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PRINTER'S NO. 267
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
293
Session of
2023
INTRODUCED BY KEARNEY, FONTANA, TARTAGLIONE, COSTA AND KANE,
JANUARY 31, 2023
REFERRED TO EDUCATION, JANUARY 31, 2023
AN ACT
Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An
act relating to the public school system, including certain
provisions applicable as well to private and parochial
schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the
laws relating thereto," in terms and courses of study,
providing for consent education.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known
as the Public School Code of 1949, is amended by adding a
section to read:
Section 1529. Consent Education.--(a) Beginning with school
year 2023-2024, each public school student shall receive
mandatory instruction in consent education every year, in every
grade from kindergarten through grade twelve. Each school entity
shall:
(1) Integrate the department's curriculum under subsection
(b)(1) into the school entity's existing courses of study for
students in kindergarten through grade twelve.
(2) Include training in consent education in the
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professional development plan submitted by the school entity to
the secretary for approval in accordance with section 1205.1.
The training included in the school entity's plan for an employe
required to complete continuing professional education shall
provide at least four (4) hours every five (5) years toward the
continuing professional education requirements.
(b) The department, in consultation with at least one
reputable organization that incorporates evidence-informed
research on human sexuality and youth development into
guidelines and age-appropriate sexuality education curricula,
the Department of Health and the Department of Drug and Alcohol
Programs, shall:
(1) Develop age-appropriate curriculum for instruction on
consent education for each grade from kindergarten through grade
twelve, which curriculum may include materials already publicly
available, no later than twelve (12) months after the effective
date of this section.
(2) Make available the curriculum and other age-appropriate
materials to any school entity as well as post the curriculum on
the department's publicly accessible Internet website.
(3) Recommend guidelines and educational materials for the
training provided under subsection (a)(2), which may include
materials already publicly available, no later than twelve
months after the effective date of this section.
(4) Revise the curriculum and guidelines on consent as
necessary to ensure that the curriculum provides the most
current information and universally accepted social policies
related to human interactions , both nonrelationship interactions
and relationship interactions.
(5) The curriculum shall:
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(i) Be age appropriate.
(ii) Be sequential in method of study and should grow upon
the instruction of previous years.
(iii) Communicate that consent is a fundamental value in all
human relationships.
(iv) Communicate the benefits of maintaining communication
to ensure ongoing consent as well as the impact of failing to
respect personal boundaries when consent is not obtained and
maintained or is withheld.
(c) In developing curriculum under subsection (b), where
appropriate, the department shall include:
(1) Notion of consent, affirmative consent, sharing,
boundaries and healthy well-being.
(2) Positive and affirming examples of individuals and
relationships that include all genders and sexual orientations.
(3) Nonbiased portrayal of a specific gender.
(4) Nonbiased portrayal of a specific relationship.
(5) Prevention of harm and intervention efforts.
(6) Detailed instruction on the need for and the role of
lawful authority and law-abiding behavior.
(7) Detailed information regarding existing laws that
require consent, including, but not limited to, theft,
intimidation, harassment, bullying, hazing, unauthorized
administration of substances, sexting and intimate partner
violence, including domestic violence and dating violence.
(8) Detailed information regarding social supports available
for students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual,
queer, transgender, nonbinary or other marginalized identities,
especially those who have experienced or are currently
experiencing violence, bullying, harassment or isolation due to
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their gender, gender expression or sexual orientation.
(d) To promote safer and healthier relationships and
interactions, consent:
(1) should be enthusiastic and informed, meaning the
individual has all of the relevant information needed to make
and understand the consequences of the individual's decisions;
and
(2) may be revised or revoked at any time.
(e) Consent cannot be given by an individual who is
incapacitated by drugs or alcohol or who is unconscious or
asleep.
(f) Consent for sexual activity cannot be given:
(1) to an individual who is over 18 years of age by an
individual who is under 16 years of age, which is the age of
consent in this Commonwealth;
(2) by children who are less than 13 years of age; or
(3) to a person four or more years older than a teen who is
13 to 15 years of age.
(g) The State Board of Education shall promulgate or revise
regulations subject to the act of June 25, 1982 (P.L.633,
No.181), known as the "Regulatory Review Act," necessary to
implement this section.
(h) As used in this section, the following words and phrases
shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless
the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Consent." An ongoing and freely given agreement between two
or more individuals to engage in interactions, including, but
not limited to, sexual activity.
"Department." The Department of Education of the
Commonwealth.
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"School entity." A school district, charter school, regional
charter school, cyber charter school, intermediate unit or area
career and technical school.
"Secretary." The Secretary of Education of the Commonwealth.
"Sexting." The act of sending or receiving a sexually
explicit or suggestive message, image or video via a mobile
device, app, social media website or other Internet-based
messaging platform.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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