State law addresses at least one component of a comprehensive sex education curriculum, appropriate to grade level.
Iowa Administrative Code 281-12.5 Education program.
e. Health. Health instruction shall include personal health; food and nutrition; environmental health; safety and survival skills; consumer health; family life; substance abuse and nonuse, encompassing the effects of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and poisons on the human body; human sexuality, self-esteem, stress management, and interpersonal relationships; emotional and social health; health resources; and prevention and control of disease, and the characteristics of communicable diseases, including acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
Iowa Code 256.11 Educational Standard.
- The following areas shall be taught in grades one through six: English-language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, health, age-appropriate and research-based human growth and development, physical education, traffic safety, music, and visual art. The health curriculum shall include the characteristics of communicable diseases including acquired immune deficiency syndrome. The state board as part of accreditation Standard shall adopt curriculum definitions for implementing the elementary program.
Iowa Code 279.50 Human Growth and Development Instruction.
- Each school board shall provide instruction in kindergarten which gives attention to experiences relating to life skills and human growth and development as required in section 256.11. School districts shall use research provided in section 256.9, subsection 46, paragraph “b”, to evaluate and upgrade their instructional materials and teaching strategies for human growth and development.
- Each school board shall provide age-appropriate and research-based instruction in human growth and development including instruction regarding human sexuality, self-esteem, stress management, interpersonal relationships, domestic abuse, HPV and the availability of a vaccine to prevent HPV, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome as required in section 256.11, in grades one through twelve.
- Each school board shall annually provide to a parent or guardian of any pupil enrolled in the school district, information about the human growth and development curriculum used in the pupil’s grade level and the procedure for inspecting the instructional materials prior to their use in the classroom.
- Each school district shall, upon request by any agency or organization, provide information about the human growth and development curriculum used in each grade level and the procedure for inspecting and updating the instructional materials.
- A pupil shall not be required to take instruction in human growth and development if the pupil’s parent or guardian files with the appropriate principal a written request that the pupil be excused from the instruction. Notification that the written request may be made shall be included in the information provided by the school district.
- Each school board or community college which offers general adult education classes or courses shall periodically offer an instructional program in parenting skills and in human growth and development for parents, guardians, prospective biological and adoptive parents, and foster parents.
- Each area education agency shall periodically offer a staff development program for teachers who provide instruction in human growth and development.
- The department of education shall identify and disseminate information about early intervention programs for students who are at the greatest risk of suffering from the problem of dropping out of school, substance abuse, adolescent pregnancy, or suicide.
- For purposes of this section and sections 256.9 and 256.11, unless the context otherwise requires:
- a. “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.
- b. “HIV” means HIV as defined in section 141A.1.
- c. “HPV” means human papilloma virus as defined by the centers for disease control and prevention of the United States department of health and human services.
- d. “Research-based” means all of the following:
- (1) Complete information that is verified or supported by the weight of research conducted in compliance with accepted scientific methods; recognized as medically accurate and objective by leading professional organizations and agencies with relevant expertise in the field, such as the American college of obstetricians and gynecologists, the American public health association, the American academy of pediatrics, and the national association of school nurses; and published in peer-reviewed journals where appropriate.
- (2) Information that is free of racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, and gender biases.
- To the extent not inconsistent with this section and section 256.11, an accredited nonpublic school may also choose curriculum in accordance with doctrinal teachings for the human sexuality component of the human growth and development requirements of this section and section 256.11.
- Nothing in this section or section 256.11 shall be construed to prohibit a school or school district from developing and making available abstinence-based or abstinence-only materials pursuant to the requirements of section 256.9, subsection 46, and from offering an abstinence-based or abstinence-only curriculum in meeting the human sexuality component of the human growth and development requirements of this section and section 256.11.
National Education Standard: Achieving Excellence
The acquisition of basic health concepts and functional health knowledge provides a foundation for promoting health-enhancing behaviors among youth. This standard includes essential concepts that are based on established health behavior theories and models. Concepts that focus on both health promotion and risk reduction are included in the performance indicators