This bill (listed below) is part of Planned Parenthood's 5-year plan to extend sex ed, abortion counseling, and normalization of homosexuality (and even transexuality) in the public schools. We stopped their similar bill last session, and this time they're back with less offensive sounding version, but it's still very dangerous. Planned Parenthood has worked hard for this, getting dozens of co-sponsors!
This is every parent's nightmare. And having this written into state law, rather than left to individual school districts to decide, is exactly what Planned Parenthood wants. This is their springboard to push much deeper into the public schools.
Last session we repeatedly asked the sponsors (and the Education Committee) to split off the objectionable topics from the rest of the bill, and thus avoid needless conflict. But they refused to do it then, and they still refuse to to it.
HOUSE BILL H597 (Also Senate bill S288)
(Link on State House website)
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General
Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 1D of chapter 69 of the General Laws, as
appearing in the 2004 Official Edition, is hereby amended by
inserting after the word “languages”, in line 6, the words:—, health
[Makes "health education" a legal requirement for graduation, and also for passing certain grade levels within school.]
SECTION 2. Paragraph 3 of said Section 1D of said Chapter 69,
as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out the fourth
sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:— The standards for health education shall be age-appropriate, medically
accurate and shall, at minimum, provide for instruction in the
following areas:— growth and physical development, physical
activity and fitness, nutrition, reproduction and sexuality, mental
health, family life, interpersonal relationships, disease prevention
and control, safety and injury prevention, tobacco, alcohol, and other
substance use and abuse prevention, consumer health and resource
management, ecological health, and community and public health.
[This makes these standards mandatory, not suggestive as is currently, by changing the word "may" to "shall". New law also changes the list of topic areas covered from current law. Adds phrase "age-appropriate", tho it's not defined and can thus be defined by school system.]
SECTION 3. Paragraph 14 of said Section 1I of said Chapter 69,
as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following
clause:— (l) health education.
[Adds "health education" to the list of topics that districts must report to the DOE on their procedures and programs - to make sure they're complying!]
SECTION 4. The commissioner of education shall submit a report
on the provision of health education by school districts to the joint
committee on education, the clerk of the house and the clerk of the
senate no later than July 1, 2009. The report shall include the
following data for each public school in the Commonwealth: health
education requirements by grade level; health education curriculum
offered by grade level; the number of students who opt-out of any
portion of the health education curriculum involving human sexual
education or human sexuality issues; and approximate number of
hours spent on each of the 14 subject areas listed in Section 2 of this
bill by grade level.
[Requires DOE to submit baseline reports of each school district -- to make sure that the schools have begun enforcing the health curriculum.]
SECTION 5. Consistent with the provisions of said Section 1E of
said Chapter 69, the Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum
Framework shall be construed as a guide for local school
districts in the development and selection of curriculum, textbooks
and instructional materials.
[Specifically inserts the Mass. Comprehensive Health Curriculum Framework document in state law as required guide! Currently, use of Framework is not required.] (see our report here)
SECTION 6. Consistent with the provisions of Section 32A of
Chapter 71, every city, town, regional school district or vocational
school district implementing or maintaining curriculum which primarily
involves human sexual education or human sexuality issues
shall adopt a policy ensuring parental/guardian notification. Such
policy shall afford parents or guardians the flexibility to exempt their
children from any portion of said curriculum through written notification
to the school principal. No child so exempted shall be penalized
by reason of such exemption.
[Very devious. Re-states language in notification law that is weak and easily ignored by schools. If actual notification law is changed, though, this language still stands here!]
SECTION 7. Nothing in this act shall be construed to require an
MCAS exam on health education.
[For benefit of teachers union, which wants to get of MCAS entirely.]
SECTION 8. This act shall take effect on July 1, 2008.