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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 360        FILED ON: 1/10/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 450


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



James J. O'Day


To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to healthy youth.






James J. O'Day

14th Worcester

Danielle W. Gregoire

4th Middlesex

Carlo Basile

1st Suffolk

Linda Dorcena Forry

12th Suffolk

Ellen Story

3rd Hampshire

Frank I. Smizik

15th Norfolk

John W. Scibak

2nd Hampshire

Aaron Michlewitz

3rd Suffolk

Martha M. Walz

8th Suffolk

Tom Sannicandro

7th Middlesex

Louis L. Kafka

8th Norfolk

William N. Brownsberger

Second Suffolk and Middlesex

Josh S. Cutler

6th Plymouth

Timothy J. Toomey, Jr.

26th Middlesex

Peter V. Kocot

1st Hampshire

Lori A. Ehrlich

8th Essex

Ruth B. Balser

12th Middlesex

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

Katherine M. Clark

Fifth Middlesex

Jonathan D. Zlotnik

2nd Worcester

Chris Walsh

6th Middlesex

Tricia Farley-Bouvier

3rd Berkshire

David Paul Linsky

5th Middlesex

Paul Brodeur

32nd Middlesex

Mary S. Keefe

15th Worcester

Carl M. Sciortino, Jr.

34th Middlesex

Elizabeth A. Malia

11th Suffolk

Cory Atkins

14th Middlesex

Jay R. Kaufman

15th Middlesex

Ann-Margaret Ferrante

5th Essex

Jonathan Hecht

29th Middlesex

James B. Eldridge

Middlesex and Worcester

Denise C. Garlick

13th Norfolk

Denise Andrews

2nd Franklin

Kevin G. Honan

17th Suffolk

Paul R. Heroux

2nd Bristol

Brian R. Mannal

2nd Barnstable

Thomas P. Conroy

13th Middlesex

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex

Kenneth I. Gordon

21st Middlesex

Benjamin Swan

11th Hampden

Patricia D. Jehlen

Second Middlesex

Sarah K. Peake

4th Barnstable

David M. Rogers

24th Middlesex

Aaron Vega

5th Hampden

Gloria L. Fox

7th Suffolk

Jennifer E. Benson

37th Middlesex

Carolyn C. Dykema

8th Middlesex

Jason M. Lewis

Fifth Middlesex

Sean Garballey

23rd Middlesex

Carlos Henriquez

5th Suffolk

Antonio F. D. Cabral

13th Bristol

James M. Cantwell

4th Plymouth

Alice Hanlon Peisch

14th Norfolk

Theodore C. Speliotis

13th Essex

HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 360        FILED ON: 1/10/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 450

By Mr. O'Day of West Boylston, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 450) of James J. O'Day and others relative to age-appropriate sexual health education.  Education. 


SEE HOUSE, NO. 1063 OF 2011-2012.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen



An Act relative to healthy youth.


              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

              SECTION 1. Chapter 71 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after Section 32A the following:—

              Section 32B.  (1) For the purposes of this Act, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

              “Age-appropriate” means topics, messages, and teaching methods suitable to particular ages or age groups of children and adolescents, based on developing cognitive, emotional, and behavioral capacity typical for the age or age group.


              “Department” means the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

              “Medically accurate” means supported by peer-reviewed research conducted in compliance with accepted scientific methods, and recognized as accurate and objective by leading medical, psychological, psychiatric, and public health organizations and agencies, and, where relevant, published in peer-reviewed journals.

              (2) Each school district or public school that offers sexual health education shall provide medically accurate, age-appropriate education.

              Sexual health education under this section shall: teach the benefits of abstinence and delaying sexual activity; stress the importance of effectively using contraceptives and barrier methods to prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS; teach students the skills to effectively negotiate and implement safer sexual activity; help students develop the relationship and communication skills to form healthy, respectful relationships free of violence, coercion, and intimidation and make healthy decisions about relationships and sexuality; and be appropriate for students regardless of gender, race, disability status, or sexual orientation. 

              No speaker, program, curriculum, or materials used by a public school to provide instruction regarding sexual health shall conflict with the standards set out in this section, and information about abstinence may not be provided separate from information on contraceptives and disease prevention.

              (3) Sexual health education must be consistent with the Massachusetts comprehensive health curriculum framework developed by the department. 

              The commissioner of education shall develop a list of sexual health education curricula that are consistent with this section and the comprehensive health curriculum framework. This list shall be intended to serve as a resource for schools, teachers, or any other organization or community group, and shall be updated annually and made available on the department web site. Any school district or public school that utilizes these curricula in a manner consistent with section 32B(2) shall be presumed to be in compliance with this section.

              (4) The department shall establish a procedure, to be described on its website, to enable any parent or guardian with a child enrolled in a school district, or any student enrolled in a school district, to bring to the attention of the department any sexual health curriculum or program which the individual believes is inconsistent with the requirements of this act.  The commissioner shall assess any such curriculum or program and provide guidance and training to the school district to address identified inconsistencies and report back to the complaining individual within 60 days. 

              (5) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the ability of parents to exempt their children from instruction which primarily involves human sexual education or human sexuality issues under the provisions of section 32A of this chapter.

              SECTION 2. Section 1I of Chapter 69 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting at the end thereof the following:—

              Each school district and Commonwealth charter school shall file a report regarding sexual health education in the district with the department every year by a date and in a format determined by the board.  Said report shall include, but not be limited to, the following data for each public school and Commonwealth charter school, by grade level:

              (a)              a description of any sexual health education curricula or programs offered;

              (b)              the approximate number of hours spent on sexual health education;

              (c)              the number of students receiving sexual health education; and

              (d)              the number of students who opt-out of sexual health education under the provisions of section 32A of chapter 71.

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