senate Bill S7030

Amended

Relates to clarifying health education

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 24 / Apr / 2012
    • REFERRED TO ALCOHOLISM AND DRUG ABUSE
  • 25 / Apr / 2012
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
  • 30 / Apr / 2012
    • REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • 15 / Jun / 2012
    • AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO FINANCE
  • 15 / Jun / 2012
    • PRINT NUMBER 7030A

Summary

Relates to clarifying health education.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S7030
S7030A
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Finance
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §804, Ed L

Votes

8
0
8
Aye
0
Nay
1
aye with reservations
0
absent
1
excused
0
abstained
show Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities committee vote details
aye wr (1)
excused (1)

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7030

TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the education law, in relation to including instruction
in mental health within health education in schools

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This bill calls on school districts to ensure that their health educa-
tion 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 §804 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, 2012.

JUSTIFICATION:
New York State Education Department regulations recognize that there are
several dimensions to health and health education including mental
health. Statute, however, is not clear. This legislation, therefore,
updates New York law to keep public education apace with our advance-
ments 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, drugs, 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
well-being 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 2012, is an integral part of health education in New
York schools.

By ensuring that young people learn about health, we the likelihood that
they will be able to more effectively recognize signs in themselves and
others, including family members, and get 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 health - a stigma that causes ostracism and isolation, leads to
bullying and keeps many students from getting the help they need. 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 chal-
lenges of mental illness will help young people and their families feel
more comfortable seeking help to 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 codified in
statute what state regulations already recognize - that health is
multi-dimensional. And, thereby brings state law up-to-date with our
current understanding of health.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This bill shall be effective July 1, 2012.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  7030

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             April 24, 2012
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sens. McDONALD, DeFRANCISCO, GOLDEN, LARKIN -- read twice
  and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee
  on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to including  instruction
  in mental health within health education in schools

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Section 804 of the education law, as added by  chapter  982
of  the laws of 1977, the section heading as amended and subdivision 3-a
as added by chapter 401 of the laws of 1998, subdivision 3 as amended by
chapter 674 of the laws of 2004, and subdivision 4 as amended by chapter
181 of the laws of 2000, is amended to read as follows:
  S 804. Health  education  regarding  MENTAL  HEALTH,  alcohol,  drugs,
tobacco  abuse  and  the prevention and detection of certain cancers. 1.
ALL SCHOOLS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE DEPARTMENT SHALL  ENSURE  THAT
THEIR  HEALTH  EDUCATION  PROGRAMS  RECOGNIZE THE MULTIPLE DIMENSIONS OF
HEALTH BY INCLUDING MENTAL HEALTH  AND  THE  RELATION  OF  PHYSICAL  AND
MENTAL  HEALTH  SO  AS  TO  ENHANCE STUDENT UNDERSTANDING, ATTITUDES AND
BEHAVIORS THAT PROMOTE HEALTH, WELL-BEING AND HUMAN DIGNITY.
  2. All schools shall include, as an integral part of health education,
instruction so as to discourage the misuse and abuse of alcohol,  tobac-
co,  and  other  drugs  and  promote attitudes and behavior that enhance
health, well being, and human dignity.
  [2.] 3. Instruction regarding alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs  shall
be  included  in the health education provided for all elementary school
pupils and shall be taught by  the  regular  classroom  teachers  or  by
teachers  certified to teach health education. Such instruction shall be
designed according to the needs and abilities of the pupils  at  succes-
sive grade levels with the purpose of developing desirable health behav-
ior, attitudes, and knowledge as well as self-reliance and problem solv-
ing capacity.
  [3.]  4.  Instruction  regarding alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, in
addition to continued health guidance in the junior high  school  grades
and  the  senior  high  schools, shall be an integral part of a required

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD14964-03-2

S. 7030                             2

health education course at each of these levels in the secondary schools
curriculum. Students shall be required to demonstrate knowledge  in  the
subject area through the use of a test, graded project or report, or any
other  means  prescribed  by  the  school authorities regarding alcohol,
drugs, and tobacco. Any such course shall be taught by teachers  holding
a  certificate  to teach health. Related courses in the secondary school
curriculum shall be taught in a manner supportive  of  health  education
regarding  alcohol,  tobacco,  and other drugs. In addition, instruction
regarding the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol or
drugs shall be an integral part of a required health education course in
the senior high schools. Such  instruction  shall  be  provided  in  all
senior  high  schools  whether  or not these schools also provide driver
education courses.
  [3-a.] 5. Instruction regarding methods of prevention and detection of
certain cancers, including  but  not  limited  to  breast  cancer,  skin
cancer,  testicular  cancer  and  other cancers where certain preventive
measures have become generally accepted and  certain  detection  methods
have been adopted and recommended generally to the public. Such instruc-
tion  shall be an integral part of a required health education course at
the senior high school level, in addition to continued  health  guidance
in  senior  high  schools.  Any  such course shall be taught by teachers
holding a certificate to teach health.
  [4.] 6. a. The commissioner may prescribe in regulations  such  health
education  courses which include instruction regarding alcohol, tobacco,
and other drugs as the commissioner may deem necessary and desirable for
the welfare of pupils and the community. The contents may be  varied  to
meet  the needs of particular school districts, or portions thereof, and
need not be uniform throughout the state, provided, however, that school
districts shall utilize  either  the  curriculum  for  health  education
instruction regarding alcohol, tobacco and other drugs prescribed by the
commissioner or a course approved by the commissioner in accordance with
criteria established by the commissioner.
  b.  The  commissioner  shall  make available an interpersonal violence
prevention education package for  grades  kindergarten  through  twelve,
which  package may consist of student pamphlets, parent pamphlets, vide-
otapes and other informative  materials  to  be  distributed  to  school
districts,  and  shall encourage the use of such material as part of the
health or other related curricula or programs.
  c. The regents shall review  the  health  curriculum  requirements  in
existence  on  the  effective  date of this paragraph for the purpose of
streamlining such curriculum and  identifying  any  outdated  components
that  may be eliminated or consolidated in order to ensure that students
have sufficient time and instruction to develop skills to address issues
of violence prevention and mental health. To the extent appropriate, the
regents shall modify the existing curriculum to provide greater focus on
the development of skills, by no later  than  middle  school,  that  are
needed  to  recognize,  cope  with and address potentially violent inci-
dents[,] including an understanding  of  [student's]  STUDENT  roles  in
emergency  situations[,  what to do when confronted with another student
who is experiencing a mental health problem,] and other  related  skills
designed to reduce the threat of violence in schools.
  [5.]  7. School authorities shall provide the needed facilities, time,
and place for the instruction set forth herein and shall provide  learn-
ing aids and curriculum resource materials which contribute to effective
teaching  methods  and  learning  in health education regarding alcohol,
tobacco, and other drugs.

S. 7030                             3

  [6.] 8. All pre-service training programs in the state for  elementary
teachers shall include adequate preparation regarding the instruction in
alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs set forth herein, and no teacher shall
be  licensed  except upon satisfactory demonstration of the competencies
included  in  the  institutional  proposals  approved by the [education]
department.
  [7.] 9. Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to  diminish
or  impair the duties of the commissioner with respect to the continuing
program for  critical  health  problems  established  by  chapter  seven
hundred  eighty-seven  of  the  laws  of nineteen hundred sixty-seven as
amended. The commissioner shall coordinate actions taken under authority
of this section with the provisions of said chapter as  they  relate  to
health  education  in schools, inservice training and training programs,
and curriculum or syllabus development regarding the deleterious effects
resulting from the use, misuse, and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other
drugs.
  S 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.

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