10.5.15 | Hannah Sanchez
California has become the first U.S. state to make lessons on sexual consent a requirement at its high schools. The state was also the first nationwide to require colleges and universities to adopt the affirmative consent policy during campus sexual assault investigations.
California Governor Jerry Brown's office announced Thursday that the state will require all high schools statewide to teach students about sexual consent. Brown's approval of the measure made California the first U.S. state to take such move.
Last year, the state became the first nationwide to require colleges and universities to adopt the affirmative consent policy during campus sexual assault investigations. The policy states that sexual activity will only be deemed consensual if both parties clearly declared their willingness to participate through a voluntary, conscious, and affirmative agreement.
"California must continue to lead the nation in educating our young people - both women and men - about the importance of respect and maintaining healthy peer and dating relationships," said Republican Assemblyman Rocky Chávez after the measure passed the Assembly in September.
The new law mandates all school districts that have made health a graduation requirement to lecture students about sexual violence prevention and affirmative consent starting next year. It also urges state education officials to include those topics to their high school health curriculum, Lisa Leff of The Washington Post wrote. The measure did not receive any opposition in the Legislature, and even nearly received a unanimous bipartisan backing.