10 excused from certain portions of a program or class 11 under certain circumstances; prohibiting an excused 12 student from disciplinary action, academic penalty, or 13 any other form of punishment for being excused; 14 authorizing a parent or guardian to seek review of a 15 school’s compliance; providing for district school 16 superintendents, district schools boards, and the 17 Commissioner of Education to review compliance and 18 take corrective actions; repealing s. 1003.46, F.S., 19 relating to health education and instruction in 20 acquired immune deficiency syndrome; providing for 21 severability; providing an effective date. 22 23 WHEREAS, fifty-nine percent of all pregnancies in Florida 24 are described as “unintended,” and, in 2010, Florida spent $1.3 25 million on births resulting from unintended pregnancies, and 26 WHEREAS, in 2013, Florida had the 29th highest birthrate 27 among women between the ages of 15 to 19, and Florida was one of 28 only three states whose number of births rose in 2012 and 2013, 29 and 30 WHEREAS, between federal fiscal years 1996-1997 and 2009 31 2010, Congress disbursed a total of over 1.5 billion tax dollars 32 into abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, with funding for 33 such programs continuing today, and 34 WHEREAS, scientific evidence contends that comprehensive 35 sex education helps adolescents withstand social pressures and 36 promotes healthy, responsible, and mutually protective 37 relationships once adolescents do become sexually active and 38 that withholding such information contributes to uninformed 39 adolescents who can carry habits and misinformation into 40 adulthood, and 41 WHEREAS, adolescents and young adults between the ages of 42 15 to 24 account for nearly half of the 20 million new cases of 43 sexually transmitted infections each year and, in 2014, 16 44 percent of reported new HIV infections were from individuals 45 under the age of 25, and 46 WHEREAS, Florida has the 4th highest number of syphilis 47 cases in the nation and, in 2013, had the highest rate of new 48 HIV infections, and 49 WHEREAS, providing adolescents with comprehensive and age 50 appropriate sex education will give them the information 51 necessary to make responsible decisions about their sexual 52 health and provide a common-sense solution to reducing 53 unintended adolescent pregnancies and cases of sexually 54 transmitted diseases, NOW, THEREFORE, 55 56 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 57 58 Section 1. The Florida Healthy Adolescent Act.— 59 (1) This section may be cited as the “Florida Healthy 60 Adolescent Act.” 61 (2) Each public school that directly or indirectly receives 62 state funding and that provides information, offers programs, or 63 contracts with third parties to provide information or offer 64 programs regarding human sexuality, including family planning, 65 pregnancy, or sexually transmitted infections prevention, 66 including the prevention of HIV and AIDS, shall provide 67 comprehensive, medically accurate, and factual information that 68 is developmentally and age appropriate. 69 (3) As used in this section, the term: 70 (a) “Comprehensive information” means information that: 71 1. Helps young people gain knowledge about the physical, 72 biological, and hormonal changes of adolescence and subsequent 73 stages of human maturation; 74 2. Develops the knowledge and skills necessary to protect 75 young people with respect to their sexual and reproductive 76 health and to promote an understanding of sexuality as a normal 77 part of human development; 78 3. Helps young people gain knowledge about responsible 79 decisionmaking; 80 4. Is culturally competent and appropriate for use with 81 students of any race, gender, gender identity, sexual 82 orientation, and ethnic and cultural background; 83 5. Develops healthy attitudes and behaviors concerning 84 growth, development, and body image; 85 6. Encourages young people to practice healthy life skills, 86 including negotiation and refusal skills, to assist in 87 overcoming peer pressure and using effective decisionmaking 88 skills to avoid high-risk activities; 89 7. Promotes self-esteem and positive interpersonal skills, 90 focusing on skills needed to develop healthy relationships and 91 interactions, and provides young people with the knowledge and 92 skills necessary to have healthy, positive, and safe 93 relationships and behaviors; and 94 8. Includes medically accurate information about all 95 methods of contraception and each method’s effectiveness rate, 96 including, but not limited to, abstinence. 97 (b) “Developmentally and age appropriate” means suitable 98 for particular ages or age groups of children and adolescents 99 and based on the developing cognitive, emotional, and behavioral 100 capacity typical for that age or age group. 101 (c) “Factual information” includes, but is not limited to, 102 medical, psychiatric, psychological, empirical, and statistical 103 statements. 104 (d) “Medically accurate information” means information 105 relevant to informed decisionmaking that is based on scientific 106 evidence; consistent with generally recognized scientific 107 theory; conducted under accepted scientific methods; published 108 in peer-reviewed journals; and recognized as accurate, 109 objective, and complete by mainstream professional 110 organizations, including the American Medical Association, the 111 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the 112 American Public Health Association, and the American Academy of 113 Pediatrics, government agencies, including the United States 114 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States 115 Food and Drug Administration, the United States Department of 116 Health’s National Institutes of Health, and scientific advisory 117 groups, including the Institute of Medicine and the Advisory 118 Committee on Immunization Practices. The deliberate withholding 119 of information that is needed to protect the life and health of 120 an individual is considered medically inaccurate. 121 (4)(a) Each public school that provides information, offers 122 programs, or contracts with a third party to provide information 123 or offer programs regarding human sexuality under this section 124 must provide the curriculum for review to a parent or guardian 125 upon request. 126 (b) A student may be excused from the portion of a program 127 or class that provides information relating to human sexuality 128 pursuant to this section upon written request by the student’s 129 parent or guardian. A student excused from the program or class 130 may not be subject to disciplinary action, academic penalty, or 131 any other form of punishment for being excused from that portion 132 of the program or class. 133 (5)(a) The parent or guardian of a student who is enrolled 134 in a school subject to the requirements of subsection (2) may 135 file a complaint with the district school superintendent if the 136 parent or guardian believes the school is not in compliance with 137 such requirements. Within 30 days after receipt of a complaint, 138 the district school superintendent shall take any warranted 139 corrective action and provide the complainant and the school 140 principal with written notice of the corrective action, if any, 141 that was taken. 142 (b) A parent or guardian who is not satisfied with the 143 district school superintendent’s response to the filed complaint 144 may file an appeal with the district school board within 30 days 145 after receiving the district school superintendent’s written 146 notice of any corrective action or, if notice was not timely 147 provided under paragraph (a), within 60 days after the complaint 148 was filed with the district school superintendent. Within 30 149 days after receipt of an appeal under this paragraph, the 150 district school board shall take any warranted corrective action 151 and provide the appellant and the district school superintendent 152 with a written notice of what, if any, corrective action was 153 taken. 154 (c) A parent or guardian who is not satisfied with the 155 district school board’s response to such an appeal may file an 156 appeal with the Commissioner of Education within 30 days after 157 receiving the district school board’s written notice of any 158 corrective action taken or, if notice was not timely provided 159 under paragraph (b), within 60 days after the appeal was filed 160 with the school board. The commissioner shall investigate the 161 claim and make a finding regarding compliance with subsection 162 (2). Upon a finding of substantial noncompliance, the 163 commissioner shall take corrective action, including, but not 164 limited to, notifying the parent or guardian of each student 165 enrolled in the school that the school is in violation of state 166 law. 167 Section 2. Section 1003.46, Florida Statutes, is repealed. 168 Section 3. If any provision of this act or its application 169 to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity 170 does not affect the remaining provisions or applications of the 171 act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or 172 application, and to this end the provisions of this act are 173 severable. 174 Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.