The Guilford County Board of Education is committed to a sound, thorough school health education program that provides students with accurate information and encourages them to be responsible for their own health and behavior. The Board recognizes the primary role of parents/guardians in providing for the health and well-being of their children and seeks to involve parents/guardians in the schools as provided in this policy. The school health education program provided by the school district will meet all requirements established by state and federal law, including the Basic Education Program, 115C-81(e1). Further, the Board will follow the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for Healthful Living Education.
The Board's school health education program will encompass all major aspects of healthful living for students from kindergarten through high school. As required by law, this program will include instruction on the benefits of sexual abstinence until marriage ("abstinence"), risks of premarital sexual activity, and the prevention of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases ("STD") at appropriate grade levels. The program will also teach awareness of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and risk reduction. The instruction and materials shall:
- Focus on healthy relationships
- Teach students what constitutes sexual assault and sexual abuse, the causes of those behaviors, and risk reduction.
- Inform students about resources and reporting procedures if they experience sexual assault or sexual abuse.
- Examine common misconceptions and stereotypes about sexual assault and sexual abuse.
A copy of all program objectives and instructional materials for Reproductive Health and Safety health education programs and any Board adopted Reproductive Health and Safety health education program will be available for review at any school where the program will be taught prior to its use with students. Before students may participate in a program that includes the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, the avoidance of out-of-wedlock pregnancy or reproductive health and safety education , the school will notify the parents of the opportunity to review the material and the right to withdraw his or her student from participating in the program. Any parent wishing to withdraw his or her student from the program must do so in writing to the principal.
The school district and each school should continually evaluate and improve the effectiveness of the health education programs, including the Reproductive Health and Safety education. This process should involve obtaining input from the school community, which may include teachers, school counselors, school administrators, parents, students, and professionals from the public health community. The school district may recommend to the Board to expand the subject areas or the instructional objectives of the health education program for kindergarten through high school.
For the Reproductive Health and Safety Education section of the Health Education Curriculum, instructors are expected to follow the program objectives and only use the instructional materials that have been made available to parents for review in accordance with this policy. This is not meant to limit an instructor's professional judgment in determining the most appropriate teaching techniques for a particular group of students, given the age and maturity of the students. Furthermore, a determination of what will be an appropriate education for any student with identified exceptionalities will be made in accordance with the individualized education plan, following all procedures as provided in the North Carolina Procedures Governing Programs and Special Services for Children With Special Needs.
Legal References: 115C-36, art. 9, -81(e1); 143 art. 33; Procedures Governing Programs and Services for Children With Special Needs, State Board Policy Number 10A100.