Enacted January 1, 2016, this law integrates the instruction of comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education. The bill renamed the California Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Act to the California Healthy Youth Act (CHYA). The bill requires school districts to ensure that all pupils in grades seven and up receive comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education. Education Code Sections 51930‐51939 (AB 329).
The following information is provided for parents to help them understand how sexual health education is taught in the Downey Unified School District. We want to help you make an informed decision about your child’s education. Thank you for taking the time to thoroughly read these facts and information.
Facts & Information for Parents
- A notification letter is sent to parents at the beginning of the semester and at least two weeks prior to the CHYA curriculum material being taught.
- Parents may opt-out of the California Healthy Youth Act (CHYA) curriculum.
- You may excuse your child from CHYA instruction, either in its entirety or select sections, by providing a written note in your preferred language to your child’s principal by dropping off the note in the front office. The note should simply state that you are excusing your child from the instruction, include and print your child’s first and last name, your first and last name, and your child’s grade level. There is no need for any explanation or reason to be stated.
- If you choose to opt your child out of a portion or the entire CHYA curriculum, they will not lose credit for missing this instruction and a separate, unrelated educational curriculum will be taught to those who have chosen to opt-out of a portion or all of the CHYA curriculum.
- The California Healthy Youth Act opt-out provision only applies to what is taught within those 10-12 sessions of instruction, it does not apply to instruction or materials outside the context of CHYA.
- Downey Unified will not be implementing the CHYA curriculum at the elementary level. It will only be taught at the secondary level: once in middle school and once in high school.
- For additional information, please visit: https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/se/faq.asp
Downey Unified’s CYHA Review Timeline:
- November 2016 – Downey Unified was notified by ACLU of CHYA noncompliance .
- September 2018 – Downey Unified met with LA County Office of Educ. representative to view all state compliant curricula and learn adoption process.
- December 2018 – A committee of teachers and counselors met to review proposed curricula and voted on one that best fit Downey Unified’s student population and culture.
- March 2019 – A formal presentation was given to the Board of Education, presenting “Teen Talk” as the proposed curriculum selected by the committee.
- April 2019- Current – Proposed curriculum, “Teen Talk”, made available for all parents to review after being publicized in the local paper.
- May 20th and 22nd, 2019 – Two parent information meetings, one middle and one high school, were held in May to explain CHYA, answer questions and gain feedback.
- June 2019, July 2019, August 2019 – Formal presentation was given during each month’s Board meetings to review and discuss the proposed curriculum, “Teen Talk”.
- August 29, 2019 – Third Parent Information Night is held to share curriculum review and adoption process as well as provide another opportunity to review “Teen Talk” material.
- September 9, 2019 – The Board of Education will review and possibly adopt the proposed curriculum with no proposed timeline for implementation this semester.
- 2019-2020 – Once Board approved, curriculum will begin to be purchased and training will begin for all teachers who will facilitate this instruction.