The Law

ENGROSSED SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 5395 as passed by the House, the Senate and signed into law by Governor Jay Enslee, March 27, 2020  "An Act relating to requiring Comprehensive Sexual Health Education (CSE) that is consistent with the Washington State Health and Physical Education K-12 Learning Standards and that requires  affirmative consent*(Page 5, Lines 22-24)  curriculum; and amending RCW 28A.300.475   (Page 1, Lines 1-4)

*"Affirmative consent" means a conscious and voluntary  agreement to engage in sexual activity as a requirement before sexual activity.  (Page 5, Lines 22-24)  Sometimes called "yes means yes", affirmative consent is the principle that consent to engage in sexual activity must be affirmative, voluntary and given while both parties are conscious. Bystander intervention (page 2, Lines 7-12) is a system in which students intervene if a friend or fellow student is in a scenario where they are susceptible to sexual assault.

Mandating every public school in Washington State "shall provide Comprehensive Sexual Health Education to each student by the 2022-23 school year" (page 1, lines 8-11)

Comprehensive Sexual Health Education (CSE) must be consistent with the Washington State Health and Physical Education K-12 Learning Standards and the January 2005 Guidelines for Sexual Health Information and Disease Prevention developed by the Dept. of Health  and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) (Page 2, Lines 22-26)

The office of the superintendent of public instruction (OSPI), in  consultation with the Department of Health, shall develop a list of Comprehensive Sexual Health Education (CSE) curricula that are consistent with the 2005 Guidelines for Sexual Health Information and Disease Prevention, and the Washington State Health and Physical Education K-12 Learning Standards.

 

Public schools are encouraged to choose a curriculum from the list of CSE curricula as mention above.  (Page 3 Lines 36-39)   

 

Any public school may choose or develop any other curriculum if it complies with the same requirements in the list mention above.    (Page 3, 39-40 and Page 4, 1-2)

If a public school chooses a curriculum that is not from the  list of CSE curricula mentioned above, the public school or applicable school district, in consultation with OSPI, must conduct a review of the selected or developed curriculum to ensure compliance with the requirements as outlined above for CSE curricula using a comprehensive sexual health education curriculum analysis tool.  (Page 4, Lines 3-10)

There is no intent to require any integration of CSE curriculum , materials or instruction in unrelated subject matters or courses.  (Page 5, Lines 17-20)

CSE is inclusive of all students, regardless of their protected class status.  (Page 5, Lines 25-28)

CSE for students in kindergarten through grade three must be instruction in social-emotional learning (SEL)  (Page 5, Lines 32-36)

The SIECUS State Profiles highlights:

  • 29 states and the District of Columbia mandate sex education.

  • 35 states require schools to stress abstinence when sex education or HIV/STI instruction is provided.

  • 16 states require instruction on condoms or contraception when sex education or HIV/STI instruction is provided.

  • 15 states do not require sex education or HIV/STI instruction to be any of the following: age-appropriate, medically accurate, culturally responsive, or evidence-based/evidence-informed.

  • Only 9 states require sex education or HIV/STI instruction to include information on consent.

  • Only 8 states require culturally responsive sex education and HIV/STI instruction.

  • 7 states have policies that include affirming sexual orientation instruction on LGBQT identities or discussion of sexual health for LGBTQ youth. 

  • 8 states explicitly require instruction that discriminates against LGBTQ people.

About the SIECUS State Profiles:

The SIECUS State Profiles provides an in-depth and up-to-date look at the state of sex education in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the outer United States territories and associated states. 

The profiles include an overview of each state’s current sex education laws, policies, and guidelines, newly introduced legislation, and relevant action that advocates have taken to advance or defend sex education in their communities. This report also incorporates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s School Health Profiles data to help paint a comprehensive picture of what sexual health education topics are, or are not, being taught to young people in the classroom.

The SIECUS State Profiles serves as a living resource and will be regularly updated as new legislation and related activity becomes available. 

This resource is intended to be used by advocates, educators, policymakers, health care providers, parents, and youth to aid in efforts to advance sex education in every community across the country. To request older editions of the SIECUS State Profiles (2003 – 2015), please email info@siecus.org.

SIECUS State Profiles: Updated Nov. 2020

A patchwork of laws relating to sex education exist across the country, with varying requirements. In some states, this has meant a lack of access to sex education or certain components of sex education, and in many other states no access to comprehensive sexuality education for young people. In response to the lack of uniformity in laws and policies regarding sex education across the nation, the following series of tables has been developed to assist with clarifying the state of sex education, HIV/STI instruction, and healthy relationships instruction in the United States.

The Healthy Youth Survey (HYS) is a collaborative effort of the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Department of Health, the Health Care Authority - Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, and Liquor and Cannabis Board.

The Healthy Youth Survey provides important survey results about the health of adolescents in Washington. County prevention coordinators, community mobilization coalitions, community public health and safety networks, and others use this information to guide policy and programs that serve youth.