SECTION 1. chapter 71 of the general laws, as appearing in the 2014 official edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 3, the following section: -
Section 3A. mental health education. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the department of elementary and secondary education and the executive office of education, in collaboration with a youth advisory committee, shall develop an optional mental health promotion course as an alternative to the Massachusetts comprehensive health education curriculum for public high school students. The mental health promotion curriculum shall meet all standards which guide the existing comprehensive health education curriculum. The mental health curriculum will supplement the comprehensive health education curriculum by providing instruction in areas including, but not limited to: mental health, mental illness, teenage brain development, stress management, physical health, violence prevention, ecological and community health and mental illness stigma.
SECTION 2. 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.
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