Checklist for Guest SpeakersProvides 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 the CHYA (California Education Code [EC] sections 51930–51939). Some organizations accept federal funds (Section 510[b] of Title V of the Social Social Security Act) to promote abstinence-only education. The federal guidelines for abstinence-only education are inconsistent with EC sections 51933 and 51934, prohibits “abstinence-only” education, in which information about preventing pregnancy and STDs is limited to instruction on abstinence from sexual activity.
EC Section 51934 requires that classes that provide instruction on comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention 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 HIV and STDs, and (2) preventing pregnancy. Instruction on comprehensive sexual health HIV prevention shall include medically accurate, up-to-date information on methods to reduce the risk of HIV infection and STD prevention, 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.
- Does this speaker possess knowledge of the most recent medically accurate research on human sexuality, pregnancy, and STDs? (EC Section 51936).
- Are the speaker’s qualifications verifiable by a degree in a relevant subject from an accredited university or specialized training certificate?
- If an outside speaker represents an organization, is the mission statement of the organization in conflict with any part of EC sections 51930–51939?
- Can the speaker provide documentation that he/she will comply with EC sections 51930–51939?
- Are the instruction and the materials age appropriate?
- Refer to the California Healthy Youth Act Compliance Assessment Tool .
- Are the materials medically accurate as defined by EC Section 51931(f)?
- 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]).
- Are the materials and speaker outlines that will be used for instruction available for review?
- Is instruction made available to English language learners (EC sections 51933[d] and )? Are information and materials made available to students and parents in a language they can understand?
- Is the material appropriate for use with pupils of all races, genders, sexual orientations, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and pupils with disabilities? (EC Section 51933[d])
- Are the instruction and materials used in the classroom free from the teaching or promotion of religious doctrine? (EC Section 51933[i])
- Is the material free from promoting bias against any person on the basis of EC Section 220? EC Section 220 states that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the basis of:
- Gender Identity
- Gender expression
- Race or ethnicity
- Sexual orientation
- Any actual or perceived characteristic as defined as a hate crime in Penal Code Section 422.55
- Do the instruction and materials encourage students to communicate with their parents/guardians about human sexuality (EC Section 51933[e])?
- Do the instruction and materials teach the value of and prepare students to have and maintain committed relationships such as marriage (EC Section 51933[f])?