aclu-logo

Protecting the Bill of Rights in Utah since 1958

Student Guide for Human Sexuality Instruction in Public School

Utah Administrative Code states that all students in grades 8-12 are entitled to Human Sexuality instruction regarding: community and person health, physiology, personal hygiene, and prevention of communicable disease. This instruction, by law, must encourage "the importance of abstinence from all sexual activity before marriage and fidelity after marriage as methods for preventing certain communicable diseases". It is also written that all instruction in Human Sexuality must be medically accurate and free of bias. 

Your instructors are PROHIBITED from:

  • Instructing students on aspects of sexual arousal,  stimulation, or "erotic behavior"
  • Advocacy of homosexuality
  • Advocacy or encouragement of the use of contraceptive methods or devices.
  • Adovacy of sexual activity outside of marriage.
  • Advocacy or instruction of criminal activity. 

You as a parent have the right to:

  • Be informed of, and attend, any local school board meeting about the adoption of instruction matierials. 
  • Express your opinion about any of the instruction materials presented.
  • Submit an appeal to the local school board about any instruction material you dislike.
  • Have access to the report made by the local school board to the State Board containing the action taken and the materials adopted by for the instruction of human sexuality. 
  • Consent, in writing, to allow your student to be instructed in Human Sexuality 
  • You have the right to exempt your child from participating in the Human Sexuality cirriculm. If you exempt them they can be provided with an alternative equivalent education regarding Human Sexuality, or you may accept charge of any instruction about this subject.

You as a student have the right to:

  • Receive medically accurate Instruction in Human Sexuality.
  • Have an informed instructor about the discussed material.
  • File a complaint about your instruction at any time to your instructor, school or local school board.
  • Express any beliefs or opinions without fear of penality, unless the expression "unreasonably interferes with order or discipline" or threatens the well-being of persons or property. 
  • Ask questions. 
  • To Human Sexuality course material that is free of religious, racial, ethnic, and gender bias. 

Except for the "fidelity and abstinence before marriage" provision, public schools in Utah are not allowed to teach any political, sectarian, religious or denominational doctrines. Furthermore, teachers and volunteers cannot use their positions to advocate, endorse, promote or disparage any particular religious, sectarian, agnostic, or atheistic belief or viewpoint. 

As a student you have the right to be taught by a qualified and knowledgeable teacher. If you feel that your teacher has not been trained to teach human sexuality accurately then you have the right to submit a complaint to the local school board and your Human Sexuality teacher. The teacher and the local school board must report ALL complaints to the Utah State Board of Education.

A student cannot be penalized if they or their parent wish to opt out of the Human Sexuality instruction for any reason.  

Your Human Sexuality Instruction should include these topics: (If it does not, you should submit a report to the Utah State Board of Education letting them know.)

  • Sexual Abstinence
  • Human Sexuality
  • Human Reproduction
  • Reproductive Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Pregnancy 
  • Marriage
  • Childbirth
  • Parenthood
  • Contraception
  • HIV/AIDs 
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases or Infections

All of the above information was taken from the Utah State Code 53A-13-101 and the Utah Administrative Code R277-44. Both resources are available at utah.gov.