WSR 08-11-032

PROPOSED RULES

SUPERINTENDENT OF

PUBLIC INSTRUCTION

[ Filed May 13, 2008, 11:35 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 08-05-030.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 392-410-140 Sexuality education -- Definition and newly defined requirements for public schools in Washington state according to RCW 28A.A.300.475 [28A.300.475] Medically accurate sexual health education -- Curricula -- Participation excused -- Parental review.

Hearing Location(s): Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Old Capitol Building, 600 Washington Street, Olympia, WA 98504, on June 27, 2008, at 1:30 p.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: June 28, 2008.

Submit Written Comments to: Pam Tollefsen, P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200, e-mail Pam.Tollefsen@k12.wa.us, fax (360) 725-6363, by June 26, 2008.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Penny Coker by June 26, 2008, TTY (360) 664-3631 or (360) 725-6142.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The purpose of the rule revision is to reflect the provisions of the legislative intent in RCW 28A.300.475 related to medically accurate sexuality education in public schools and the provisions for parent excusal for student participation.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The proposed revisions to the rule provide guidelines for compliance with RCW 28A.300.475. The original WAC 392-410-140 does not include the new requirements.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 28A.300.040.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 28A.300.475.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: [OSPI], governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Pam Tollefsen, OSPI, (360) 725-6364.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Rule does not impact small business.

Dr. Terry Bergeson

Superintendent of

Public Instruction

OTS-1461.2


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 06-14-009, filed 6/22/06, effective 6/22/06)

WAC 392-410-140   Sex education -- Definition -- Optional course or subject matter -- Excusal of students.   (1) Local option. The decision as to whether or not a program about sex education or human sexuality is to be introduced into the common schools is a matter for determination at the district level by the local school board, the duly elected representatives of the people of the community.

(2) Definition(s).

(a) Sex education for the purpose of this regulation is defined as the study of the anatomy and the physiology of the human ((reproduction)) reproductive system.

(b) Human sexuality for the purpose of this regulation is defined as the characteristics or qualities that distinguish between maleness and femaleness. It includes the physiological, psychological, and sociological processes experienced by an individual.

(c) Medically and scientifically accurate means information that is verified or supported by research in compliance with scientific methods, is published in peer reviewed journals, where appropriate, and is recognized as accurate and objective by professional organizations and agencies with expertise in the field of sexual health including but not limited to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

(3) By September 1, 2008, every public school that offers sexual health education must assure the sexual health education is medically and scientifically accurate, age appropriate, appropriate for students regardless of gender, race, disability status, or sexual orientation.

(4) Development of instruction in sex education and human sexuality. School districts shall involve parents and school district community groups in the planning, development, evaluation, and revision of any instruction in sex education and human sexuality offered as a part of the school program.

(((4))) (5) All sexual health education programs must include an emphasis on abstinence as the only one hundred percent effective means of preventing unintended pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. All sexual health education programs must also provide medically and scientifically accurate information on all other methods of preventing unintended pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Abstinence may not be taught to the exclusion of instruction on contraception and disease prevention.

(6) Schools may choose to use separate, outside speakers or prepared curriculum to teach different content areas or units within the comprehensive sexual health program. All such curricula, presentations and materials used must have been approved by the department of health as medically and scientifically accurate.

(7) Notification of parents. Each school district shall, at least one month before teaching a program in human sexuality education in any classroom or other school venue, provide notice to parents of the planned instruction and that the materials or course of study are available for inspection. Such notification includes all formats of instruction related to sexuality education including, but not limited to written materials, guest speakers, classroom presentations, videos, electronically formatted materials.

(8) Excusal of students -- Alternative studies. Any parent or legal guardian who wishes to have his/her child excused from any planned instruction in sex education or human sexuality may do so upon filing a written request with the school district board of directors or its designee and the board of directors shall make available the appropriate forms for such requests. Alternative educational opportunities shall be provided for those excused.

The requirement to report harassment, intimidation, or bullying under RCW 28A.600.480(2) applies to this section.

[Statutory Authority: 2006 c 263. 06-14-009, recodified as 392-410-140, filed 6/22/06, effective 6/22/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.04.120 (6) and (8). 84-21-004 (Order 12-84), 180-50-140, filed 10/4/84.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office