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A03887 Summary:

COSPNSRCusick, Skoufis, Steck, Barrett, Mosley, Crespo, McDonald, Arroyo, Dinowitz, Jaffee, Rosenthal, Sepulveda, Blake, Gunther, Ortiz, Otis
MLTSPNSRLupardo, Thiele
Amd §804, Ed L
Relates to clarifying health education.
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A03887 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to clarifying health education   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill calls on school districts to ensure that their health education programs recognize the multiple dimensions of health by including mental health and the relation between mental and physical health in health education.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 adds a new paragraph to Education Law § 504 to declare that mental health as well as physical health is part of health education in the schools. Section 2 makes the bill effective on July 1, 2018.   JUSTIFICATION: New York State Education Department regulations recog- nize that there are several dimensions to health and health education including mental health. Statute, however, is not clear. This legis- lation, therefore, updates New York State law to keep public education apace with our advancements in the understanding and treatment of mental health issues. It has been forty years since New York's education laws first called for teaching about health matters in our schools. Over the years state law has expanded to recognize that knowledge about specific public health concerns such as alcohol, drug, tobacco abuse and the prevention and detection of certain cancers is critically important for students. Equally critical, but missing from current law and often the classroom, is the recognition that mental health is as important to health and wellbeing as physical health. The World Health Organization considers health to be "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Mental health, as we understand it in 2015, is an integral part of our overall health and should be an integral part of health education in New York schools. By ensuring that young people learn about mental health, we increase the likelihood that they will be able to more effectively recognize signs in themselves and others, including family members, and get the right help. Further, as we begin to teach the facts about mental health and openly discuss the issues from a health perspective, we will begin to remove the stigma surrounding mental illness - a stigma that causes ostracism and isolation, leads to bullying and keeps many students from getting the help they need. Over 90% of youth who die by suicide suffer from depression or another diagnosable and treatable mental illness at the time of their death. Over 50 percent of students with emotional or behavioral disorders drop out of high school and, of those who do remain in school, only 42% graduate. Health education that respects the importance of mental health and challenges of mental illness will help young people and their families feel more comfortable seeking help, improve academic performance and save lives. As New York works to restructure and integrate systems of health and mental health care, so too should our schools prepare our citizens of tomorrow to think differently about the role of mental health in their lives. This bill does not mandate curriculum. Students are already required to take health classes in order to graduate. Instead, this bill codifies in statute what state regulations already recognize that health is multidi- mensional. And, thereby brings state law up to date with our current understanding of health.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A.1911 of 2014   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None   EFFECTIVE DATE: This bill shall be effective July 1, 2018.
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A03887 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2015-2016 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 28, 2015
        Introduced  by  M. of A. NOLAN, CUSICK, SKOUFIS -- Multi-Sponsored by --
          M. of A. THIELE -- read once and referred to the Committee  on  Educa-
          tion  --  committee  discharged,  bill  amended,  ordered reprinted as
          amended and recommitted  to  said  committee  --  recommitted  to  the
          Committee  on  Education in accordance with Assembly Rule 3, sec. 2 --
          committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as  amended  and
          recommitted to said committee
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  education law, in relation to clarifying health
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  Section 804 of the education law, as added by chapter 982
     2  of the laws of 1977, the section heading as amended and subdivision  3-a
     3  as added by chapter 401 of the laws of 1998, subdivision 3 as amended by
     4  chapter 674 of the laws of 2004, subdivision 4 as amended by chapter 181
     5  of the laws of 2000 and paragraph a of subdivision 4 as amended by chap-
     6  ter 39 of the laws of 2014, is amended to read as follows:
     7    § 804.  Health  education  regarding  mental  health,  alcohol, drugs,
     8  tobacco abuse and the prevention and detection of  certain  cancers.  1.
     9  All  schools  under the jurisdiction of the department shall ensure that
    10  their health education programs recognize  the  multiple  dimensions  of
    11  health  by  including  mental  health  and  the relation of physical and
    12  mental health so as to  enhance  student  understanding,  attitudes  and
    13  behaviors that promote health, well-being and human dignity.
    14    2. All schools shall include, as an integral part of health education,
    15  instruction  so as to discourage the misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobac-
    16  co[,] and other drugs and promote attitudes and  behavior  that  enhance
    17  health, well being, and human dignity.
    18    [2.]  3. Instruction regarding alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs shall
    19  be included in the health education provided for all  elementary  school
    20  pupils  and  shall  be  taught  by  the regular classroom teachers or by
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 3887--B                          2
     1  teachers certified to teach health education. Such instruction shall  be
     2  designed  according  to the needs and abilities of the pupils at succes-
     3  sive grade levels with the purpose of developing desirable health behav-
     4  ior, attitudes, and knowledge as well as self-reliance and problem solv-
     5  ing capacity.
     6    [3.]  4.  Instruction  regarding alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, in
     7  addition to continued health guidance in the junior high  school  grades
     8  and  the  senior  high  schools, shall be an integral part of a required
     9  health education course at each of these levels in the secondary schools
    10  curriculum. Students shall be required to demonstrate knowledge  in  the
    11  subject area through the use of a test, graded project or report, or any
    12  other  means  prescribed  by  the  school authorities regarding alcohol,
    13  drugs, and tobacco. Any such course shall be taught by teachers  holding
    14  a  certificate  to teach health. Related courses in the secondary school
    15  curriculum shall be taught in a manner supportive  of  health  education
    16  regarding  alcohol,  tobacco,  and other drugs. In addition, instruction
    17  regarding the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol or
    18  drugs shall be an integral part of a required health education course in
    19  the senior high schools. Such  instruction  shall  be  provided  in  all
    20  senior  high  schools  whether  or not these schools also provide driver
    21  education courses.
    22    [3-a.] 5. Instruction regarding methods of prevention and detection of
    23  certain cancers, including  but  not  limited  to  breast  cancer,  skin
    24  cancer,  testicular  cancer  and  other cancers where certain preventive
    25  measures have become generally accepted and  certain  detection  methods
    26  have been adopted and recommended generally to the public. Such instruc-
    27  tion  shall be an integral part of a required health education course at
    28  the senior high school level, in addition to continued  health  guidance
    29  in  senior  high  schools.  Any  such course shall be taught by teachers
    30  holding a certificate to teach health.
    31    [4.] 6. a. The commissioner may prescribe in regulations  such  health
    32  education  courses which include instruction regarding alcohol, tobacco,
    33  and other drugs as the commissioner may deem necessary and desirable for
    34  the welfare of pupils and the community. The contents may be  varied  to
    35  meet  the needs of particular school districts, or portions thereof, and
    36  need not be uniform throughout the state, provided, however, that school
    37  districts shall utilize  either  the  curriculum  for  health  education
    38  instruction regarding alcohol, tobacco and other drugs prescribed by the
    39  commissioner or a course approved by the commissioner in accordance with
    40  criteria established by the commissioner. The commissioner is authorized
    41  to  make  recommendations  to  the  board  of regents beginning December
    42  first, two thousand fourteen and every three years  thereafter  relating
    43  to  the  modernization of such instruction required pursuant to subdivi-
    44  sion one of this section, to include the most up to date age appropriate
    45  information available regarding the misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco
    46  and other drugs, including but not limited to heroin and  opioids.  Such
    47  instruction  shall include, but not be limited to, information regarding
    48  drugs and other substances that are more  prevalent  among  school  aged
    49  youth.  Such  recommendations  shall  be  the  result of a collaboration
    50  between the department, the office of  alcoholism  and  substance  abuse
    51  services  and  the  department of health. If the board of regents adopts
    52  such curriculum, the curriculum requirement shall take effect  no  later
    53  than the next school year after such curriculum has been adopted.
    54    b.  The  commissioner  shall  make available an interpersonal violence
    55  prevention education package for  grades  kindergarten  through  twelve,
    56  which  package may consist of student pamphlets, parent pamphlets, vide-

        A. 3887--B                          3
     1  otapes and other informative  materials  to  be  distributed  to  school
     2  districts,  and  shall encourage the use of such material as part of the
     3  health or other related curricula or programs.
     4    c.  The  regents  shall  review  the health curriculum requirements in
     5  existence on the effective date of this paragraph  for  the  purpose  of
     6  streamlining  such  curriculum  and  identifying any outdated components
     7  that may be eliminated or consolidated in order to ensure that  students
     8  have sufficient time and instruction to develop skills to address issues
     9  of violence prevention and mental health. To the extent appropriate, the
    10  regents shall modify the existing curriculum to provide greater focus on
    11  the  development  of  skills,  by  no later than middle school, that are
    12  needed to recognize, cope with and  address  potentially  violent  inci-
    13  dents[,]  including  an  understanding  of  [student's] student roles in
    14  emergency situations[, what to do when confronted with  another  student
    15  who  is  experiencing a mental health problem,] and other related skills
    16  designed to reduce the threat of violence in schools.
    17    [5.] 7. School authorities shall provide the needed facilities,  time,
    18  and  place for the instruction set forth herein and shall provide learn-
    19  ing aids and curriculum resource materials which contribute to effective
    20  teaching methods and learning in  health  education  regarding  alcohol,
    21  tobacco, and other drugs.
    22    [6.]  8. All pre-service training programs in the state for elementary
    23  teachers shall include adequate preparation regarding the instruction in
    24  alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs set forth herein, and no teacher shall
    25  be licensed except upon satisfactory demonstration of  the  competencies
    26  included  in  the  institutional  proposals  approved by the [education]
    27  department.
    28    [7.] 9. Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to  diminish
    29  or  impair the duties of the commissioner with respect to the continuing
    30  program for  critical  health  problems  established  by  chapter  seven
    31  hundred  eighty-seven  of  the  laws  of nineteen hundred sixty-seven as
    32  amended. The commissioner shall coordinate actions taken under authority
    33  of this section with the provisions of said chapter as  they  relate  to
    34  health  education  in schools, inservice training and training programs,
    35  and curriculum or syllabus development regarding the deleterious effects
    36  resulting from the use, misuse, and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other
    37  drugs.
    38    § 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.
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