Health education sees age-focused reform under new Florida law

Education

Boys and girls sitting at desks, raising hands (Getty Images).

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — While Florida parents can now opt their kids out of sex education thanks to a recently signed law, another new law changes what ages students will start receiving some of their health education and what will be included.

HB 519, the new bill on health education instruction, will revise what grades students start learning about different health aspects, from general health to child sexual abuse, exploitation, and human trafficking, as well as substance abuse.

Now in effect, the new law requires that health education be taught at “age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate” levels for K-12 students.

Specifically, the new curriculum requirements will make it so “concepts of community health, consumer health, environmental health, and family life” are all addressed comprehensively, by age and maturity.

Those new comprehensive lessons include:

  • 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

Separately, education for students from sixth through 12th grade will be taught “the benefits of sexual abstinence as the expected standard and the consequences of teenage pregnancy.”

This changes the previous education ages, where some form of the lessons were taught across K-12, rather than restricting it to sixth and beyond.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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