HSD to begin curriculum under Erin's Law
This school year marks the first full year the Hillsboro School District will provide instruction focused on increasing student's awareness of child sexual abuse and how to recognize and respond to unsafe situations.
The state-mandated curriculum was part of Senate Bill 856, better known as "Erin's Law," named after childhood sexual assault survivor, author, speaker and activist Erin Merryn, which was passed by the Oregon legislature in 2015.
The law requires the development and adoption of child sexual abuse prevention programs for students in kindergarten through 12th grade ?in all Oregon public schools. Erin's Law has also been passed in 34 other states.
The district is inviting parents and guardians to attend an informational meeting in the Shute Park Library Meeting Room, 775 S.E. 10th Ave., on Thursday, Oct. 4, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
At least four times per year, schools are required to provide instructional sessions focused on sexual abuse prevention including a variety of discussions, activities, videos, and practicing safety phrasing through scenario situations, according to the Hillsboro School District.
"The purpose of the lessons is to provide students, in a nurturing and caring environment, the tools needed for personal safety," the district stated. "Over the course of the school year, your student's teacher(s), with school counseling support, will be presenting lessons to the class to meet the requirements of Erin's Law."
Hillsboro School District began teaching the curriculum last spring after sending out notices to parents and guardians following the first semester, said district spokeswoman Beth Graser. Beginning this year, the sessions will be taught throughout the school year.
For students in kindergarten through 8th grade, the material is embedded in their existing health curriculum, Graser said. High school students will be receiving extra instruction because health is only required for one year of the four.
These sessions are expected to begin mid-October.