State law encourages districts to adopt dating violence policies.
California Education Code 32261 General Provisions
(a) The Legislature hereby recognizes that all pupils enrolled in the state public schools have the inalienable right to attend classes on school campuses that are safe, secure, and peaceful. The Legislature also recognizes that pupils cannot fully benefit from an educational program unless they attend school on a regular basis. In addition, the Legislature further recognizes that school crime, vandalism, truancy, and excessive absenteeism are significant problems on far too many school campuses in the state. (b) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the establishment of an interagency coordination system is the most efficient and long-lasting means of resolving school and community problems of truancy and crime, including vandalism, drug and alcohol abuse, gang membership, gang violence, and hate crimes. (c) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this chapter to support California public schools as they develop their mandated comprehensive safety plans that are the result of a systematic planning process, that include strategies aimed at the prevention of, and education about, potential incidents involving crime and violence on school campuses, and that address the safety concerns of local law enforcement agencies, community leaders, parents, pupils, teachers, administrators, school police, and other school employees interested in the prevention of school crime and violence. (d) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this chapter to encourage school districts, county offices of education, law enforcement agencies, and agencies serving youth to develop and implement interagency strategies, in-service training programs, and activities that will improve school attendance and reduce school crime and violence, including vandalism, drug and alcohol abuse, gang membership, gang violence, hate crimes, bullying, including bullying committed personally or by means of an electronic act, teen relationship violence, and discrimination and harassment, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment. (e) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this chapter that the School/Law Enforcement Partnership shall not duplicate any existing gang or drug and alcohol abuse program currently provided for schools. (f) As used in this chapter, “bullying” has the same meaning as set forth in subdivision (r) of Section 48900. (g) As used in this chapter, “electronic act” has the same meaning as set forth in subdivision (r) of Section 48900.
California Education Code 32270 School Safety Cadre
(a) The partnership shall establish a statewide school safety cadre for the purpose of facilitating interagency coordination and collaboration among school districts, county offices of education, agencies serving youth, allied agencies, community-based organizations, and law enforcement agencies to improve school attendance, encourage good citizenship, and to reduce school violence, school crime, including hate crimes, vandalism, drug and alcohol abuse, gang membership and gang violence, truancy rates, bullying, including acts that are committed personally or by means of an electronic act, teen relationship violence, and discrimination and harassment, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment.
(b) The partnership may appoint up to 100 professionals from educational agencies, community-based organizations, allied agencies, and law enforcement to the statewide cadre.
(c) The partnership shall provide training to the statewide cadre representatives to enable them to initiate and maintain school community safety programs among school districts, county offices of education, agencies serving youth, allied agencies, community-based organizations, and law enforcement agencies in each region.
California Education Code 33544 Instructional Quality Commission
(a) When the “Health Framework for California Public Schools” (health framework) is next revised after January 1, 2016, the commission shall consider including comprehensive information for grades 9 to 12, inclusive, on sexual harassment and violence that includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:
- (1) Information on different forms of sexual harassment and violence, including instances that occur among peers and in a dating relationship; a discussion of prevention strategies; how pupils report sexual harassment and violence; and potential resources victims can access.
- (2) Discussion of the affirmative consent standard, as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 67386, and skills pupils use to establish boundaries in peer and dating relationships.
- (3) Discussion of legal aspects of sexual harassment and violence under state and federal law.
(b) If the commission includes comprehensive information on sexual harassment and violence in the health framework, the commission shall comply with both of the following:
- (1) Ensure information included in the framework is research based and appropriate for pupils of all races, genders, sexual orientations, gender identities, and ethnic and cultural backgrounds. This may include, but shall not be limited to, reviewing other states’ curricula.
- (2) Consult with secondary health teachers and experts in sexual harassment and violence curriculum.
California Education Code 33545 Instructional Quality Commission
When the “Health Framework for California Public Schools” (health framework) is next revised after January 1, 2015, the commission shall consider including a distinct category on sexual abuse and sex trafficking prevention education that includes, but is not limited to, all of the following: (a) Information on different forms of sexual abuse and assault; discussion of prevention strategies; how to report sexual abuse or suspected sexual abuse; and local resources for victims. (b) Discussion of healthy boundaries for relationships; how to recognize potentially harmful and abusive relationships; and refusal skills to overcome peer pressure and to avoid high-risk activities. (c) Information on sex trafficking and risk factors; the recruiting tactics of sex traffickers and peer recruiters, including recruitment through the Internet; how to report sex trafficking or suspected sex trafficking; and local resources for victims. (d) Discussion of legal aspects of sexual abuse and sex trafficking under state and federal laws. (e) Discussion of how culture and mass media influence and desensitize our perceptions of sexual abuse and sex trafficking, including, but not limited to, stereotypes and myths about the victims and abusers, victim blaming, and the role of language. This instruction shall emphasize compassion for people who have suffered from sexual abuse or sex trafficking, and support positive reentry experiences for survivors returning to school.
California Education Code 33546 Instructional Quality Commission
(a) When the “Health Framework for California Public Schools” (health framework) is next revised after January 1, 2017, the commission shall consider including comprehensive information for kindergarten and grades 1 to 8, inclusive, on the development of healthy relationships, which shall be age and developmentally appropriate and consistent with the health education Standard adopted by the state board.
(b) If the commission includes comprehensive information on the development of healthy relationships in the health framework, the commission shall comply with both of the following:
- (1) Ensure information included in the health framework is research-based and appropriate for pupils of all races, genders, sexual orientations, gender identities, and ethnic and cultural backgrounds. This may include, but shall not be limited to, reviewing other states’ curricula.
- (2) Consult with teachers and educators with expertise in curriculum for developing healthy relationships.
(c ) For purposes of this section, the “development of healthy relationships” includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:
- (1) Understanding the principles of treating one another with respect, dignity, and kindness.
- (2) Demonstrating the ability to use interpersonal communication skills to address and resolve disagreement and conflict.
- (3) Recognizing when and how to respond to dangerous or other situations that may result in the bullying, harassment, harming, or hurting of another person.
California Education Code 51220.5. Legislative findings and declarations; Courses in parenting skills and education
(a) The Legislature finds and declares the following:
- (1) The family is our most fundamental social institution and the means by which we care for, prepare, and train our children to be productive members of society.
- (2) Social research shows increasingly that the disintegration of the family is a major cause of increased welfare enrollment, child abuse and neglect, juvenile delinquency, and criminal activity.
- (3) The lack of knowledge of parenting skills and the lack of adequate preparation to assume parental responsibilities are not only major causes of family disintegration, but also contribute substantially to the disastrous consequences of teen pregnancy.
- (4) Because the state government bears much of the economic and social burden associated with the disintegration of the family in California, the state has a legitimate and vital interest in adequately preparing its residents for parenthood. (b) The Legislature recognizes that the public education system is the most efficient and effective means to educate the populace on a large–scale basis, and intends, therefore, to use the public education system to ensure that each California resident has an opportunity to acquire knowledge of parenting skills prior to becoming a parent. That knowledge should include, at a bare minimum, all of the following:
- (1) Child development and growth.
- (2) Effective parenting.
- (3) Prevention of child abuse.
- (4) Nutrition.
- (5) Household finances and budgeting.
- (6) Personal and family interaction and relations.
- (7) Methods to promote self–esteem.
- (8) Effective decisionmaking skills.
- (9) Family and individual health. (c) Commencing with the 1995–96 fiscal year, the adopted course of study for grade 7 or 8 shall include the equivalent content of a one–semester course in parenting skills and education. All pupils entering grade 7 on or after July 1, 1995, shall be offered that course or its equivalent content during grade 7 or 8, or both. On or before January 1, 1995, the State Department of Education shall supply, to each school district that includes a grade 7 or 8, a sample curriculum suitable either for implementation as a stand–alone one–semester course or for incorporation within identified existing required or optional courses, with content designed to develop a knowledge of topics including, but not limited to, all of the following:
- (1) Child growth and development.
- (2) Parental responsibilities.
- (3) Household budgeting.
- (4) Child abuse and neglect issues.
- (5) Personal hygiene.
- (6) Maintaining healthy relationships.
- (7) Teen parenting issues.
- (8) Self–esteem. A district that implements the curriculum set forth in this subdivision in a stand–alone required course may exempt a pupil from the course if the pupil requests the exemption and satisfactorily demonstrates mastery of the course content. The district shall determine the method by which a pupil may demonstrate this mastery. (d) Commencing with the 1993–94 fiscal year, community college districts may offer, to interested individuals, noncredit fee–supported courses in parenting skills and education as described in subdivision (c). (e) This section is not intended to replace existing courses that accomplish the intent of this section. School districts may meet the requirements of this section with existing courses of study offered in any of grades 6 to 9, inclusive, that includes the course contents identified in subdivision (c). When the parenting skills and education curriculum is incorporated within courses other than consumer and home economics courses, these courses are not subject to the curricular Standard specified in Section 2 of Chapter 775 of the Statutes of 1989 or in the consumer and home economics education model performance Standard and framework. Teachers of courses other than consumer and home economics that incorporate parenting skills and education are not required to meet the qualifications specified for teachers of consumer and home economics. (f) This section shall become operative only if a funding source is identified by the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the purposes of this section on or before January 1, 1995. (g) The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall identify the funding source for this section from existing resources or private resources, or both, that may be available for the purposes of this section. The superintendent shall notify school districts when sufficient funds have been identified and are allocated to cover all costs relating to the operation of this section.
California Education Code 51934 Required Comprehensive Sexual Health Education and HIV Prevention Education
(a) Each school district shall ensure that all pupils in grades 7 to 12, inclusive, receive comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education from instructors trained in the appropriate courses. Each pupil shall receive this instruction at least once in junior high or middle school and at least once in high school. This instruction shall include all of the following:
- (1) Information on the nature of HIV, as well as other sexually transmitted infections, and their effects on the human body.
- (2) Information on the manner in which HIV and other sexually transmitted infections are and are not transmitted, including information on the relative risk of infection according to specific behaviors, including sexual activities and injection drug use.
- (3) Information that abstinence from sexual activity and injection drug use is the only certain way to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and abstinence from sexual intercourse is the only certain way to prevent unintended pregnancy. This instruction shall provide information about the value of delaying sexual activity while also providing medically accurate information on other methods of preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.
- (4) Information about the effectiveness and safety of all federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved methods that prevent or reduce the risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, including use of antiretroviral medication, consistent with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- (5) Information about the effectiveness and safety of reducing the risk of HIV transmission as a result of injection drug use by decreasing needle use and needle sharing.
- (6) Information about the treatment of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, including how antiretroviral therapy can dramatically prolong the lives of many people living with HIV and reduce the likelihood of transmitting HIV to others.
- (7) Discussion about social views on HIV and AIDS, including addressing unfounded stereotypes and myths regarding HIV and AIDS and people living with HIV. This instruction shall emphasize that successfully treated HIV-positive individuals have a normal life expectancy, all people are at some risk of contracting HIV, and the only way to know if one is HIV-positive is to get tested.
- (8) Information about local resources, how to access local resources, and pupils’ legal rights to access local resources for sexual and reproductive health care such as testing and medical care for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy prevention and care, as well as local resources for assistance with sexual assault and intimate partner violence.
- (9) Information about the effectiveness and safety of all FDA-approved contraceptive methods in preventing pregnancy, including, but not limited to, emergency contraception. Instruction on pregnancy shall include an objective discussion of all legally available pregnancy outcomes, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
- (A) Parenting, adoption, and abortion.
- (B) Information on the law on surrendering physical custody of a minor child 72 hours of age or younger, pursuant to Section 1255.7 of the Health and Safety Code and Section 271.5 of the Penal Code.
- (C) The importance of prenatal care.
- (10) Information about sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse, and human trafficking. Information on human trafficking shall include both of the following:
- (A) Information on the prevalence, nature, and strategies to reduce the risk of human trafficking, techniques to set healthy boundaries, and how to safely seek assistance.
- (B) Information on how social media and mobile device applications are used for human trafficking.
- (11) Information about adolescent relationship abuse and intimate partner violence, including the early warning signs thereof. (b) A school district may provide optional instruction, as part of comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education, regarding the potential risks and consequences of creating and sharing sexually suggestive or sexually explicit materials through cellular telephones, social networking Internet Web sites, computer networks, or other digital media. (c) A school district may provide comprehensive sexual health education or HIV prevention education consisting of age-appropriate instruction earlier than grade 7 using instructors trained in the appropriate courses. A school district that elects to offer comprehensive sexual health education or HIV prevention education earlier than grade 7 may provide age appropriate and medically accurate information on any of the general topics contained in paragraphs (1) to (11), inclusive, of subdivision (a).