Would require charter schools to ensure that all pupils in grades 7 to 12, inclusive, receive comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education, as specified. By imposing additional requirements on charter schools, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.
AAP Positional Letter
June 13, 2018
Honorable Benjamin Allen
Chair, Senate Education Committee
State Capitol, Room 2083
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: AB 2601 (Weber): Pupil instruction: sexual health education: charter schools.
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Chair Allen:
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, supports proposed legislation AB 2601 (Weber), which extends the requirement that all pupils in grades 7 to 12 receive comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education so as to include students of charter schools, as well as public school districts.
Comprehensive sex education has been shown to delay sexual activity as well as increase condom and contraceptive use amongst youth who are already active. Since the California Healthy Youth Act was enacted, the percentage of sexually active California students who use birth control has increased, and the percentage of students who had multiple sexual partners decreased. However, the California Healthy Youth Act does not currently apply to charter schools, thus limiting the population that benefit from it. California has the highest number of students enrolled in charter schools of any state in the nation, and many charter schools either do not provide sex education or leave out crucial topics such as birth control, sexual orientation, and how to talk with parents about these very personal concerns.
AB 2601 (Weber) would rectify this by extending the requirements of the California Healthy Youth Act to charter schools, thus assuring that thousands more California students would receive this critical instruction and thus be able to make more informed and responsible choices about their sexuality. This stands to improve the health and wellbeing of youth who avoid the consequences of unwanted pregnancies and STI transmission, as well as all those who learn to relate to their own sexuality and gender identities in a more comfortable and healthy way.
Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 statewide strongly support AB 2601 (Weber) and urge your AYE vote. Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: Members of the Senate Education Committee
The Honorable Shirley Weber, Author
AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne