Written by: Daniel L. Lautar, Esq.
Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 288 into law on January 3, 2023, mandating that school districts notify parents about required curriculum on child sexual abuse and sexual violence prevention. S.B. 288 altered R.C. 3313.60 to require that children in grades kindergarten through six receive annual developmentally appropriate instruction in child sexual abuse prevention, including information on available counseling and resources for children who are sexually abused. The instruction and information provided cannot be connected in any way to any individual, entity, or organization that provides, promotes, counsels, or makes referrals for abortion or abortion-related services. S.B. 288 further requires that students in grades seven through twelve receive developmentally appropriate instruction in dating violence prevention education and sexual violence prevention education, which must include instruction in recognizing dating violence warning signs and characteristics of healthy relationships.
The notice that school districts are required to issue must state:
(1) That instruction in child sexual abuse prevention and sexual violence prevention is a required part of the district’s curriculum;
(2) That upon request, parents and legal guardians may examine such instructional materials in accordance with R.C. 3313.60; and
(3) That upon written request of the student’s parent or guardian, a student will be excused from taking instruction in child sexual abuse prevention and sexual violence prevention.
If the parent or legal guardian of a student less than eighteen years of age submits to the principal of the student’s school a written request to examine the dating violence prevention and sexual violence prevention instruction materials used at that school, the principal must allow the parent or guardian to examine those materials at that school within 48 hours after the request is made.
Pepple & Waggoner has prepared notices, as well as opt-out forms, for a school district’s use in complying with its new legal obligations with respect to child sexual abuse prevention and sexual violence prevention instruction. Contact an attorney at Pepple & Waggoner today to learn more.