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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Many students in seventh and eighth grade experience developmental and physical changes related to puberty. Students at this age are also generally becoming more aware of their own sexuality as well as that of others. Teaching human development and sexuality education can be interesting for many teachers, but may also be a subject of trepidation for some educators and administrators (HHS Office of Adolescent Health 2017). Schools and districts must ensure their educators have the training, resources, and support to teach these subjects effectively—and that the school environment is welcoming, inclusive, and safe for LGBTQ+ students. ​   

​California​ Healthy Youth Act 
​Enacted January 1, 2016, the California Healthy Youth Act (CHYA) law​ integrates the instruction of comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education. The bill renamed the California Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Act to the California Healthy Youth Act. It requires school districts to ensure that all students in grades seven to twelve, inclusive, receive comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education.  

The California Healthy Youth Act has five primary purposes: 
  • To provide pupils with the knowledge a​nd skills necessary to protect their sexual and reproductive health from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and from unintended pregnancy; 
  • To provide pupils with the knowledge and skills they need to develop healthy attitudes concerning adolescent growth and development, body image, gender, sexual orientation, relationships, marriage, and family; 
  • To promote understanding of sexuality as a normal part of human development; 
  • To ensure pupils receive integrated, comprehensive, accurate, and unbiased sexual health and HIV prevention instruction and provide educators with clear tools and guidance to accomplish that end; 
  • To provide pupils with the knowledge and skills necessary to have healthy, positive, and safe relationships and behaviors

For more information: California Healthy Youth Act (CHYA)​ ​ ​

The law also requires that all information presented be objective and medically accurate, which is defined as being verified or supported by research conducted in compliance with scientific methods and published peer-reviewed journals, where appropriate, and recognized as accurate and objective by professional organizations and agencies with expertise in the relevant field such as the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Public Health Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (Education Code 51931(f)).   ​ 

​The Orange County Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of this outside information. Further, the inclusion of links to particular items in hypertext are not intended to reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse any views expressed or products or services offered on these outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring the sites.​​​

Information and Resources

Adolescent Sexual Health Work Group

This mapping tool, which includes a Students’ Rights and Resource List Template and Instruction Guide, will help students find resources specific to your community where your they may access health, mental health, sexual assault, drug and alcohol services and LGBTQ support. Use the Template and the Instruction Guide to find local resources. The template also provides statewide minor rights information, resources, and hotlines on the reverse side. Providing this handout to students helps to meet the requirement of the California Healthy Youth Act to inform stu​​dents about their “local resources, how to access local resources, and pupils’ legal rights to access local resources”. 

TeenSource provides information and resources on how to make healthy decisions for your body.

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of people worldwide. ​

Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN)

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800.656.HOPE,​. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence and help survivors.


WEAVE provides information, resources, education, training, and crisis intervention services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Sacramento County. ​​

Love Is Respect

Love Is Respect provides information and advocacy to young people who have questions or concerns about their dating relationships. Free and confidential phone, live chat and texting services are available 24/7/365.​​​

National Domestic Violence Hotline

The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) have highly trained, experienced advocates to offer compassionate support, crisis intervention information, educational services and referral services in more than 200 languages. This site provides ​information about domestic violence, online instructional materials, safety planning, and local resources.​​​

National Center for Transgender Equality

The National Center for Transgender Equality advocates to change policies and society to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender people.​

The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25. ​

Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

GLAAD ​​provide information, resources, and advocacy for LGBTQ acceptance and tackles tough issues​ to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change.​

GSA Network

The GSA Network supports LGBTQ+ youth organizers across the country to take action and create change at all levels, from school-based campaigns that impact individual school districts to national days of action that unite GSAs for racial and gender justice.​


GLSEN works to ensure that LGBTQ students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment.

Curriculum and Lessons

Sex Ed To-Go - Planned Parenthood

Sex Ed To-Go includes a student-facing portal with short, engaging modules built on best-practice, inclusive principles. Covers introductory information on topics from anatomy to consent to pregnancy options to how to access services. Designed for teachers and youth-serving professionals to assign to their students OR for young people who don’t get sex education in school. Complemented by a three-part family communication course for parents and caregivers.

Confident Me - Dove Self-Esteem Project

​Confident Me is a set of evidence-informed resources for teachers & educators aimed at 11- to 14-year-olds. Aligned to promote adolescent body confidence, the free downloadable tools are designed to allow teachers and educators to run body confidence workshops. The workshops allow teachers, educators, and students to explore the impact that image ideals portrayed in the media have on young people’s self-esteem.

Rights, Respect, and Responsibility: A K-12 Curriculum

​Rights, Respect, Responsibility is an age-appropriate curriculum for Grades K-12 that fully meets the National Sexuality Education Standards and seeks to address both functional knowledge related to sexuality and specific skills necessary to adopt healthy behaviors. ​​​CHYA aligned version available​.


Amaze offers fun, informative, animated videos that give students accurate, age-appropriate information about sex, their body, and relationships. ​

Body Image Lessons - Purdue University Extension

Purdue University Extension offers this lesson for Middle School students on healthy body image.​ ​


​Partnering with the Family​​

  • A creative way to begin the conversation with a family member may be for students to ask their parents, guardians, or caretakers: Did you date? When did you first start dating? How old were you when you had your first boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner? How did you learn about sexual health? What are your expectations for my behavior? 
  • The CHYA also supports the involvement of parents and guardians by requiring local districts to notify them their student will receive comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education and to provide opportunities for parents and guardians to view the instructional materials prior to instruction. 
  • Schools should consider hosting a Family Preview Night to inform parents and guardians about topics that will be covered during comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education and provide tools for facilitating conversations at home with their students. ​

​​Partnering with your School​​​

  • Plan a campus awareness event for World AIDS Day (December 1) to educate peers and help to dispel common stereotypes about people living with HIV 
  • Partner with the GSA Network (transgender and queer youth uniting for racial and gender justice) to create an LGBTQ+ student-run club. ​

​​Partnering with your Community​​

  • Using ​valid and reliable web resources, students create a resource guide of healthcare and health education agency providers including those who provide services to LGBTQ+ students or students with varying sexual orientations and belief systems for reproductive and sexual health services and how to locate accurate sources of information on reproductive, sexual, and mental health services in their community.
  • The resource guide can be translated into the home languages of students to share with the other students and the community. It is important to ensure the accuracy of any translation. 
  • Resources must be vetted and approved for safety and medical accuracy before distribution or if being shared. ​
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