Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill on Thursday that will make California the first state in the nation to require the “yes means yes” for consent and sexual violence prevention training as required classes for graduation from high school.
Until this week, such lessons were exclusively required at many colleges throughout the United States. In July, New York became the second state after California to require courses on affirmative consent at the collegiate level.
Part of the new policy states that sexual activity is only considered consensual when both parties involved have clearly stated their willingness in sexual engagement through “affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement” at every stage during the activity.
According to the Orange County Register, the measure (AB 329) faced zero organized opposition and received near-unanimous bipartisan support in the legislature last month. It was penned by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego).
Assemblyman Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside), who is also a Republican candidate for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)’s open U.S. Senate seat, reportedly said “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,” after the bill cleared in September.
Parents would reportedly still be allowed to excuse their child from some, or all, of the sex education curriculum.