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Checklist for Guest Speakers

Provides a list of criteria to determine if an outside speaker is adhering to California EC for HIV/AIDS prevention education and comprehensive sexual health education.

The use of guest speakers is permissible, but all speakers shall meet requirements of Education Code (EC) 51930 though 51939. Some organizations accept federal funds (Section 510(b)(2) of Title V of the Social Security Act) to promote abstinence-only education. The federal guidelines for abstinence-only education are inconsistent with California EC. EC Section 51933, prohibits “abstinence-only” education, in which information about preventing pregnancy and STDs is limited to instruction on abstinence from sexual activity.

EC Section 51933 requires that classes that provide instruction on human development and sexuality in grades seven through twelve shall include medically accurate, up-to-date information about all Federal Drug Administration-approved methods for: 1) reducing the risk of contracting STDs, and 2) preventing pregnancy. Classes that provide instruction on HIV/AIDS prevention shall include medically accurate, up-to-date information on methods to reduce the risk of HIV infection, including the effectiveness rates of condoms and other contraceptives.

Instruction that emphasizes the benefits of abstinence while focusing exclusively on the failure rates or perceived disadvantages of condoms and other contraceptives is also prohibited by law. This would violate legal requirements that the instruction cover the effectiveness and safety (not solely the ineffectiveness) of condoms and other contraceptive methods and would also violate requirements that the instruction be medically accurate and objective.

Here are some guiding questions to ask before allowing any outside speaker to present at a local school site.

  1. Does this speaker possess knowledge of the most recent medically accurate research on human sexuality, pregnancy, and STDs? (EC 51931 [e])
    1. Are the speaker’s qualifications verifiable by a degree in a relevant subject from an accredited university or specialized training certificate?
  2. If an outside speaker represents an organization, is the mission statement of the organization in conflict with any part of EC 51930 – 51939?
  3. Can the speaker provide documentation that he/she will comply with EC 51930 – 51939?
  4. Are the instruction and the materials age appropriate?
    1. Is this verifiable by the recommended age level specified in the curriculum or the California Healthy Kids Resource Center Web site?
  5. Are the materials medically accurate as defined by EC 51931 [f]?
    1. "Medically accurate" means verified or supported by research conducted in compliance with scientific methods and published in peer-reviewed journals, where appropriate, and recognized as accurate and objective by professional organizations and agencies with expertise in the relevant field, such as the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Public Health Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (EC Section 51931 [f]).
    2. Information may also come from the United States Surgeon General, and the National Academy of Sciences. (EC 51934 [b]).
  6. Are the materials and speaker outlines that will be used for instruction available for review?
  7. Is instruction made available to English language learners (EC 51933 [3])?
    1. Are information and materials made available to students and parents in a language they can understand?
  8. Is the material appropriate for use for use with pupils of all races, genders, sexual orientations, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and pupils with disabilities? (EC 51933 [4])
  9. Are the instruction and materials used in the classroom free from the teaching or promotion of religious doctrine? (EC 51933 [d] [1]).
  10. Is the material free from promoting bias against any person on the basis of EC 220?
    1. EC 220 states that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the basis of:
      1. sex
      2. ethnic group identification
      3. race
      4. national origin
      5. religion
      6. color
      7. mental or physical disability or any actual or perceived characteristic as defined as a hate crime in Penal Code 422.55.
  11. Do the instruction and materials encourage students to communicate with their parents/guardians about human sexuality (EC 51933 [6])?
  12. Do the instruction and materials teach respect for marriage and committed relationships (EC 51933 [7])?
Questions: Coordinated School Health & Safety Office | schoolhealth@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0914 
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