A 769 A 2189/S-2092 A 2190

Age-appropriate instruction on sexual activity, abuse and awareness

NJEA is proud to support legislation that seeks to educate and empower students so that they can build life-long skills that will allow them to recognize and protect themselves against the dangers of potential sexual abuse and misconduct.

Each day across the state of New Jersey, thousands of children enter our schools, all with unique personalities, social and emotional needs and dreams for their future.  Sadly, many of those same students harbor secrets of sexual abuse and or fears of sexual misconduct and they don’t feel safe enough to share these with anyone. We need to help them understand that when something doesn’t feel right they need to speak up. They need to trust their instincts.

In a society that is starting to bring a new awareness of the issue of sexually inappropriate behavior, NJEA appreciates the efforts of the timing of this bill. We believe that in order for our students to be successful, our schools must be positive, safe and nurturing. Our students need schools that will provide them with the skills and safe spaces that will enable them to stand up to inappropriate behavior and unwanted physical or sexual contact.

That is why we support the following pieces of legislation:

A-769 (Caputo, Giblin, Vainieri Huttle), would require school districts to incorporate age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention in education in grades preschool through 12 as part of the Core Curriculum Content Standards (now the New Jersey Student Learning Standards) in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education.  The legislation also states that a teacher may meet one or more hours of the professional development cycle as required by the State Board of Education.

A-2189 (Lampitt))/S-2092 (Ruiz), would require school districts to include instruction on the legal and non-legal consequences of ‘sexting’ – the act of sending sexually explicit text messages.  The instruction would be delivered once during the student’s middle school instruction as part of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education. This bill would require school districts to include instruction on the legal and non-legal consequences of ‘sexting’ – the act of sending sexually explicit text messages.  The instruction would be delivered once during the student’s middle school instruction as part of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education.

A-2190 (Lampitt) would require school districts to incorporate instruction in grades six through 12 through the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education so that students gain a better understanding of the meaning of consent for physical contact and sexual activity.

All three pieces of legislation would direct the Commissioner of Education to provide school districts with age-appropriate learning activities and resources. The Department is the appropriate body since they recently recognized that social and emotional learning must be a priority for the success and well-being of students.

If NJEA has learned anything from the last several years of an education environment fraught with over-testing and rigor, it is that our students also need schools that will provide them with the skills and safe spaces that will enable them to stand up to inappropriate behavior and unwanted physical or sexual contact.

Students also should be able to come through their school doors and know that there will be adults there who they can trust and go to when they need help. More importantly, students need to know how to trust their instincts and speak out when something does not feel right. It is our hope that these pieces of legislation will allow our members to continue to create those environments for our students.

NJEA urges you to support A-769, A-2189/S-2092 and A-2190.

Text of bill A-769

Text of bill A-2189/S-2092

Text of bill A-2190

Related

Send this to a friend