Sexual health Education

Sexual Health Education Policies in Florida School Districts

In Florida, district school boards are constitutionally and statutorily charged with determining how they will implement statute. Policies and curriculum regarding family life instruction and prevention and control of disease are determined at the district level and reflect the values and concerns of the community as well as the needs of students. Brevard Public Schools provides abstinence-plus sexual health education instruction. According to s. 1003.42 (3) Florida Statutes, students can be exempted from the teaching of reproductive health or disease prevention education upon request from their parents.

Comprehensive Health Education

Health Education provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to be healthy throughout their lifetime. The intent of a comprehensive health education program is to motivate students to maintain and improve their health, prevent disease, and avoid or reduce health related risk behaviors.

Comprehensive health education addresses 14 component areas under Florida State Statute 1003.42 (2)(n) - Required Instruction Grades K-12:

  • Community health

  • Consumer health

  • Environmental health

  • Family life

  • Mental and emotional health

  • Injury prevention and safety

  • Internet safety

  • Nutrition

  • Personal health

  • Prevention and control of disease

  • Substance use and abuse

  • Prevention of child sexual abuse, exploitation, and human trafficking

Grades 6-12

  • Awareness of the benefits of sexual abstinence as the expected standard and the consequences of teenage pregnancy

Grades 7-12

  • Teen dating violence

Florida Statute 1003.46 Health education; instruction in acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).—

(1) Each district school board may provide instruction in acquired immune deficiency syndrome education as a specific area of health education. Such instruction may include, but is not limited to, the known modes of transmission, signs and symptoms, risk factors associated with acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and means used to control the spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome. The instruction shall be appropriate for the grade and age of the student and shall reflect current theory, knowledge, and practice regarding acquired immune deficiency syndrome and its prevention.

(2) Throughout instruction in acquired immune deficiency syndrome, sexually transmitted diseases, or health education, when such instruction and course material contains instruction in human sexuality, a school shall:

(a) Teach abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for all school-age students while teaching the benefits of monogamous heterosexual marriage.

(b) Emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity is a certain way to avoid out-of- wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, including acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and other associated health problems.

(c) Teach that each student has the power to control personal behavior and encourage students to base actions on reasoning, self-esteem, and respect for others.

(d) Provide instruction and material that is appropriate for the grade and age of the student.

Opting Out

A parent of a public school student may also request that their child be excused from: The teaching of reproductive health or any disease, including HIV/AIDS. Each district school board must establish a policy enabling a parent to object to a child’s use of a specific instructional material and a process enabling parents to contest the district school board’s adoption of a specific instructional material.

According to Florida Statute 1003.42, section (3):

“Any student whose parent makes written request to the school principal shall be exempted from the teaching of reproductive health or any disease, including HIV/AIDS, its symptoms, development, and treatment. A student so exempted may not be penalized by reason of that exemption. Course descriptions for comprehensive health education shall not interfere with the local determination of appropriate curriculum which reflects local values and concerns.”

Visit the tabs at the top of this website for each specific grade band to review the opt-out information and parent informational letter.