1997 Regular Session
To: Juvenile Justice; Education
By: Senator(s) Turner
Senate Bill 2537
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 37-13-131, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT APPROPRIATE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH EDUCATION TO PREVENT TEEN PREGNANCY SHALL BE A REQUIRED COMPONENT OF THE COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL HEALTH EDUCATION CURRICULUM; TO AMEND SECTION 37-13-133, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE FOR A TEEN PREGNANCY PREVENTION COORDINATOR K-12 WITHIN THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 37-13-131, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-13-131. (1) The State Department of Education is designated as the state agency responsible for the administration and supervision of the Comprehensive School Health Education Program as an educational curriculum in the State of Mississippi. It is the intent of the Legislature that all funds made available to the State Department of Education for the purpose of comprehensive school health education shall be administered by the State Department of Education.
(2) Pursuant to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the State Department of Education is authorized to establish an Office of Comprehensive School Health Education within the framework of the State Department of Education for the purpose of developing standards, procedures and criteria for the administration and supervision of a statewide program of health education in Kindergarten through Grade 12. The State Department of Education, through the Office of Comprehensive School Health Education, shall assume the further responsibility for promoting a statewide effort designed to prepare local school faculties and staffs to incorporate the comprehensive health education concept into their local educational programs.
(3) The Mississippi Department of Health, in conjunction with the Office of Student Development-Branch of Health-Related Services of the State Department of Education, shall develop a long-range strategic plan for a Comprehensive School Health Education Program in Grades K through 12. The Comprehensive School Health Education Program shall encompass five (5) interdependent components: (a) health education; (b) reproductive health education and referral to prevent teen pregnancy, as appropriate to the student's grade level, which referral shall not include abortion clinics and which education shall include pure abstinence; (c) health service; (d) physical education and fitness; and (e) a healthful school environment. These curriculum components shall be designed to develop decision-making competencies related to health and health behavior. Such curriculum components are intended to motivate health maintenance and promote wellness, not only to prevent disease or disability. The Mississippi Department of Health, in conjunction with the Office of Student Development-Branch of Health-Related Services of the Department of Education, shall develop the strategic plan and make a report thereon to the Governor and the Legislature on or before January 1, 1998.
SECTION 2. Section 37-13-133, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-13-133. Pursuant to the provisions of Section 37-13-131, the State Department of Education is authorized to provide for the services of a School Health Services Coordinator, School Instruction Coordinator, School Environmental Specialist, * * * from and after July 1, 1994, a Physical Education and Fitness Coordinator K-12, from and after July 1, 1997, a Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coordinator K-12, who shall be appointed from the existing personnel of the State Department of Education, and such other professional and nonprofessional staff as may be needed and as funds available to the department will permit. It shall be the responsibility of such professional staff to coordinate efforts of the personnel of the State Department of Education, the state's colleges and universities, local public schools and other appropriate agencies to provide the comprehensive health education curriculum.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.