- Washington state law mandates the teaching of comprehensive sexuality education, and it must be medically accurate.
- All sex ed curricula must stress abstinence, though abstinence may not be taught to the exclusion of instruction on other forms of contraception and disease prevention.
- All sex ed curricula must be inclusive of all students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
- All sex ed curricula must include instruction on affirmative consent.
- Parents or guardians may remove their children from HIV/AIDS prevention education if they have attended an information session about the curriculum and its presentation. Parents may also remove their children from the class with written notification. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
- Any sex education program implemented in schools must be consistent with the Guidelines for Sexual Health and Disease Prevention. Additional guidance for best practices in sexual health education is also provided in the Health and Physical Education K-12 Learning Standards and the KNOW HIV/STD Prevention Curriculum. Furthermore, Washington provides health education standards as guidance for curriculum development.
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 Washington profile.