The Board of Education shall develop by December 1, 1987, standards of learning and curriculum guidelines for a comprehensive, sequential family life education curriculum in grades K through 12. Such curriculum guidelines shall include instruction as appropriate for the age of the student in family living and community relationships; the benefits, challenges, responsibilities, and value of marriage for men, women, children, and communities; abstinence education; the value of postponing sexual activity; the benefits of adoption as a positive choice in the event of an unwanted pregnancy; human sexuality; human reproduction; dating violence, the characteristics of abusive relationships, steps to take to avoid sexual assault, and the availability of counseling and legal resources, and, in the event of such sexual assault, the importance of immediate medical attention and advice, as well as the requirements of the law; the etiology, prevention and effects of sexually transmitted diseases; and mental health education and awareness.All such instruction shall be designed to promote parental involvement, foster positive self concepts and provide mechanisms for coping with peer pressure and the stresses of modern living according to the students’ developmental stages and abilities. The Board shall also establish requirements for appropriate training for teachers of family life education, which shall include training in instructional elements to support the various curriculum components.For the purposes of this section, “abstinence education” means an educational or motivational component which has as its exclusive purpose teaching the social, psychological, and health gains to be realized by teenagers’ abstaining from sexual activity before marriage.
1987, c. 371; 1999, c. 422; 2002, c. 554; 2004, c. 1030; 2007, c. 32; 2008, c. 417; 2009, cc. 437, 583.