Change would allow opting out of health education


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Education wants to give parents the option to pull their children from parts of courses they dislike that have to do with comprehensive health education.

Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, said Tuesday state education officials requested he include language in a bill (SB 1366) to allow parents to exempt their children from “any portion” of the comprehensive health education courses required by state law if the requests are put in writing.

Some of the courses offered under the broad health education curriculum for students in grades 7 to 12 include classes on mental and emotional health, nutrition, personal health, prevention and control of diseases, internet safety and “awareness of the benefits of sexual abstinence as the expected standard and the consequences of teenage pregnancy.”

The amendment was approved without any objection by the Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday. It will move forward with Baxley’s bill, which would allow students to substitute one computer science credit for a science credit to satisfy high-school graduation requirements.

The bill must clear the Senate Appropriations Committee before it can go to the Senate floor.