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Overview

​​​​​​​​​​​High school students, particularly in the early years, continue to experience many developmental changes. Students at this age are typically enjoying increased social independence that may include dating or being in an exclusive relationship. Students are forming bonds with their peers that tend to be more intensive and rewarding. Intellectually, students in upper grades may be nearing adulthood yet may still exhibit impulsive or risky behavior, limited planning skills, and a lack of understanding of how their actions can lead to long-term consequences (USDHHS 2017a). Teaching sexual health education can be interesting for many teachers, but may also be a subject of trepidation. Schools and districts should 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 all students (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States [SIECUS] n.d., USDHHS Office of Adolescent Health 2017).

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 pupils 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 and 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) www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/se/​

CDE logo

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 new 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”. 

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TeenSource

TeenSource.org 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, online.rainn.org y rainn.org/es​. RAINN provides programs to prevent sexual violence and help survivors.

WEAVE Inc.

​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

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

Family PACT

Family PA​​CT is California’s innovative approach to provide comprehensive family planning services to eligible low income residents. Services include comprehensive education, assistance, and services relating to family planning. ​

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report (MMWR) - CDC

The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR ) series, prepared by CDC, provides the scientific publication of timely, reliable, authoritative, accurate, objective, and useful​​​ public health information and recommendations. ​

Curriculum and Lessons

Be Real. Be Ready. - San Francisco Unified School District

"Be Real. Be Ready." is a comprehensive relationship and sexuality curriculum for high school students. The curriculum is medically accurate, skills-based, LGBTQ-inclusive, standards-based, and designed to meet the requirements of the California Healthy​ Youth Act.

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

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

Documentaries

Grade 9 - 12

Partnerships

​Partnering with the Family​​

  • In accordance with the CHYA, encourage students to engage in an open dialogue with their parents, guardians, or other trusted adults about human sexuality. 
  • A creative way to begin the conversation with parents, guardians, or caretakers may be for students to ask their parents, guardians, or caretakers: When did you first start dating? When did you have your first boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner? How did you learn about sexual health?
  • Under the CHYA, parents and guardians must be notified that their student will receive comprehensive sexual health and be allowed to view the materials prior to instruction.
  • Consider creating a CHYA community by hosting an education materials review night or encouraging administrators to share sexual health materials on the school district’s website. 
  • Parents and guardians may have their student excused from comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education only by submitting a request in writing to the school. However, general instruction or programming relating to LGBTQ people and issues is not subject to parental opt-out (EC 51932[b]). California law protects students against discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation, schools may not facilitate the selective opt-out of LGBTQ-related content in the context of comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education. ​

​​Partnering with your School​​​

  • Students encourage, advocate for, and support others by planning a school-wide awareness event on December 1 for World AIDS Day, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, Denim Day or a Take Back the Night event. 
  • Partner with GSA Network (transgender and queer youth uniting for racial and gender justice) to create an LGBTQ+ student-run club. ​

​​Partnering with your Community​​

  • Students identify local resources for reproductive and sexual health and evaluate laws related to sexual involvement with minors by inviting the local Planned Parenthood, CDPH, CDE, school-based health center, or other verified medically accurate organizations to provide a professional development presentation on the California Healthy Youth Act for teachers, administrators, school board members, and parents, guardians, and caretakers. 
  • Using valid and reliable web resources, students create a local resource guide of medical, health, and clinical providers, including those who provide services to the LGBTQ+ population, for reproductive and sexual health services that includes how to locate accurate sources of information on reproductive health in their community. ​
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