The Wilkes County Board of Education is committed to a sound, comprehensive health education program that provides students with accurate information and encourages them to be responsible for their own health and behavior. The Board of Education recognizes the primary role of parents in providing for the health and wellbeing of their children and seeks to involve parents in the schools as provided in this policy. The health education program provided by the school district will meet all requirements established by law, including the Basic Education Program (BEP), G.S. 115C-81(e1).
COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR GRADES KINDERGARTEN THROUGH NINTH GRADE
A comprehensive health education program will be taught to students from kindergarten through ninth grade. Comprehensive health includes the subject matter of mental and emotional health, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, nutrition, dental health, environmental health, family living and human sexuality, consumer health, disease control, growth and development, first aid and emergency care, and any like subject matter.
In addition, students in grades seven through nine will be provided with reproductive health and safety education in accordance to the “Healthy Youth Act of 2009” (Session Law 2009-213, House Bill 88). As required by law, this program will include the following instruction:
a. Teaches that abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage is the expected standard for all school-age children.
b. Presents techniques and strategies to deal with peer pressure and offer positive reinforcement.
c. Presents reasons, skills, and strategies for remaining or becoming abstinent from sexual activity.
d. Teaches that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain means of avoiding out-ofwedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health and emotional problems.
e. Teaches that a mutually faithful, monogamous, heterosexual relationship in the context of marriage is the best lifelong means of avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.
f. Teaches the positive benefits of abstinence until marriage and risks of premarital sexual activity.
g. Provides opportunities that allow for interaction between the parent or legal guardian and the student.
h. Provides factually accurate biological or pathological information that is related to the human reproductive system.
i. Provides factually accurate information on sexually transmitted diseases. In particular instruction shall be provided about the effects of contracting the Human Papilloma Virus, including sterility and cervical cancer.
j. Teaches about the effectiveness and safety of all FDA-approved contraceptive methods in preventing pregnancy.
k. Teaches awareness of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and risk reduction by examining common misconceptions and stereotypes about sexual assault and sexual abuse.
Materials used in this instruction shall be age appropriate for use with students. A copy of all program objectives and instructional materials for abstinence, avoidance of out-of-wedlock pregnancy, STD programs and any Board of Education-adopted sex education program will be available for review in the school’s office at any school where the program(s) will be taught. Before students may participate in any of these programs, the school must notify the parents of the opportunity to review the materials and the right to withhold consent for the student to participate. Any parent wishing to withhold consent 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. This process should involve obtaining input from the school community, which could include teachers, guidance counselors, school administrators, health clinic professionals, parents, students and professionals from the public health community. A school or the school district may recommend to the Board of Education to expand the subject areas or the instructional objectives of the health education program for kindergarten through ninth grade.
STANDARDS FOR INSTRUCTION
The health education programs should be taught by persons who have received sufficient training to teach these programs effectively. Staff development opportunities should be provided, as necessary, to ensure sufficient training.
For abstinence and STDs programs, as well as any Board of Education approved comprehensive sex education program, 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 student’s 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: G.S. 115C-36, art. 9, -81(e1)(1); 143 art. 33; Procedures Governing Programs and Services for Children with Special Needs, State Board Policy Number 10A100.
Adopted: January 9, 2006
Revised: April 27, 2010, February 11, 2013