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. 24 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, 57 58 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 59 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.