Sneak Peak: Pennsylvania Healthy Youth Act 2017

Below is a sneak peak of the very first rough draft of the Pennsylvania Healthy Youth Act.


Amending the Public School Code of March, 10th 1949 (P.L. 30, No.14), entitled an act “relating to the public school system, including certain provisions applicable as well to private and parochial schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the laws relating thereto.”

The General Assembly declare the purpose of this bill as follows:

  1. Ensure students of differing backgrounds, including but not limited to, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and ability, receive comprehensive, inclusive, and medically accurate sex education.
  2. To help all students understand that abstinence from sexual intimacy and contact and from abstinence of injection drug use is the only way to be 100% safe from sexually transmitted infection, HIV, and unintended pregnancy.
  3. Teach students how to most efficiently protect their health from common sexually transmitted diseases/infections, HIV, and prevent unintended pregnancy from occurring.
  4. To ensure all material is consistent, medically accurate, and unbiased when taught and to give specific goals for educators and school districts to accomplish.
  5. Help adolescents develop an understanding of healthy, positive, and safe relationships such as marriage and foster discussion on negative stereotyping of various circumstances in the United States.
  6. To provide tools for students to understand body growth and development, body image, gender, sexual orientation, relationships and family.
  7. To ensure students are understanding of the consequences of sexual misconduct and the negative effect on a person or community.
  8. To promote discussion about sexual health with parents and guardians.

The General Assembly finds and declares as follows:

  1. The State of Pennsylvania has a responsibility to help our youth gain the skills to achieve healthy and safe relationships while protecting their reproductive health.  The state recognizes discussions between parental figures and students in conjunction with comprehensive sex education is one of the best ways to promote healthy life decisions.
  2. Research has shown that comprehensive sex education programs help delay the initiation of sex, lessen the frequency of unsafe sexual contact, reduce the number of sexual partners and increase the use of FDA approved contraception among sexually active partners therefore reducing the number of sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancy, HIV transmission, and unsafe sexual practices in the long term.
  3. According to the Center for Disease Control the rate of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are on the rise nationally and it is a matter of public health that we address this growing rate in Pennsylvania adolescents through programs that have been proven to promote less risky sexual behavior.

 

This is the very beginning of the act before previsional changes. This is a piece of legislation based off of the California Healthy Youth Act and the original Pennsylvania Healthy Youth Act which failed 2009.

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