JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Duval County Public Schools leaders have approved a refurbished set of sex education lessons for middle and high school students after hours of discussion during Tuesday’s board meeting. The vote was 5-2.
More than 100 people spoke during public comment at the meeting on either side of several issues.
The vote that occurred Tuesday night approved the planned set of reproductive health curriculum that are required by state law. The Duval County School Board had to reverse its planned curriculum in September after a new law was passed that required sex education to be taught in a certain way.
A lot of the community members who addressed the board were urging them to vote no on these lesson plans, saying they were too comprehensive.
Other parents voiced support for science-and-research-based sex ed for middle and high school students.
Another big topic discussed was a collection of 176 books that were removed from school district shelves because they were deemed too controversial.
Many of Tuesday’s speakers called for those books to be available for students to read, arguing that young people need more access to information, not less.
A third parallel discussion was the recent decision by Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene to cancel the contract with JASMYN, the long-time LGBTQ resources partner of the district.
The decision came after the organization posted photos on Instagram that featured an adult novelty card game with drawing of male reproductive organs.
Greene spoke of the discussions that led to her deciding to cancel the contract, but pledged that those services will not be interrupted.
“I need to be clear, this issue is not about the services that JASMYN provides, those services will continue to be a community support for our students, because our students and their families know that they can utilize that resource and that will not stop,” Greene said. “The thing that will stop is that the school district will no longer be contracting directly with JASMYN.”
JASMYN CEO Cindy Watson was also at the meeting and reiterated that the group regretted the social media posts.
Now that the sex education curriculum is approved, it has to be distributed to teachers across the district and be taught to students before school lets out this spring or else the district will have failed to meet state education standards.
The full grade level breakdown of the lesson plans under the district’s Proposal for Reproductive Health & Disease Prevention can be viewed below.
Lesson 1 - Changes During Puberty
Lesson 2 - Practicing Communication Skills
Lesson 3 - Family Relationships
Lesson 4 - Peer Relationships
Lesson 5 - Beginning to Date
Lesson 6 - Healthy and UnHealthy Dating Relationships
Lesson 7 - Abstinence and Saying No
Lesson 8 - Analyzing & Interpreting Media
Lesson 9 - Preventing and Coping with 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 - Reproductive Basics
Lesson 4 - Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy
Lesson 5 - Protect your Health: Sexuality Transmitted Diseases; HIV/AIDS
Lesson 6 - Consent
Lesson 7 - More Than Friends
Lesson 8 - Liking and Loving: Now and When I’m Older