WSR 08-17-029

PERMANENT RULES

SUPERINTENDENT OF

PUBLIC INSTRUCTION

[ Filed August 13, 2008, 11:37 a.m. , effective September 13, 2008 ]


Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

Purpose: The purpose of the rule revision is to reflect the provisions of the legislative intent in RCW 28A.300.475 related to sexuality education in public schools and the provisions of parent excusal for student participation.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 392-410-140.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 28A.300.040.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 08-11-032 on May 13, 2008.

Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: Revised definition of "sexuality education" to reflect comments received. Removed requirement that the department of health (DOH) approve all materials for medical and scientific accuracy prior to use in public schools. Provided services of DOH upon request. This was at the request of DOH due to limited resources to conduct reviews of large numbers of materials.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: August 13, 2008.

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