(A) Pursuant to guidelines developed by the board, each local school board shall implement the following program of instruction:

(1) Beginning with the 1988-89 school year, for grades kindergarten through five, instruction in comprehensive health education must include the following subjects: community health, consumer health, environmental health, growth and development, nutritional health, personal health, prevention and control of diseases and disorders, safety and accident prevention, substance use and abuse, dental health, and mental and emotional health. Sexually transmitted diseases as defined in the annual Department of Health and Environmental Control List of Reportable Diseases are to be excluded from instruction on the prevention and control of diseases and disorders. At the discretion of the local board, age-appropriate instruction in reproductive health may be included.

Terms Used In This Law

  • Board: means the State Board of Education. South Carolina Code 59-32-10
  • Comprehensive health education: means health education in a school setting that is planned and carried out with the purpose of maintaining, reinforcing, or enhancing the health, health-related skills, and health attitudes and practices of children and youth that are conducive to their good health and that promote wellness, health maintenance, and disease prevention. South Carolina Code 59-32-10
  • contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Department: means the State Department of Education. South Carolina Code 59-32-10
  • Family life education: means instruction intended to:

    (a) develop an understanding of the physical, mental, emotional, social, economic, and psychological aspects of close personal relationships and an understanding of the physiological, psychological, and cultural foundations of human development;

    (b) provide instruction that will support the development of responsible personal values and behavior and aid in establishing a strong family life for themselves in the future and emphasize the responsibilities of marriage. South Carolina Code 59-32-10
  • guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • Local school board: means the governing board of public school districts as well as those of other state-supported institutions which provide educational services to students at the elementary and secondary school level. South Carolina Code 59-32-10
  • Pregnancy prevention education: means instruction intended to:

    (a) stress the importance of abstaining from sexual activity until marriage;

    (b) help students develop skills to enable them to resist peer pressure and abstain from sexual activity;

    (c) explain methods of contraception and the risks and benefits of each method. South Carolina Code 59-32-10
  • Reproductive health education: means instruction in human physiology, conception, prenatal care and development, childbirth, and postnatal care, but does not include instruction concerning sexual practices outside marriage or practices unrelated to reproduction except within the context of the risk of disease. South Carolina Code 59-32-10

(2) Beginning with the 1988-1989 school year, for grades six through eight, instruction in comprehensive health must include the following subjects: community health, consumer health, environmental health, growth and development, nutritional health, personal health, prevention and control of diseases and disorders, safety and accident prevention, substance use and abuse, dental health, mental and emotional health, and reproductive health education. Sexually transmitted diseases are to be included as a part of instruction. At the discretion of the local board, instruction in family life education or pregnancy prevention education or both may be included, but instruction in these subjects may not include an explanation of the methods of contraception before the sixth grade. Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, for grades six through eight, instruction in comprehensive health education also must include the subject of domestic violence.

(3) Beginning with the 1989-90 school year, at least one time during the four years of grades nine through twelve, each student shall receive instruction in comprehensive health education, including at least seven hundred fifty minutes of reproductive health education and pregnancy prevention education.

(4) The South Carolina Educational Television Commission shall work with the department in developing instructional programs and materials that may be available to the school districts. Films and other materials may be designed for the purpose of explaining bodily functions or the human reproductive process. These materials may not contain actual or simulated portrayals of sexual activities or sexual intercourse.

(5) The program of instruction provided for in this section may not include a discussion of alternate sexual lifestyles from heterosexual relationships including, but not limited to, homosexual relationships except in the context of instruction concerning sexually transmitted diseases.

(6) In grades nine through twelve, students must also be given appropriate instruction that adoption is a positive alternative.

(7) At least one time during the entire four years of grades nine through twelve, each student shall receive instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), which must include, but not be limited to, hands-only CPR and must include awareness in the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). Each school district shall use a program that incorporates the instruction of the psychomotor skills necessary to perform CPR developed by the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, or an instructional program that is nationally recognized and based on the most current national evidence-based emergency cardiovascular care guidelines for CPR and awareness in the use of an AED. Local and statewide school districts shall coordinate with entities that have the experience and necessary equipment for the instruction of CPR and awareness in the use of AEDs; provided, however, that virtual schools may administer the instruction virtually and are exempt from any in-person instructional requirements. A school district must adopt a policy providing a waiver for this requirement for a student absent on the day the instruction occurred, a student with a disability whose individualized education program indicates such student is unable to complete all or a portion of the hands-only CPR requirement, or a student whose parent or guardian completes, in writing, a form approved by the school district opting out of hands-only CPR instruction and AED awareness. The State Board of Education shall incorporate CPR training and AED awareness into the South Carolina Health and Safety Education Curriculum Standards and promulgate regulations to implement this section.

(B) Local school boards may use the instructional unit made available by the board pursuant to Section 59-32-20, or local boards may develop or select their own instructional materials addressing the subjects of reproductive health education, family life education, and pregnancy prevention education. To assist in the selection of components and curriculum materials, each local school board shall appoint a thirteen-member local advisory committee consisting of two parents, three clergy, two health professionals, two teachers, two students, one being the president of the student body of a high school, and two other persons not employed by the local school district.

(C) The time required for health instruction for students in kindergarten through eighth grade must not be reduced below the level required during the 1986-87 school year. Health instruction for students in grades nine through twelve may be given either as part of an existing course or as a special course.

(D) No contraceptive device or contraceptive medication may be distributed in or on the school grounds of any public elementary or secondary school. No school district may contract with any contraceptive provider for their distribution in or on the school grounds. Except as to that instruction provided by this chapter relating to complications which may develop from all types of abortions, school districts may not offer programs, instruction, or activities including abortion counseling, information about abortion services, or assist in obtaining abortion, and materials containing this information must not be distributed in schools. Nothing in this section prevents school authorities from referring students to a physician for medical reasons after making reasonable efforts to notify the student’s parents or legal guardians or the appropriate court, if applicable.

(E) Any course or instruction in sexually transmitted diseases must be taught within the reproductive health, family life, or pregnancy prevention education components, or it must be presented as a separate component.

(F) Instruction in pregnancy prevention education must be presented separately to male and female students.

(G) Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, districts annually shall provide age-appropriate instruction in sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention to all students in four-year-old kindergarten, where offered, through twelfth grade. This instruction must be based on the units developed by the board, through the department, pursuant to Section 59-32-20(B).