The subject matter of the day, date rape, was written on the
That morning 30 high school students would consider sexual
pressure, perceptions of behavior, choice of clothing, locker
room bravado and the effects of drinking alcohol.
The class, Personal, Social and Family Relationships, is
required for all 11th-graders and serves as the final
installment of comprehensive health education in Duval County.
It includes some of the most controversial lessons taught in
public schools: sexual harassment, divorce, domestic violence,
In 1996, when the Duval County School Board adopted a
comprehensive curriculum to educate students about their bodies,
social pressures and relationships, years of hand-wringing came
to an end.
At the time, critics alternately labeled the curriculum ungodly
or overly meek. But a year after the changes took effect, little
criticism is heard.
Although school surveys have not been collected, informal
counts indicate few parents exercised their right last year to
remove their children from the reproductive health and
AIDS-related instruction, said Kathy Bowles, Jacksonville
schools' supervisor of health education.
The curriculum is abstinence-based, but it includes discussion
of the use of contraceptives, an element that was lacking in the
previous health education plan taught in Duval County.
The School Board …