Code Section Group

Education Code - EDC


  ( Title 2 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )


  ( Division 4 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )


  ( Part 28 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

CHAPTER 5.5. Comprehensive Health Education [51880 - 51921]

  ( Chapter 5.5 added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 809. )

ARTICLE 3. Department of Education [51900 - 51901]
  ( Article 3 added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 809. )


The department shall prepare and distribute to school districts guidelines for the preparation of comprehensive health education plans, and, in cooperation with those county offices of education which desire to participate, assist school districts in developing comprehensive health education plans and programs. For this purpose, the department shall assume the following functions and carry out the following duties:

(a) Assist in the development of model curricula for the public schools for comprehensive health education programs consistent with the provisions and intent of approved district comprehensive health education plans.

(b) Identify innovative teaching methods for the instruction in health in the public schools.

(c) With the cooperation and assistance of the State Department of Health, develop methods of evaluating the effectiveness of instruction in health.

(d) Develop model instructional materials for comprehensive health education courses and make these materials available to local school districts.

(e) In cooperation with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, assist teacher training institutions in development of courses on comprehensive health education.

(f) Assist in the development of adult education programs which include parents, students, and community health agencies and personnel.

(g) With the cooperation of, and assistance of, the qualified instructional staffs of state-supported public institutions of higher education, develop and establish a health education training program for public school teachers and administrators to provide in-service training at the local district or regional level.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 922, Sec. 119. Effective January 1, 1995.)


(a) During the next revision of the publication “Health Framework for California Public Schools” (health framework), the Instructional Quality Commission shall consider developing, and recommending for adoption by the state board, a distinct category on mental health instruction to educate pupils about all aspects of mental health.

(b) As used in this section, “mental health instruction” shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(1) Reasonably designed and age-appropriate instruction on the overarching themes and core principles of mental health.

(2) Defining common mental health challenges such as depression, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and anxiety, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

(3) Elucidating the services and supports that effectively help individuals manage mental health challenges.

(4) Promoting mental health wellness, which includes positive development, social connectedness and supportive relationships, resiliency, problem solving skills, coping skills, self-esteem, and a positive school and home environment in which pupils feel comfortable.

(5) Ability to identify warning signs of common mental health problems in order to promote awareness and early intervention so pupils know to take action before a situation turns into a crisis. This should include instruction on both of the following:

(A) How to appropriately seek and find assistance from mental health professionals and services within the school district and in the community for themselves or others.

(B) Appropriate evidence-based research and practices that are proven to help overcome mental health challenges.

(6) The connection and importance of mental health to overall health and academic success as well as to cooccurring conditions, such as chronic physical conditions and chemical dependence and substance abuse.

(7) Awareness and appreciation about the prevalence of mental health challenges across all populations, races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic statuses, including the impact of culture on the experience and treatment of mental health challenges.

(8) Stigma surrounding mental health challenges and what can be done to overcome stigma, increase awareness, and promote acceptance. This shall include, to the extent possible, classroom presentations of narratives by peers and other individuals who have experienced mental health challenges, and how they coped with their situations, including how they sought help and acceptance.

(c) In the normal course of recommending curriculum frameworks to the state board, as required by Section 60204, the Instructional Quality Commission shall ensure that one or more experts in the mental health and educational fields provides input in the development of the mental health instruction in the health framework. It is the intent of the Legislature that the Instructional Quality Commission seek experts from culturally, racially, and ethnically diverse communities, representatives from all mental health professions, teachers, counselors, parents, those involved in promoting mental wellness, and those living with a mental health challenge and their families.

(d) This section does not require or authorize the Instructional Quality Commission to recommend new health education content standards.

(Added by Stats. 2013, Ch. 481, Sec. 2. (SB 330) Effective January 1, 2014.)


(a) (1) The state board shall, based upon recommendations by the Superintendent, consider including age-appropriate content for kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, in sexual abuse and sexual assault awareness and prevention in the next revision of the health content standards.

(2) The state board shall, based upon recommendations by the Instructional Quality Commission, consider including information in sexual abuse and sexual assault awareness and prevention in the Health Framework for California Public Schools when next revised.

(b) (1) School districts, county offices of education, and charter schools may provide age-appropriate instruction, pursuant to the content standards adopted by the state board under subdivision (a), for kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, as applicable, in sexual abuse and sexual assault awareness and prevention.

(2) Upon written request of the pupil’s parent or legal guardian, a pupil in kindergarten or grades 1 to 12, inclusive, shall be excused from taking instruction in sexual abuse and sexual assault awareness and prevention established pursuant to this section.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 809, Sec. 1. (AB 2016) Effective January 1, 2015.)


The Department of Education shall be responsible for the preparation and distribution of health education materials and for providing assistance for in-service teaching programs carried out with districts that have plans approved pursuant to Section 51911.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 809.)

EDCEducation Code - EDC3.