The Senate passed a bill on Thursday that requires school districts offering sex education to use a curriculum they described as medically accurate, age-appropriate and inclusive of students regardless of their sexual orientation. The Healthy Youth Act, which passed in a vote, would require schools teaching sex education to use the updated Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum Framework to provide comprehensive, medically accurate and age-appropriate information, but it would also allow parents to opt their children out. The bill, S. That means schools would need to acknowledge that people have different sexual orientations and gender identities and offer resources for LGBTQ students.
Massachusetts State Profile
General Law - Part I, Title XII, Chapter 71, Section 32A
Learn more …. Attachment 1 Attachment 2 Attachment 3 Regulations. Schools are to make instructional materials for said curricula reasonably accessible to parents, guardians and others for inspection and review. Section 32A directs the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to promulgate regulations for resolution of disputes that may arise under it. We are in the process of developing those regulations. We believe disputes will be rare if school committees, superintendents, principals, teachers and parents work together to ensure that the policies adopted by the school district are clear, consistent with the law and well-understood by all members of the school community. For that reason, we are publishing this advisory to inform you about the requirements of the new law and our understanding of its intent.
Advisory Opinion on the Parental Notification Law
The Senate voted Thursday to require comprehensive sex education curriculum in schools that teach the topic, easily advancing a bill that has proved controversial in the past. Under the bill, which passed , schools offering sex education would be required to provide medically accurate and age-appropriate information, including LGBTQ-inclusive material and discussion of consent, while allowing parents to opt their children out. Supporters said existing state law does not guarantee that materials taught are medically accurate, making an update necessary to ensure the health and well-being of students. Sal DiDomenico, an Everett Democrat who was the bill's lead sponsor.
On January 16, , the Massachusetts Senate passed S. This does not require schools to adopt a curriculum, and there is an opt-out provision for parents who do not wish their children to receive this education. Still, the bill requires medically accurate information be shared, that a comprehensive view of sex education be taught that goes beyond abstinence-only education, and, perhaps most importantly, the bill requires schools teach students about consent, boundaries, and healthy and safe relationships. Unfortunately, the legislative session came to an end with the bill stuck in the House Committee on Ways and Means.