JACKSONVILLE, Florida. — After abruptly postponing the legally required presentation of the district’s Complementary Health Program in September, the Duval County School Board reviewed the proposed new plan for how the district will teach students about reproductive health and disease prevention.
The original program that Duval County Public Schools had planned to use — obtained through third-party companies HealthSmart, Draw the Line/Respect the Line, and Reducing the Risk — was canceled due to fears they would not meet the requirements of the new state law.
Board members reviewed and discussed the new program on Tuesday, and they will vote on whether to approve the plan at an upcoming board meeting.
The supplemental health program is required by state law, therefore, the district must approve lesson plans that meet these requirements and teach the program to students in that year before the end of the school year, or else the district will not have complied with state law.
One of the main discussions among board members centered on the terms “can” or “will” in relation to a teacher using tangible, medically accurate equipment – or “props” – to teach the proper use of condoms. . Also, there was some disagreement as to when a condom demonstration was to take place.
Council members Charlotte Joyce and Cindy Pearson said the middle school was too early to teach students about proper condom use, while other members said information about safer sex should be introduced before.
Melissa Bernhardt’s children attend private school, but she was at Tuesday’s meeting representing County Citizens Defending Freedom, a Christian conservative political organization.
“I’m optimistic that the school is really focused on serving the community with age-appropriate content, and they continue to serve all students – so all inclusive. I like that there are two different programs – one for middle school, one for high school. As a person of faith, that might not be what I want, but it serves the community,” Bernhardt said.
Dr. Jennifer Cowart, an internal medicine specialist at the Mayo Clinic, was also present at the meeting. The doctor said that the rejection of this program did not come from the medical community.
“So the controversy is really, in my view, a very small number of people, and the vast majority of parents just believe it’s already happening in school and don’t believe it’s controversial, and in the medical community , it’s not controversial,” Cowart said.
The full grade-level breakdown of lesson plans under the district’s reproductive health and disease prevention proposal can be viewed below.
Lesson 1 – Changes during puberty
Lesson 2 – Practicing Communication Skills
Lesson 3 – Family Relationships
Lesson 4 – Peer Relations
Lesson 5 – From start to date
Lesson 6 – Healthy and unhealthy romantic relationships
Lesson 7 – Abstinence and Saying No
Lesson 8 – Analyzing and Interpreting Media
Lesson 9 – Preventing and Responding to Abuse
Lesson 10 – Understanding and Setting Boundaries
Lesson 11 – Consequences and Concerns
Lesson 12 – Understanding and Setting Boundaries
Lesson 1 – Male Reproductive System
Lesson 2 – Female Reproductive System
Lesson 3 – Breeding Basics
Lesson 4 – Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy
Lesson 5 – Protect your health: Sexually transmitted diseases; HIV/AIDS
Lesson 6 – Consent
Lesson 7 – More Than Friends
Lesson 8 – Loving and Loving: Now and When I’m Older
Lesson 9 – Making SMART choices
Lesson 10 – Health Improving Skills
Lesson 11 – Be smart; Stay safe online
Lesson 12 – Understanding the Differences
Lesson 1 – Changes during adolescence and your changing body
Lesson 2 – Your Relationships
Lesson 3 – The Female Reproductive System
Lesson 4 – The Male Reproductive System
Lesson 5 – Responsible Relationships
Lesson 6 – Diversity in Relationships
Lesson 7 – Family life
Lesson 8 – Pregnancy and childbirth
Lesson 9 – STDs and HIV/AIDS
Lesson 10 – Birth Control Basics
Lesson 11 – Using condoms effectively
Lesson 12 – Social Media Safety and Accountability
Lesson 1 – Family life and structure, healthy children and adolescents
Lesson 2 – Setting and Respecting Boundaries
Lesson 3 – Effective Communication
Lesson 4 – Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships
Lesson 5 – Consent and Security
Lesson 6 – Sexuality, Sexual Orientation and Gender Roles
Lesson 7 – Basics of STDs and HIV/AIDS
Lesson 8 – Preventing STIs and HIV/AIDS
Lesson 9 – Unwanted Pregnancy
Lesson 10 – Preventing Pregnancy
Lesson 11 – Media and Technology
Lesson 12 – Making Healthy Decisions and Skills for Healthy Living
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