2021 Regular Session
To: Education; Appropriations
By: Representative Anderson (110th)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 37-13-171, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE CERTAIN PROVISIONS RELATING TO SEX EDUCATION INSTRUCTION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS; TO REQUIRE THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO COLLECTIVELY DEVELOP A LIST OF APPROVED CURRICULA EVERY FIVE YEARS WHICH IS EVIDENCE-BASED, MEDICALLY ACCURATE AND APPROPRIATE FOR MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS BEGINNING JULY 1, 2021, WHICH MAY BE USED BY LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN ADOPTING POLICIES ON ABSTINENCE-ONLY AND ABSTINENCE-PLUS EDUCATION; TO AMEND SECTION 37-13-173, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE PARENTS WITH OPT OUT AUTHORITY TO EXCLUDE THEIR CHILD FROM ANY INSTRUCTION OR PRESENTATION ON ANY SEX-RELATED EDUCATIONAL CONTENT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 37-13-171, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-13-171. (1) The local school board of every public school district shall adopt a policy to implement abstinence-only or abstinence-plus education into its curriculum by June 30, 2012, which instruction in those subjects shall be implemented not later than the start of the 2012-2013 school year or the local school board shall adopt the program which has been developed by the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the Mississippi Department of Health. The State Department of Education shall approve each district's curriculum for sex-related education and shall establish a protocol to be used by districts to provide continuity in teaching the approved curriculum in a manner that is culturally proficient evidence-based, medically accurate, age, grade and developmentally appropriate.
(2) Beginning July 1, 2021, the State Department of Education, in collaboration with the Mississippi Department of Health, shall develop a list of approved curricula every five (5) years which are culturally proficient, evidence based, medically accurate, and age appropriate for middle and high school students. The Mississippi Department of Health shall determine whether the curricula are evidence-based and medically accurate. The State Department of Education shall determine whether the curricula are age, grade and developmentally appropriate. Instruction shall be offered at least once in middle school and once in high school. School districts may choose a different curriculum for middle and high school if applicable. The State Department of Education shall approve each district's curriculum for sex education and shall establish a protocol to be used by districts to provide continuity in teaching the approved curriculum in a manner that is age, grade and developmentally appropriate.
(3) Sex education shall be the state standard taught in the public schools. For purposes of this section, sex education includes any type of instruction program, which at an appropriate age and grade:
(a) Teaches that abstinence is the only one-hundred percent (100%) way to prevent unplanned pregnancy and the social, psychological and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity;
(b) Teaches that a healthy relationship is the foundation for sex education and one's ability to navigate relationships and manage one's sexual health;
(c) Teaches that consent means an affirmative, unambiguous, voluntary, continuous and knowing agreement between all participants in each physical act within the course of a sexual encounter or interpersonal relationship;
(d) Teaches the current state law related to sexual conduct, including forcible rape, statutory rape, paternity establishment and child support;
(e) Teaches that interpersonal violence is domestic violence by a current or former spouse or partner in an intimate relationship against the other spouse or partner. Interpersonal violence can take on a number of forms, including physical, verbal, emotional, economic and sexual abuse;
(f) Teaches that human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act;
(g) Teaches contraceptive methods, including all FDA-approved forms of contraception, condoms and other barrier methods, and must be taught in a cohesive, integrated, objective manner to afford youth the ability to learn the full scope of preventive methods available;
(h) Teaches the nature, causes and effects of sexually transmitted disease, including HIV and AIDS, along with factual presentation of risks and failure rates; and
(i) Teaches information that is factual and culturally appropriate for addressing the needs of people with physical or intellectual disabilities, people who have experienced sexual victimization, and others whose experiences have traditionally been left out of sex education programs and policies.
(4) Any course containing sex-related education offered in the public schools shall include instruction in either abstinence-only or abstinence-plus education.
(5) No program of instruction under sex education curriculum may teach that abortion can be used to prevent the birth of a baby.
( * * *
6) Local school districts, in their
discretion, may host programs designed to teach parents how to discuss
abstinence with their children.
* * *
SECTION 2. Section 37-13-173, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-13-173. Each school
providing instruction or any other presentation on human sexuality in the
classroom, assembly or other official setting shall be required to provide no
less than one (1) week's written notice thereof to the parents of children in
such programs of instruction. The written notice must inform the parents of
their right to request the * * *
exclusion of their child for
such instruction or presentation. The notice also must inform the parents of
the right, and the appropriate process, to review the curriculum and all
materials to be used in the lesson or presentation. Upon the request of any
parent for exclusion, the school shall excuse the parent's child from
such instruction or presentation, without detriment to the student.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2021.