Florida State Profile Fiscal Year 2009
Sexuality Education Law and Policy | Recent Legislation | Youth Statistical Information of Note | Sexual Health Statistics | Comprehensive Approaches to Sex Education| Federal Funding of Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs | Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Curricula Used by Grantees | Federal Funding for Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs in FY 09 | Adolescent Health Contact | Organizations that Support Comprehensive Sexuality Education | Organizations that Oppose Comprehensive Sexuality Education | Local Newspapers | Political Blogs | References
Florida Statute 1003.42 states that public schools must teach comprehensive health education that includes giving students “an awareness of the benefits of sexual abstinence as the expected standard and the consequences of teenage pregnancy.” Previous Florida law required students to complete one-half credit in “Life Management Skills” in order to graduate high school. These courses were required to include instruction on the prevention of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), family life, the benefits of sexual abstinence, and the consequences of teen pregnancy.
Effective for the 2007–2008 school year, students entering high school were no longer required to receive health education as a graduation requirement. School districts now have the option of requiring students to take one-half credit in Physical Education and one-half credit in Personal Fitness, or to complete a one credit course titled, “Health Opportunities through Physical Education” (HOPE), which integrates personal fitness and life management skills. The content of the course includes fitness and health concepts as well as instruction on disease prevention, including HIV/AIDS and other STDs. State policy still reads that “course descriptions for comprehensive health education shall not interfere with the local determination of appropriate curriculum which reflects local values and concerns.”
School boards may decide to allow additional instruction regarding HIV/AIDS. Such instruction may include information about “means used to control the spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome.”
All instruction and course material must:
Florida standards, titled Sunshine State Standards for Health and Physical Fitness, do not mention instruction in HIV/AIDS, STDs, or sexuality education.
As with the previously required course, parents may submit a written request to the school principal to exempt their child from HIV/AIDS instruction within HOPE or any other sexuality education and/or STD/HIV education classes. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
See Florida Statute, Title XLVIII, Chapter 1003, Section 42, 43, and 46.
Florida Healthy Teens Act Introduced
House Bill 169, also known as the Healthy Teens Act, was introduced in January 2010. It recognizes that, to be competitive for federal funding, the state must invest in effective models for pregnancy and disease prevention. The bill would require any school that receives state funding and offers sex education programs to provide comprehensive, medically accurate, and age-appropriate information. The bill was referred to several committees, including the House Committee on Pre-K – 12 Policy.
Florida’s Youth: Statistical Information of Note
Broward County, Florida
Duval County, Florida
Miami-Dade County, Florida
Orange County, Florida
Palm Beach County, Florida
Teen Pregnancy, Birth, and Abortion
HIV and AIDS
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
SIECUS has identified some examples of model programs, policies, and best practices being implemented in Florida public schools that provide more comprehensive sex education to young people.
Revised School District Policy
School Districts Revise Their Sex Education Policies
A growing number of Florida school districts are revising their health education policies to eliminate requirements that instruction teach abstinence- until-marriage and implement more comprehensive sex education programs, which include information on sexual health practices and the prevention of STDs, HIV, and unintended pregnancy along with information on condoms and contraception, among other topics. Since 2007, at least six school districts have adopted more comprehensive sex education policies, including Brevard, Broward, Collier, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, and Volusia county school districts.
In 2007, the St. Lucie County School Board voted four–one to incorporate Get Real About AIDS, an evidence-based program, into the health education curriculum of all district middle and high schools. The board’s vote revised the district’s previous abstinence-only policy. (See the section below on Comprehensive Sex Education in Public Schools for more information on the sex education program in St. Lucie.)
The Collier County School Board voted on November 19, 2009 to require that human sexuality instruction provided in district schools include information on sexual and reproductive health that is comprehensive, evidence based, medically accurate, age appropriate, and that teaches students about contraception and condoms in addition to abstinence. The Board voted three–two to implement the new policy.
Comprehensive Sex Education Programs in Public Schools
Broward County Public Schools
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS), receive funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (CDC-DASH) to provide HIV-prevention education as an aspect of the district’s school health program. The school district is one of four local agencies, also including Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Orange County Public Schools, and the School District of Palm Beach County, that receives DASH funding in part to advance HIV-prevention education in schools. With a portion of its funding, BCPS provides HIV/AIDS- and STD- prevention education training to school staff. The funding also supports work to enhance HIV curricula used in district schools and school district policies and procedures that govern HIV-prevention education administered to students.
In order to provide HIV-prevention education training to school staff, BCPS developed a multi-media training strategy in 2006 that incorporated the use of online training, television broadcasts, training updates distributed on CD-ROM, and the district’s internal electronic network. The strategy includes a five-week online course for teachers that addresses “data, policies, procedures, curriculum, prevention strategies, testing techniques, and related facts” regarding HIV and HIV-prevention education. A total of 635 school staff received training. Teachers can now also access model lesson plans among other resources through the district’s internal electronic network.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Miami-Dade County school district, which is a CDC-DASH-funded, local agency, uses a portion of its funds to “strengthen HIV prevention education in grades K–12.” To this end, the school district has worked to integrate HIV, STD, and unintended pregnancy prevention education into health education and other core subject areas in grades K–12. The district’s HIV/AIDS Education Program is responsible for disseminating the district’s HIV/AIDS curriculum to schools. The program also collaborates with other school district staff, the local health agency, local universities, community-based organizations, parents, and students to evaluate the HIV-, STD-, and unintended- pregnancy prevention activities administered in schools.
Orange County Public Schools
Through its cooperative agreement with CDC-DASH, Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) has developed an HIV/AIDS Prevention Program which aims to increase awareness among students in grades six through 12 of how to prevent HIV infection. The program also provides professional development training to teachers and school staff that discusses model HIV curricula, as well as the district’s HIV policy and guidelines for human sexuality education.  To address the needs of sexual minority students, OCPS has conducted focus groups with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) high school students to inform future programming.
The School District of Palm Beach County
Among the program goals for its HIV/AIDS Prevention Program, the School District of Palm Beach County aims to “increase the number of youth in grades K–12 who receive HIV/AIDS prevention education.” To this end, the school district has worked to develop “age appropriate HIV/AIDS prevention education curricula and activities for students.” The district also designs and implements skills-based professional development trainings on HIV-prevention strategies for district administrators, educators, staff, and community partners.
Pinellas County Schools
Beginning in 1980, the Pinellas County school district developed a Family Life Education Council which was tasked with creating a comprehensive family life education curriculum for middle school. The curriculum was first piloted in schools in 1982 and included instruction on sex education, anatomy, “venereal disease,” and birth control. Parents had to provide permission for their child to receive the sex education component of the curriculum. Along with class instruction for students, the district provided parent education programs during the evenings. In addition, all teachers administering the curriculum were required to receive 30 hours of staff development to teach sex education.
In 1984, the Family Life Education Council was replaced by the Family Life Education Committee, whose role it was to approve outside presenters, train speakers, and review supplemental audio-visual materials for instruction. The committee still exists today and carries out the speaker approval process for the district. Pinellas County teachers are still required to complete 30 hours of Family Life Education Training administered by the school district in order to teach such instruction.
In Pinellas County schools, students receive age-appropriate human sexuality education beginning in fifth grade as an aspect of human growth and development instruction. In middle school, grades six through eight, and high school, grades nine through 12, such instruction is provided in health class. The district uses a combination of locally developed lessons and supplemental instructional materials, including videos, booklets, and approved outside speakers, to provide the information. In fifth grade, human growth and development education addresses topics related to human sexuality, including the “male and female reproductive systems,” “bodily changes that occur during puberty,” and “AIDS awareness.” Middle school human sexuality education in sixth grade includes, among other topics, a discussion of the “emotional, social, and physical changes occurring during adolescence,” male and female reproductive systems, the stages of pregnancy and fetal development, the “causes, transmission, and prevention of AIDS,” and “the benefits of sexual abstinence.” Eighth grade instruction covers definitions of masculinity and femininity, “respectful sexual behavior,” “sexual abstinence,” “consequences of teenage pregnancy,” and “sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS.” Instruction also includes a one-day lesson on “the effectiveness of condoms to reduce the risk of some STDs.”
Parents must provide permission for their child to participate in this lesson. In high school, human sexuality instruction addresses “social dating behavior,” “sexual attitude awareness,” “decisions regarding sexuality,” “the benefits of sexual abstinence for unmarried teens,” and contraception, among other topics.
St. Lucie County School District
In 2005, spurred by the high rate of teen birth and HIV/AIDS incidence in St. Lucie County, concerned community members and stakeholders partnered to improve the sex education provided in district schools. Members of the community along with middle and high school principals of St. Lucie public schools formed the HIV/AIDS Curriculum Task Force, which was tasked with recommending a sex education curriculum that was “scientifically proven to be effective in changing sexual behavior.” for inclusion in the district’s health courses.
The taskforce reviewed six potential curricula that all fell under the criterion of programs identified by the CDC as effective and were listed on the Florida Board of Education’s recommended curriculum list. After review, the taskforce selected two curricula for recommendation, which were then evaluated by health educators from each of the district’s high schools. These educators unanimously selected Get Real About AIDS and made the recommendation to the district School Board for its implementation. Get Real About AIDS is a skills-based, HIV risk reduction curriculum designed for students in grades nine–12. An evaluation of the program found that it increased knowledge of HIV and HIV prevention, reduced the number of sexual partners, and increased condom use among participants.
Beginning in the 2008–2009 school year, age-appropriate components of the curriculum were incorporated into class instruction for grades four through 12. Different lessons are incorporated into different class subject areas, including health, language arts, physical education, and science. The majority of the lessons are taught in middle school and high school where they are part of health education classes. District teachers are trained to administer the lessons and may seek assistance from district nurses or nurses employed by the county health department.
In high school, the curriculum includes a DVD on proper condom use developed in partnership with the county health department. The video features a demonstration conducted and narrated by local physicians that presents the information in a “scientific, data-based, and non-emotional” manner. Text books and supplemental curricula materials are funded through district funds for education supplies.
In April 2010, St. Lucie County school district began an evaluation of the Get Real About AIDS curriculum implemented in district schools. A five-member curriculum evaluation committee, including a university researcher, an epidemiologist from the county health department, an assessment specialist and educator from the St. Lucie County school district, and an administrator from the Osceola County school district, developed the evaluation at the request and approval of the St. Lucie County School Board. The survey will assess students’ knowledge, attitudes, and behavior regarding HIV/AIDS. Approximately 2,000 eighth and tenth graders from St. Lucie County will participate in the evaluation and approximately 1,000 eighth and tenth graders from Osceola County school district will serve as a control group.
Volusia County Public Schools
In April 2009, the Volusia County School Board voted to adopt a new “abstinence-plus” curriculum to be administered to students beginning in the eighth grade. It maintains the emphasis on abstinence as the most effective means of preventing pregnancy and STDs, but also includes information about reliable methods of birth control and disease prevention.
We encourage you to submit any updated or additional information on comprehensive approaches to sex education being implemented in Florida public schools for inclusion in future publications of the SIECUS State Profiles. Please visit SIECUS’ “Contact Us” webpage at www.siecus.org to share information. Select “state policy” as the subject heading.
The Department of Health and community-based organizations in Florida received $8,960,656 in federal funds for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in Fiscal Year 2009.
Title V Abstinence-Only-Until Marriage Funding
Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) Funding
Adolescent Family Life Act (AFLA) Funding
Some abstinence-only-until-marriage grantees in Florida use commercially available curricula. These include, but are not limited to:
To read reviews of abstinence-only-until-marriage curricula commonly used by federal grantees please visit the “Curricula and Speaker Reviews” webpage of SIECUS’ Community Action Kit at www.communityactionkit.org.
Federal Funding for Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs in FY 2009
Adolescent Health Contact
Florida Department of Health
Family Health Services
4025 Esplande Way 105A
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Phone: (850) 245-4466
Newspapers in Florida
 Florida Statutes 48-1003.42, Section 2(n), <http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch1003/SEC42.HTM&Title=-%3E2006-%3ECh1003-%3ESection%2042#1003.42>
 Florida Statutes 48-1003.42, Section 3, <http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch1003/SEC42.HTM&Title=-%3E2006-%3ECh1003-%3ESection%2042#1003.42>
 Florida Statutes 48-1003.46, Section 1, <http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch1003/SEC46.HTM&Title=-%3E2006-%3ECh1003-%3ESection%2046#1003.46>
 Florida Statutes 48-1003.46, Section 2(a-d), <http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch1003/SEC46.HTM&Title=-%3E2006-%3ECh1003-%3ESection%2046#1003.46>
 Danice K. Eaton, et. al., “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2009,” Surveillance Summaries, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, vol. 59, no. SS-5 (4 June 2010): 98–109, accessed 4 June 2010, <http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/ss/ss5905.pdf>. Note: Some individual counties in Florida also participated in the 2009 YRBS.
 Ibid., Table 3.2.
 Joyce A. Martin, et. al, “Births: Final Data for 2006,” National Vital Statistics Reports, vol. 57, number 7 (Hyattsville, MD: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 January 2009), accessed 5 March 2010, <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_07.pdf>, Table B.
 U.S. Teenage Pregnancies, Births, and Abortions: National and State Trends and Trends by Race and Ethnicity, Table 3.2.
 Martin, et. al, “Births: Final Data for 2006,” 4.
 Ibid., Table B.
 U.S. Teenage Pregnancies, Births, and Abortions: National and State Trends and Trends by Race and Ethnicity, Table 3.5.
 “Cases of HIV Infection and AIDS in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2007,” HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, vol. 19, (Atlanta, GA:Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, February 2009), accessed 5 March 2010, <http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/reports/2007report/pdf/2007SurveillanceReport.pdf> , Table 18.
 Slide 6: “Estimated Numbers of HIV/AIDS Cases among Adolescents 13 to 19 Years of Age, 2007—34 States,” HIV/AIDS Surveillance in Adolescents and Young Adults (through 2007), (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 2009), accessed 25 March 2010, <http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/slides/adolescents/index.htm>.
 Ibid.; “AIDS Case Rate per 100,000 Population, All Ages, 2007,” (Menlo Park, CA: Kaiser Family Foundation), accessed 5 March 2010, <http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparetable.jsp?ind=513&cat=11&sub=120&yr=62&typ=1&sort=a>.
 Ibid., Table 16.
 Slide 15: “Reported AIDS Cases among Adolescents 13 to 19 Years of Age, 2007—United States and Dependent Areas,” HIV/AIDS Surveillance in Adolescents and Young Adults (through 2007), (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 2009), accessed 25 March 2010, <http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/slides/adolescents/index.htm>.
 “Wonder Database: Selected STDs by Age, Race/Ethnicity, and Gender, 1996-2008 Results,” (Atlanta,GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 June 2009, accessed 5 March 2010, <http://wonder.cdc.gov/>; see also Table 10: “Chlamydia: Reported Cases and Rates Per 100,000 Population by Age Group and Sex: United States, 2004–2008,” Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2008, (Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of STD Prevention, November 2009), accessed 5 March 2010, <http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats08/surv2008-Complete.pdf>, 95.
 Ibid; see also Table 20: “Gonorrhea—Reported Cases and Rates per 100,000 Population by Age Group and Sex: United States, 2004–2008,” Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2008,106.
 Ibid; see also Table 33: “Primary and Secondary Syphilis—Reported Cases and Rates per 100,000 Population by Age Group and Sex: United States, 2004–2008,” Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2008, 121.
 This is by no means a complete list of all comprehensive programming and policies related to sexuality education, but rather some examples of best practices and model programs that SIECUS identified.
 Josie A. Weiss et. al., “Learning from a Community Action Plan to Promote Safe Sexual Practices,” Journal of Social Work 55.1, (January 2010), 19–26.
 “Local Agencies: Broward County, Florida”, Healthy Youth! (Atlanta, GA: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion), accessed 25 April 2010, <http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/states/locals/fl-broward.htm>.
 “Using Technology to Overcome Professional Development Hurdles,” Program Highlights: Broward County, Florida, Healthy Youth! (Atlanta, GA: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion), accessed 25 April 2010, <http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/states/pdf/success_summaries_bcflorida_tech.pdf>.
 “Local Agencies: Miami-Dade County, Florida”, Healthy Youth! (Atlanta, GA: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion), accessed 25 April 2010, <http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/states/locals/fl-miami-dade.htm>.
 “Local Agencies: Orange County, Florida”, Healthy Youth! (Atlanta, GA: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion), accessed 25 April 2010, <http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/states/pdf/success_summaries_orangecty.pdf>.
 “Partnering to Reach Youth at Disproportionate Risk for HIV Transmission” Program Highlights: Orange County, Florida, Healthy Youth! (Atlanta, GA: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion), accessed 25 April 2010, <http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/states/pdf/success_summaries_orangecty.pdf>.
 “Local Agencies: Palm Beach County, Florida”, Healthy Youth! (Atlanta, GA: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion), accessed 25 April 2010, <http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/states/locals/fl-palm-beach.htm>.
 “Family Life Education: A Historical Perspective,” PowerPoint presentation, Pinellas County School District.
 “Pinellas County Schools Human Sexuality Curriculum Overview,” Pinellas County School District.
 Science and Success: Sex Education and Other Programs That Work to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, HIV & Sexually Transmitted Infections (Washington, DC: Advocates for Youth, 2008), accessed 30 March 2010, <http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/storage/advfy/documents/sciencesuccess.pdf>, 8–9.
 Phone conversation between Morgan Marshall and St. Lucie County School Superintendent Michael Lannon on 1 April 2010.
 Phone conversation between Morgan Marshall and Elissa Barr, Professor and Researcher at the University of North Florida, on 5 April 2010.
 This refers to the federal government’s fiscal year, which begins on October 1st and ends on September 30th. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, Fiscal Year 2009 began on October 1, 2008 and ended on September 30, 2009.
 Through the Fiscal Year 2010 appropriations process, Congress eliminated all discretionary funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, including the entire CBAE program and the abstinence-only-until-marriage portion of AFLA. The grant years listed in the chart reflect the years for which funding was originally approved; however, the grants effectively ended in Fiscal Year 2009.
 SIECUS has identified this person as a state-based contact for information on adolescent health and if applicable, abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.
 This section is a list of major newspapers in your state with contact information for their newsrooms. This list is by no means exhaustive and does not contain the local level newspapers which are integral to getting your message out to your community. SIECUS strongly urge you to follow stories about the issues that concern you on the national, state, and local level by using an internet news alert service such as Google alerts, becoming an avid reader of your local papers, and establishing relationships with reporters who cover your issues. For more information on how to achieve your media goals visit the SIECUS Community Action Kit.