- South Carolina state law mandates the teaching of sexuality education, though it is not required to be comprehensive.
- All sex ed curricula must stress abstinence.
- Public schools are required to provide STD education beginning in grade 6 but are prohibited from providing such information prior to that time.
- Sex ed curricula are not required to include instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Sex ed curricula are not required to include instruction on consent, though such instruction is recommended by the South Carolina Standards for Health and Safety Education.
- According to South Carolina Code Annotated §§ 59-32-10, the reproductive health education that is required throughout students’ schooling is to be composed of instruction in human physiology, conception, prenatal care and development, childbirth, and postnatal care, but not instruction about sexual practices outside marriage or practices unrelated to reproduction except within the context of the risk of disease.
- Each local school board must appoint a 13-member local advisory committee consisting of two parents, three clergy members, two health professionals, two teachers, two students, and two other persons not employed by the local school district while developing all sex ed curricula. “Staff development activities” are required for educators participating in the comprehensive health program.
- Parents must be informed in advance of any sexuality-specific instruction and are allowed to remove their children from any part of the health education classes. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
- The South Carolina Standards for Health and Safety Education provide guidance for curricula development.
Some Sex Ed Advocates Within the State
For more detailed information on how various districts in the state have been implementing these standards — and for recent legislation — you can read SIECUS’s South Carolina profile.