The 2019-2020 Ventura County Civil Grand Jury surveyed eleven charter schools authorized either by a school district located in Ventura County or by the Ventura County Office of Education, concerning policies and procedures for implementation of curriculum on sexual health.
The California Healthy Youth Act (AB 329) requires parents/guardians of students in grades 7 through 12 be given written notice that the school will be providing mandated sexual health curriculum. The Grand Jury inquired by written survey:
- If the opt out provisions are being implemented in accordance with AB 329
- If each charter school’s parent/guardian notification advised that no child would be penalized, and an alternative curriculum would be provided should a parent/guardian opt their child out of the instruction
- If the charter school included information on human trafficking in the sexual health curriculum as mandated by the Human Trafficking Prevention Education Act (AB 1227)
The Grand Jury concluded that while some of the charter schools had complied with portions of the sexual health curriculum and notification requirements mandated by AB 329 and AB 1227, none had fully complied.
The Grand Jury recommends the charter schools implement a set of policies, practices and curriculum by the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year to meet the requirements of AB 329 and AB 1227.
The Grand Jury also recommends greater clarity in charter schools’ notifications explaining the rights and options of parents/guardians and the details of the curriculum and surveys to be given, making it easier for parents/guardians to state their preferences as recognized by the intent of the legislature.
The Grand Jury further recommends the charter schools provide a pre-written opt out form allowing parents/guardians to exclude their child from all or part of the sexual health curriculum.
The public is invited to review the entire report at https://www.ventura.org/grand-jury/fiscal-year-2019-2020/ in the Annual Reports tab in “Fiscal Year 2019-2020.”