School policy changes address comprehensive health education

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The following policy changes were recently approved by the Anderson School District One Board regarding Comprehensive Health Education. The policy addresses health education instruction including reproductive health, pregnancy prevention and now domestic violence education.The policy also deals with drugs, alcohol, tobacco and HIV/AIDS eduction.

Highlights include:

Purpose: To establish the board’s vision for health education.

The school district is committed to a sound, comprehensive health education program that is an integral part of each student’s general education.

The district will fulfill its responsibility for meeting the health needs of children and youth through a comprehensive program of health education in grades kindergarten through twelve.

Comprehensive health education includes instruction that maintains, reinforces or enhances the health, health-related skills, and health attitudes and practices of children and youth that are conducive to their well being good health. Instruction will promote skills, practices and attitudes which promote wellness, health maintenance and disease prevention.

Instruction also will include reproductive health education, pregnancy prevention education, domestic violence education and family life education, in accordance with state law. Health education will consist of appropriate, sequential instruction in health that is delivered as part of existing course or as a separate course. Instruction will promote knowledge and skills that promote wellness, health maintenance and disease prevention.

Instruction will be consistent with the South Carolina Academic Standards for Health and Safety Education.

The administration will develop a method whereby principals notify parents of students in the relevant grades of the content of the instructional materials concerning reproductive health, family life, sexually transmitted diseases (if this is a separate component) and pregnancy prevention. The notice will inform parents of their option to exempt their child from this instruction.

Teachers who provide instruction in family life and sex education will have professional preparation in the subject area, either at the pre-service or inservice level.

Teaching about drugs, alcohol and tobacco

All schools in the district will teach the nature of alcohol and narcotics and their effects upon the human system. Schools should help students develop an awareness of the consequences of the use and abuse of alcoholic drinks and drugs. Instruction will emphasize problems related to their use, pharmacological aspects, physiological effects and the impact upon the total community. Schools will present drug education as thoroughly, and in the same manner, as all other required subjects.

HIV/AIDS Education

The district will teach students about the life-threatening dangers of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and its prevention. The district will develop an AIDS prevention education program in consultation with teachers, administrators, parents and other community members including, but not limited to, persons from medical, public health and mental health organizations and agencies. The curriculum for HIV AIDS prevention education will be designed to teach students which behaviors place a person dangerously at risk of infection by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and methods to avoid such risk including the following.

· abstaining from sexual intercourse as the only certain means for preventing HIV infection through sexual contact

· avoiding the sharing of needles for tattooing, body piercing or injecting drugs

· developing communication and decision-making skills such as alcohol and other drug use

· the dangers of drug abuse, especially involving the use of hypodermic needles

· the dangers of sexual intercourse, with or without condoms

The program of AIDS prevention education will stress the life-threatening dangers of contracting AIDS and will stress that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain means for the prevention of the spread or contraction of the AIDS virus through sexual contact.

Adopted 10/26/76; Revised 5/24/97; 6/28/16