Checking Up on Health Education the Comprehensive Curriculum to Teach Duval County Students about Their Bodies Is Settling in the Classroom with Little Controversy

By MacDonald, Mary | The Florida Times Union, December 2, 1997 | Go to article overview

Checking Up on Health Education the Comprehensive Curriculum to Teach Duval County Students about Their Bodies Is Settling in the Classroom with Little Controversy


MacDonald, Mary, The Florida Times Union


The subject matter of the day, date rape, was written on the

blackboard.

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,

abortion, contraception.

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 scrapped the seventh-grade program,

"Teen-Aid," four years after Planned Parenthood of Northeast

Florida and seven Jacksonville families filed a lawsuit, in

which it was argued the curriculum provided incomplete or

inaccurate information to students.

Because it offers instruction at all grade levels and because

it provides students with information that they previously were

not shown, the curriculum is more effective, said Cheryl Seaton,

health teacher at Terry Parker High School and president of an

organization for health teachers.

"This is more comprehensive," she said. "It covers much more

than just the sexuality issues." It also provides for more

interaction with parents. Several exercises are completed by

students asking their parents questions.

The first evaluation of the new curriculum will come this

school year when students in five grades are tested to determine

their knowledge of health issues, Bowles said.

But the success of the new approach is not tied directly to

decreases in pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease rates. In

fact, that data is not tracked by the school system.

The data, compiled by several Jacksonville organizations, shows

reports of some sexually transmitted diseases among teens

dropped last year, the first year of the new curriculum. Others

rose.

Live births to mothers age 19 and younger increased in 1996,

from 1,697 to 1,756.

Gonorrhea increased in the fiscal year ending June 30, from 714

diagnosed cases to 795, while cases of early syphilis and

chlamydia among teenagers dropped slightly.

Most of the health education program began last year, but the

11th-grade course on relationships was initiated this year. It

is supposed to be offered at all high schools, but school system

officials have not yet determined whether budget cuts forced the

reassignment of health teachers.

At Terry Parker High School in Arlington, where some students

said they are accustomed to seeing pregnant classmates, the

course is handled with diplomacy. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Checking Up on Health Education the Comprehensive Curriculum to Teach Duval County Students about Their Bodies Is Settling in the Classroom with Little Controversy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.