Health Education

Adopted January 1968 – Reviewed and deemed relevant February 2015 – Revised August 2020 – Health & Community Concerns Commission

California State PTA is concerned for the health and well-being of all children and youth. California State PTA believes that comprehensive health education is essential for each child to develop to his fullest potential.

California State PTA believes that comprehensive health education includes physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being. California State PTA recognizes that many students are sexually active and that this may result in pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection leading to AIDS and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

California State PTA also believes that the home, the school, and the community each bear some responsibility for the health of all children and youth. This shared responsibility should provide:

  • Comprehensive health education for all children and youth;
  • School curriculum and instruction related to good health and prevention of disease;
  • Children and youth with the ability to make intelligent decisions that will develop and maintain good health habits;
  • An awareness of individual, family, and community health needs; and
  • Statewide health standards, accountability and testing.

Schools contribute to the achievement of public health goals in conjunction with their educational commitments. California State PTA believes that a strong, comprehensive program of health education taught by qualified personnel should be an integral part of the core school curriculum. Through coordinated school health programs that include access to health services, health education, and the involvement of parent and community coalitions, the health and well-being of all students can be promoted and protected.

California State PTA supports the right of a parent to be notified about any course of study regarding sex education and to review the curriculum materials to be used. PTA further supports the right of a parent/guardian to request in writing that his/her student be excused from such a course of study.

Numerous national health organizations have adopted policies in support of school condom availability as a component of comprehensive sexuality education. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the proper and consistent use of latex or polyurethane condoms can greatly reduce a person’s risk of acquiring or transmitting sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS and HPV.

While the California State PTA has no specific position on school districts making condoms available to students, if a school district elects to do so, PTA urges that the condoms should be made available only under the following specific conditions:

  • That strategies for preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS and HPV should be taught, including abstinence from sexual relations and intravenous drug use.
  • That the local school board has an existing condom availability policy.
  • That a licensed health professional provide condoms only upon request.
  • That verbal and written instructions be given in the proper use of condoms including information about spermicide(s) approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as information on condom failure at the time they are given to students.
  • That any parent or guardian who objects to his or her student receiving a condom may so inform the school in writing. (The law requires school districts to notify parents when a condom availability policy is established.

PTAs should not assume the responsibility for making condoms available either with financial support or volunteer assistance due to the potential risk of liability.

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