- A person’s development and understanding of his/her own sexuality relates fundamentally to the person’s ability to lead a satisfying life in the areas of personal relationships, work and recreation.
- A student’s visual disability affects the student’s understanding and development of his/her sexuality and the sexuality of others.
- Education plays a vital role in the individual’s development and understanding of his/her sexuality and in the achievement of sexual responsibility.
- For a student with a visual disability, education about sexuality should be designed to help the student develop a positive, comfortable self-image and role identity and to assist the student in achieving positive and satisfactory relationships with others.
- Issues related to an individual’s development and understanding of his/her sexuality shall be addressed in a positive and nonjudgmental manner.
- In all matters related to sexuality, the School shall respect the dignity and privacy of each student, appropriate to the student’s age and maturity.
- The School shall consider each student’s physical, cognitive and emotional development in responding to situations involving sexuality and in providing education in sexuality.
- Parents play an important role in the student’s development and understanding of his/her sexuality and are encouraged to join with the School to provide information and guidance related to sexuality and sexual conduct.
- The School shall comply with all legal requirements related to providing students education and services related to sexuality.
The School shall offer a comprehensive curriculum in sexuality designed to promote each student’s understanding and acceptance of his/her sexuality and the development of appropriate and responsible sexual conduct.
(See TSBVI Board Policy EHAA.)
SEXUALITY BETWEEN STUDENTS
The Superintendent shall ensure that the scope of permissible and impermissible sexual behavior between students at the School and on the School’s campus is clearly defined and communicated to students, parents and employees.
The Instructional Planning Council shall have input into determining the scope of permissible and impermissible sexual behavior between students.
If the sexual behavior permitted between students at the School is different from the expectations of any individual parent for his/her child attending the School, the School shall attempt to respect the parent’s direction and limit his/her child’s conduct accordingly. The extent to which the parent’s direction may be implemented may vary according to available School resources but, in no event, will students be permitted to engage in behavior prohibited by the Student Code of Conduct or other rules.
RESPONSE TO BEHAVIOR
Issues related to an individual’s development and understanding of his/her sexuality shall be dealt with in a positive and nonjudgmental manner. The student’s age, maturity and functional level will be considered when determining appropriate responses to a student’s sexual behavior.
The response to student conduct which is sexually inappropriate and negatively impacts another student or students shall be determined by considering the student’s age, cognition, and emotional development and maturity, and whether the student is capable of following the Student Code of Conduct.
Reporting Suspected Abuse
Notwithstanding any statements contained in this policy, any person who has cause to believe that a student’s physical or mental health or welfare has been adversely affected by abuse or neglect by any person, including by another student, shall immediately make a report in accordance with TSBVI Policy FFG.
Communicating With Parents
The parents of a student shall be informed when there is substantial reason to believe that the student has engaged in impermissible sexual behavior either on or off campus; provided, however, that for a student who is 18 years of age or over and provides the majority of his/her own financial support, the administration may determine whether to inform students’ parents based on individual circumstances.
The School encourages sexual abstinence for all students at the School.
Except for students who are 18 years of age or older and provide the majority of their own financial support, if a student becomes pregnant during the school year, the School will ensure that the student’s parents are informed of the pregnancy by the student or, if the student does not or will not do so, by the School administration. All students will be encouraged to accept the responsibility for informing their parents themselves.
Responsibility For Medical Costs
The student or the student’s parents are responsible for payment of all medical costs related to the student’s pregnancy which are beyond the routine services provided by the School through the School Health Center.
Upon student request, if the student is over 18 years of age and, in the opinion of the School’s administration, substantially able to care for his/her physical health and well being, or upon student request with parent approval for all other students, the Superintendent shall ensure that a student receives information, appropriate to the student’s age, cognition and maturity, related to contraception.
The Superintendent shall ensure that the School’s Health Center distributes medically prescribed contraceptives to a student over 18 years of age or to any other student, upon parent request or student request with parent approval.
Upon student request, if the student is over 18 years of age, or upon student request with parent approval for all other students, the Superintendent shall ensure that a student receives information related to the availability of community resources providing information about options related to an unwanted pregnancy. The School shall neither promote nor discourage any particular option in response to an unwanted pregnancy.
The School recognizes that understanding and addressing feelings and decisions related to pregnancy may be addressed during student counseling. The School shall not provide further assistance to a student who has selected an option related to an unwanted pregnancy.
COMMUNICATING EXPECTATIONS TO STAFF MEMBERS
The Superintendent shall ensure that each staff member annually receives a copy of this policy and a clear expectation of the School’s expectations in regard to responding to student sexual behavior, including impermissible sexual behavior.
Information about this policy shall be included in Parent/Student Handbook.
Amended: 9/26/97, 3/21/03