senate Bill S5359

Amended

Relates to encouraging school districts to include a mental health curriculum in their course of instruction

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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

  • 16 / May / 2013
    • REFERRED TO EDUCATION
  • 04 / Jun / 2013
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.971
  • 05 / Jun / 2013
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 10 / Jun / 2013
    • AMENDED 5359A
  • 10 / Jun / 2013
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 21 / Jun / 2013
    • COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO EDUCATION
  • 29 / May / 2014
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.1030
  • 02 / Jun / 2014
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 03 / Jun / 2014
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 12 / Jun / 2014
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 12 / Jun / 2014
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 12 / Jun / 2014
    • REFERRED TO EDUCATION

Summary

Relates to encouraging school districts to include a mental health curriculum in their course of instruction.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7727
Versions:
S5359
S5359A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Assembly Education
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง804, Ed L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5359

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to a
mental health education curriculum

PURPOSE: To update the statute relating to health education to
properly reflect the content currently taught in schools.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Legislative intent.

Section 2: Amends section 804 of the education law.

Section 3: Sets forth an immediate effective date.

EXISTING LAW:

Section 804 of the Education Law relates to current health education
curriculum requirements.

JUSTIFICATION: The legislature recognizes the importance of providing
a quality education to all New York students. Quality education must
continue to include comprehensive health education. While schools
presently provide instruction in health education, it is important
that the law provide the flexibility to reflect current learning
standards and curriculum development as administered by the New York
State Education Department and local school districts. Furthermore, it
is important that the statute recognize developing technology and
existing curriculum materials to ensure that schools and teachers are
provided with the most beneficial health education information, and
that both health and mental health are taught with the idea of
prevention, cure and control and without stigma or emotional harm.
The law should provide flexibility to allow the commissioner to
respond to the changing needs of the educational community to provide
students with the tools and resources to live healthy lives, as it
will only serve to improve educational performance and student
outcomes.

School districts are faced with numerous challenges. Recent events
have highlighted the importance of keeping students and educators safe
in schools. An integral component of school safety is mental health.
School districts are on the front lines of providing resources for
students who may be exhibiting behaviors that indicate a need for
mental health support. It is vital that the law be updated to reflect
the current work of school districts in supporting their staff and
students. Additionally, because educators are in the best position to
determine how student progress is measured this bill seeks to update
the statute to ensure that health education assessments are determined
at the local level.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.


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

                                  5359

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              May 16, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. FLANAGAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Education

AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to a mental health educa-
  tion curriculum

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

  Section  1.  Legislative intent. The legislature recognizes the impor-
tance of providing a quality education to all New York students. Quality
education must continue to include comprehensive health education. While
schools presently provide instruction in health education, the  legisla-
ture  finds it important that the law provide the flexibility to reflect
current learning standards and curriculum development as administered by
the New York State Education  Department  and  local  school  districts.
Furthermore, it is important that statute recognize developing technolo-
gy and existing curriculum materials to ensure that schools and teachers
are  provided with the most beneficial health education information, and
that both  health  and  mental  health  are  taught  with  the  idea  of
prevention,  cure  and control and without stigma or emotional harm. The
law should provide flexibility to allow the commissioner of education to
respond to the changing needs of the educational  community  to  provide
students  with the tools and resources to live healthy lives, as it will
only serve to improve educational performance and student outcomes.
  S 2. 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 alcohol, drugs, tobacco abuse and
the prevention and detection of certain cancers]. 1. All schools [shall]
ARE ENCOURAGED TO 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.] IN THE UNDERSTANDINGS, ATTITUDES
AND BEHAVIORS WITH REGARD TO THE  SEVERAL  DIMENSIONS  OF  HEALTH.  THIS

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD11096-01-3

S. 5359                             2

INSTRUCTION  SHALL  RELATE  TO ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND OTHER DRUGS, SAFETY,
MENTAL HEALTH, NUTRITION, DENTAL  HEALTH,  SENSORY  PERCEPTION,  DISEASE
PREVENTION  AND  CONTROL,  ENVIRONMENTAL  AND  PUBLIC  HEALTH,  CONSUMER
HEALTH, FIRST AID, AND OTHER HEALTH-RELATED AREAS. SUCH HEALTH EDUCATION
SHALL  BE ADMINISTERED AND ASSESSED WITH THE GOALS OF PROVIDING STUDENTS
WITH THE NECESSARY KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS TO: ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN PHYS-
ICAL FITNESS, PARTICIPATE IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY;  AND  MAINTAIN  PERSONAL
HEALTH;  ACQUIRE THE KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITY NECESSARY TO CREATE AND MAIN-
TAIN A SAFE AND HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT; UNDERSTAND AND MANAGE PERSONAL  AND
COMMUNITY RESOURCES TO SUSTAIN OVERALL HEALTH.
  1-A.  SUCH  HEALTH  EDUCATION  SHALL BE PROVIDED IN AN AGE-APPROPRIATE
MANNER BY THE REGULAR CLASSROOM TEACHER, OR BY A  TEACHER  CERTIFIED  TO
TEACH HEALTH EDUCATION.
  1-B.  THE  COMMISSIONER  SHALL  PROMULGATE  REGULATIONS TO FULFILL THE
REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SECTION AND TO ENSURE THAT  STUDENTS  ARE  PROPERLY
INSTRUCTED  IN  THESE  AREAS VITAL TO ENSURING CONTINUING DEVELOPMENT OF
HEALTH SKILLS AND PROVIDING ACCESS TO AVAILABLE RESOURCES FOR  PROMOTING
HEALTHY LIVING.
  2.  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. Instruction regarding alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs,  in  addi-
tion  to  continued health guidance in the junior high school grades and
the senior high schools, shall be an integral part of a required  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.  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. 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 COMMISSIONER SHALL  PROMUL-
GATE  REGULATIONS  TO  FULFILL  THE  REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SECTION AND TO

S. 5359                             3

ENSURE THAT STUDENTS ARE PROPERLY INSTRUCTED IN  THESE  AREAS  VITAL  TO
CONTINUING  DEVELOPMENT  OF HEALTH SKILLS AND PROVIDING ACCESS TO AVAIL-
ABLE RESOURCES FOR PROMOTING HEALTHY LIVING, INCLUDING BUT  NOT  LIMITED
TO INSTRUCTION ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SEEKING COUNSELING TO ADDRESS MENTAL
HEALTH  ISSUES  THAT  ARE  IMPACTING  A STUDENT'S ABILITY TO LEARN.  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  commis-
sioner.
  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 roles in emergency  situ-
ations,  what to do when confronted with another student who is [experi-
encing a mental health problem, and other  related  skills  designed  to
reduce  the  threat  of  violence  in schools.] EXHIBITING BEHAVIOR THAT
CAUSES CONCERN OR ALARM FOR THE SAFETY OF THE STUDENT OR OTHERS.
  5. School authorities shall provide the needed facilities,  time,  and
place  for  the  instruction set forth herein and shall provide learning
aids and curriculum resource materials  which  contribute  to  effective
teaching  methods  and  learning in health education [regarding alcohol,
tobacco, and other drugs].
  6. 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.  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 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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