Establish the Office of Louisiana Youth for Excellence (LYFE)
WHEREAS, the Citizens of the State of Louisiana face many challenges, including high rates of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, which hinder our ability to prepare our youth for the opportunities of the future;
WHEREAS, many Louisiana adolescents remain poorly informed about consequences of at-risk behavior, including pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs);
WHEREAS, the Governor’s Office fights for young people and families of this State and preemptively strikes at the growing crimes related to at-risk behaviors while promoting a successful and thriving generation of Louisiana leaders;
WHEREAS, sex related crimes and social issues including sex texting, i.e. “sexting,” online sex predators, human sex trafficking, and other related issues have drastically increased due to growing online access;
WHEREAS, positive youth development, abstinence education, and life skills training are needed components of education in the schools to teach the next generation of Louisiana leaders character, discipline, good decision making skills, leadership, and other life improvement skills;
WHEREAS, youth development along with education programs will encourage Louisiana’s youth to say no to at-risk behaviors and yes to the positive choices involved in youth development that will lead to their success in life; and
WHEREAS, funding pursuant to Title V of the Social Security Act, as provided in 42 U.S.C. §710 to enable states to provide abstinence education and provide appropriate mentoring, counseling, and adult supervision to youth to promote abstinence from premarital sexual activity, focusing on those groups which have a higher premarital pregnancy rate, was discontinued June 30, 2009;
NOW THEREFORE, I, BOBBY JINDAL, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and the laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: The Office of Louisiana Youth for Excellence ( “LYFE” ) is established and created within the Executive Department, Office of Community Programs, Office of the Governor, replacing the Office of Abstinence Education;
SECTION 2: The goals of the Office of LYFE shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. Promoting positive youth development by teaching goal setting, leadership development, character building, and integrity in school settings and after school programs;
B. Mitigating the effects of at-risk behaviors for the youth of Louisiana;
C. Reducing the incidence of premarital sexual activity among the youth of Louisiana;
D. Reducing the rate of sexually transmitted diseases among the youth of Louisiana;
E. Lowering the premarital pregnancy rate among the youth of Louisiana; and
F. Lowering the number of high-school drop-outs related to at risk behaviors in Louisiana.
SECTION 3: The duties of the Office of LYFE shall include, but are not limited to the following:
A. Applying for and receiving funding for the development and administration of the Office of LYFE from public and private sources;
B. Providing youth with the authentic messages of character, integrity, and excellence by speaking with school assemblies and other youth venues to promote the positive messages of youth development and dangers of at-risk behaviors while using age appropriate and medically accurate data;
C. Providing parents with family life education and skills which emphasize and support their role as the primary educator of family values;
D. Coordinating with non-profit and faith based organizations as well as other state agencies on best practices to reach youth with the messages of the LYFE campaign;
E. Promoting character qualities and human skills that are beneficial to marriage and to raising responsible and productive children; and
F. Developing an aggressive LYFE campaign targeting adolescents ages 12-19 and parents that will build awareness of the consequences of at-risk behaviors, reinforce positive youth development, partner with non-profit and faith-based organizations as well as other state agencies, and coordinate with school administrators and education officials to promote positive life skills and education regarding youth development.
A. The Office of LYFE shall be directed by an executive director who shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The executive director shall be responsible for administering, overseeing, and evaluating the programs of the Office of LYFE in a manner which facilitates the accomplishment of the program’s duties and goals, as set forth in Sections 2 and 3.
B. The executive director shall submit an annual comprehensive report to the Governor, by January 1, which addresses the fulfillment of the Office of LYFE’s goals, as set forth in Section 2 of this Order, and its duties, as defined in Section 3 of this Order. Annual reports shall include all relevant comparative data and information relating to the effectiveness of the Office of LYFE to similar programs of other states.
SECTION 5: The executive director of the Office of LYFE shall be located in, and operated from, a state-owned facility. The Office shall be permitted staff and resources to fulfill the goals, duties, and responsibilities specified in this Order. It shall be permitted to accept the efforts of volunteers in accordance with state law.
SECTION 6: All departments, commissions, boards, offices, entities, agencies, and officers of the State of Louisiana, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate with the Office of LYFE in implementing the provisions of this Order.
SECTION 7: The provisions of this Order are effective upon signature and shall remain in effect until amended, modified, terminated or rescinded by the Governor, or terminated by operation of law.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 13th day of July, 2009.
Secretary of State