2018 Tennessee Code
Title 49 - Education
Chapter 6 - Elementary and Secondary Education
Part 13 - Family Life Curriculum
§ 49-6-1304. Family life instruction.

Universal Citation: TN Code § 49-6-1304 (2018)
  • (a) A family life curriculum shall, to the extent that the topic and the manner of communication is age-appropriate:

    • (1) Emphatically promote only sexual risk avoidance through abstinence, regardless of a student's current or prior sexual experience;

    • (2) Encourage sexual health by helping students understand how sexual activity affects the whole person including the physical, social, emotional, psychological, economic and educational consequences of nonmarital sexual activity;

    • (3) Teach the positive results of avoiding sexual activity, the skills needed to make healthy decisions, the advantages of and skills for student success in pursuing educational and life goals, the components of healthy relationships, and the social science research supporting the benefits of reserving the expression of human sexual activity for marriage;

    • (4) Provide factually and medically-accurate information;

    • (5) Teach students how to form pro-social habits that enable students to develop healthy relationships, create strong marriages, and form safe and stable future families;

    • (6) Encourage students to communicate with a parent, guardian, or other trusted adult about sex or other risk behaviors;

    • (7) Assist students in learning and practicing refusal skills that will help them resist sexual activity;

    • (8) Address the benefits of raising children within the context of a marital relationship and the unique challenges that single teen parents encounter in relation to educational, psychological, physical, social, legal, and financial factors;

    • (9) Discuss the interrelationship between teen sexual activity and exposure to other risk behaviors such as smoking, underage drinking, drug use, criminal activity, dating violence, and sexual aggression;

    • (10) Educate students on the age of consent, puberty, pregnancy, childbirth, sexually transmitted diseases, including but not limited to HIV/AIDS, and the financial and emotional responsibility of raising a child;

    • (11) Teach students how to identify and form healthy relationships, and how to identify and avoid unhealthy relationships;

    • (12) Notwithstanding § 49-6-1302(a)(1), inform students, in all LEAs, concerning the process of adoption and its benefits. The state board of education, with the assistance of the department of education, shall develop guidelines for appropriate kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12) instruction on adoption, what adoption is, and the benefits of adoption. The guidelines shall be distributed by the department of education to each LEA by the start of the 2015-2016 school year; and

    • (13) Provide instruction on the detection, intervention, prevention, and treatment of child sexual abuse, including such abuse that may occur in the home, in accordance with the declarations and requirements of §§ 37-1-601(a) and 37-1-603(b)(3).

  • (b) Instruction of the family life curriculum shall not:

    • (1) Promote, implicitly or explicitly, any gateway sexual activity or health message that encourages students to experiment with noncoital sexual activity;

    • (2) Provide or distribute materials on school grounds that condone, encourage or promote student sexual activity among unmarried students;

    • (3) Display or conduct demonstrations with devices specifically manufactured for sexual stimulation; or

    • (4) Distribute contraception on school property; provided, however, that medically-accurate information about contraception and condoms may be provided so long as it is presented in a manner consistent with the preceding provisions of this part and clearly informs students that while such methods may reduce the risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases or becoming pregnant, only abstinence removes all risk.

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