Florida Senate - 2019                                     SB 926
       By Senator Berman
       31-01094-19                                            2019926__
    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 a 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 receiving disciplinary action, academic
   13         penalty, or any other form of punishment for being
   14         excused; providing a compliance review process that
   15         meets certain requirements; authorizing a parent or
   16         guardian to seek review of a school’s compliance;
   17         providing for district school superintendents,
   18         district schools boards, and the Commissioner of
   19         Education to review compliance and corrective actions;
   20         repealing s. 1003.46, F.S., relating to health
   21         education and instruction in acquired immune
   22         deficiency syndrome; providing for severability;
   23         providing an effective date.
   25         WHEREAS, 59 percent of all pregnancies in Florida are
   26  described as “unintended,” and, in 2010, Florida spent $1.3
   27  million on births resulting from unintended pregnancies, and
   28         WHEREAS, in 2013, Florida had the 29th highest birthrate
   29  among women between the ages of 15 and 19, and Florida was one
   30  of only three states whose number of births rose in 2012 and
   31  2013, and
   32         WHEREAS, between federal fiscal years 1996-1997 and 2009
   33  2010, Congress disbursed a total of more than 1.5 billion tax
   34  dollars to abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, with funding
   35  for such programs continuing today, and
   36         WHEREAS, scientific evidence contends that comprehensive
   37  sex education helps adolescents withstand social pressures and
   38  promotes healthy, responsible, and mutually protective
   39  relationships once adolescents do become sexually active and
   40  that withholding such information contributes to uninformed
   41  adolescents who can carry habits and misinformation into
   42  adulthood, and
   43         WHEREAS, adolescents and young adults between the ages of
   44  15 and 24 account for nearly half of the 20 million new cases of
   45  sexually transmitted infections each year, and, in 2014, 16
   46  percent of reported new HIV infections were from individuals
   47  under the age of 25, and
   48         WHEREAS, Florida has the 4th highest number of syphilis
   49  cases in the nation and, in 2013, had the highest rate of new
   50  HIV infections, and
   51         WHEREAS, providing adolescents with comprehensive and age
   52  appropriate sex education will give them the information
   53  necessary to make responsible decisions about their sexual
   54  health and provide a common-sense solution to reducing
   55  unintended adolescent pregnancies and cases of sexually
   56  transmitted diseases, NOW, THEREFORE,
   58  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   60         Section 1. The Florida Healthy Adolescent Act.—
   61         (1)This section may be cited as the “Florida Healthy
   62  Adolescent Act.”
   63         (2)Each public school that directly or indirectly receives
   64  state funding and that provides information, offers programs, or
   65  contracts with third parties to provide information or offer
   66  programs regarding human sexuality, including family planning,
   67  pregnancy, or sexually transmitted infections prevention,
   68  including the prevention of HIV and AIDS, shall provide
   69  comprehensive, medically accurate, and factual information that
   70  is developmentally and age appropriate.
   71         (3)As used in this section, the term:
   72         (a)“Comprehensive information” means information that:
   73         1.Helps young people gain knowledge about the physical,
   74  biological, and hormonal changes of adolescence and subsequent
   75  stages of human maturation;
   76         2.Develops the knowledge and skills necessary to protect
   77  young people with respect to their sexual and reproductive
   78  health and to promote an understanding of sexuality as a normal
   79  part of human development;
   80         3.Helps young people gain knowledge about responsible
   81  decisionmaking;
   82         4.Is culturally competent and appropriate for use with
   83  students of any race, gender, gender identity, sexual
   84  orientation, and ethnic and cultural background;
   85         5.Develops healthy attitudes and behaviors concerning
   86  growth, development, and body image;
   87         6.Encourages young people to practice healthy life skills,
   88  including negotiation and refusal skills, to assist in
   89  overcoming peer pressure and using effective decisionmaking
   90  skills to avoid high-risk activities;
   91         7.Promotes self-esteem and positive interpersonal skills,
   92  focusing on skills needed to develop healthy relationships and
   93  interactions, and provides young people with the knowledge and
   94  skills necessary to have healthy, positive, and safe
   95  relationships and behaviors; and
   96         8.Includes medically accurate information about all
   97  methods of contraception and each method’s effectiveness rate,
   98  including, but not limited to, abstinence.
   99         (b)“Developmentally and age appropriate” means suitable
  100  for particular ages or age groups of children and adolescents
  101  and based on the developing cognitive, emotional, and behavioral
  102  capacity typical for that age or age group.
  103         (c)“Factual information” includes, but is not limited to,
  104  medical, psychiatric, psychological, empirical, and statistical
  105  statements.
  106         (d)“Medically accurate information” means information
  107  relevant to informed decisionmaking which is based on scientific
  108  evidence; consistent with generally recognized scientific
  109  theory; conducted under accepted scientific methods; published
  110  in peer-reviewed journals; and recognized as accurate,
  111  objective, and complete by mainstream professional
  112  organizations, including the American Medical Association, the
  113  American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the
  114  American Public Health Association, and the American Academy of
  115  Pediatrics, government agencies, including the United States
  116  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States
  117  Food and Drug Administration, and the United States Department
  118  of Health’s National Institutes of Health, and scientific
  119  advisory groups, including the Institute of Medicine and the
  120  Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The deliberate
  121  withholding of information that is needed to protect the life
  122  and health of an individual is considered medically inaccurate.
  123         (4)(a)Each public school that provides information, offers
  124  programs, or contracts with a third party to provide information
  125  or offer programs regarding human sexuality under this section
  126  shall provide the curriculum for review to a parent or guardian
  127  upon request.
  128         (b)A student may be excused from the portion of a program
  129  or class that provides information relating to human sexuality
  130  pursuant to this section upon written request by the student’s
  131  parent or guardian. A student excused from the program or class
  132  may not be subject to disciplinary action, academic penalty, or
  133  any other form of punishment for being excused from that portion
  134  of the program or class.
  135         (5)(a)The parent or guardian of a student who is enrolled
  136  in a school subject to the requirements of subsection (2) may
  137  file a complaint with the district school superintendent if the
  138  parent or guardian believes the school is not in compliance with
  139  such requirements. Within 30 days after receipt of a complaint,
  140  the district school superintendent shall take any warranted
  141  corrective action and provide the complainant and the school
  142  principal with written notice of the corrective action, if any,
  143  that was taken.
  144         (b)A parent or guardian who is not satisfied with the
  145  district school superintendent’s response to the filed complaint
  146  may file an appeal with the district school board within 30 days
  147  after receiving the district school superintendent’s written
  148  notice of any corrective action or, if notice was not timely
  149  provided under paragraph (a), within 60 days after the complaint
  150  was filed with the district school superintendent. Within 30
  151  days after receipt of an appeal under this paragraph, the
  152  district school board shall take any warranted corrective action
  153  and provide the appellant and the district school superintendent
  154  with a written notice of what, if any, corrective action was
  155  taken.
  156         (c)A parent or guardian who is not satisfied with the
  157  district school board’s response to such an appeal may file an
  158  appeal with the Commissioner of Education within 30 days after
  159  receiving the district school board’s written notice of any
  160  corrective action taken or, if notice was not timely provided
  161  under paragraph (b), within 60 days after the appeal was filed
  162  with the school board. The commissioner shall investigate the
  163  claim and make a finding regarding compliance with subsection
  164  (2). Upon a finding of substantial noncompliance, the
  165  commissioner shall take corrective action, including, but not
  166  limited to, notifying the parent or guardian of each student
  167  enrolled in the school that the school is in violation of state
  168  law.
  169         Section 2. Section 1003.46, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  170         Section 3. If any provision of this act or its application
  171  to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity
  172  does not affect the remaining provisions or applications of the
  173  act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or
  174  application, and to this end the provisions of this act are
  175  severable.
  176         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.