Family Life and Disease Prevention
Why is family life, and prevention and control of disease instruction, important in Florida schools? Academic achievement is linked to student health. Health-risk behaviors such as early sexual initiation are associated with lower grades and tests scores, and with lower educational attainment. Access CDC’s Health and Academics for additional information.
According to weighted data from the 2019 Florida Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS).
- 5.7% of males and 1.8% of females (approximately 21,009 and 6,839 students respectively) reported having intercourse for the first time before age 13.
- 52.4% of 12th graders (approximately 95,154 students) reported having sexual intercourse at least once in lifetime.
- 16.5% of 12th graders (approximately 30,157 students) reported having sex with multiple partners (four or more during their lifetime).
These data show a significant number of students in Florida are putting their health and academic achievement at risk by possibly becoming pregnant or by contracting a sexually transmitted disease/infection (STD/STI).
There are three Florida Statutes that reference instruction in comprehensive health education related to family life, and prevention and control of disease. Florida statute requires instruction in family life education K-12 to be age appropriate and to meet the needs of all students. Access the statutes at the links below:
- Section 1003.41, Florida State Statutes - Next Generation Sunshine State Standards
- Section 1003.42 (2) (n), Florida State Statutes - Required Instruction: Comprehensive health education.
- Family life, and prevention and control of disease, are two of the 12 components of required instruction included in Comprehensive Health Education. Family life instruction includes topics such as human sexuality education, family planning, abstinence, communication skills as well as others (see additional topics here).
- Prevention and control of disease includes requirements for instruction focused on causes, transmission, prevention, early detection, and treatment of chronic and communicable diseases and disorders such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases/infections (additional topics are included here).
- Section (3) of this statute allows any student whose parent makes written request to the school principal to be exempted from the teaching of reproductive health or any disease, including HIV/AIDS, its symptoms, development, and treatment.
- Section 1003.46, Florida State Statutes - Health Education; Instruction in Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
- This statute provides guidance for instruction if, or when, AIDS education is included in the curriculum. Topics for instruction include the means used to control the spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome supporting district policies for instruction in sexual abstinence, as well as in barrier methods, used to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
- Policies, Standards, and Guidelines (While Florida law requires abstinence be taught as one component of health education courses, it does not preclude abstinence-plus or comprehensive sexual health curricula from being implemented.)
- Definitions of Abstinence-Based, Abstinence-Only, Abstinence-Only Until Marriage, and Comprehensive Human Sexuality Programs (PDF)
- Florida's Sexual Health Education Community Outreach Tool Kit
- CDC Funded Districts in Florida
- OAH: National Resource Center for HIV/AIDS Prevention Among Adolescents
- CDC Reproductive Health: Teen Pregnancy (PDF)
- 2017 Florida Youth Risk Behavior Survey Behavioral Health Infographic (PDF)
- CDC Report: Profiles 2016 School Health Profiles Characteristics of Health Programs Among Secondary Schools
- HIV/STD and Teen Pregnancy Prevention Links
Family Life and Disease Prevention Coordinator
Office of Healthy Schools
Florida Department of Education
325 W. Gaines Street, Suite 444
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400