State Sex Education Policies and Requirements at a Glance
- Florida schools are not required to teach sex education. However, they are required to teach comprehensive health education that includes instruction on teenage pregnancy.
- Curriculum is not required to be comprehensive.
- Curriculum must include the benefits of abstinence as the expected social standard.
- If a school chooses to teach further instruction on HIV/AIDS, instruction must emphasize the benefits of heterosexual marriage.
- Curriculum is not required to include instruction on consent.
- Parents or Guardians may submit a written request to remove their children from instruction on reproductive health or any disease. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
- Florida has no standard regarding medically accurate sex education instruction.
Florida Statute 48-1003.42 states that public schools must teach comprehensive health education that includes giving students “an awareness of the benefits of sexual abstinence as the expected standard and the consequences of teenage pregnancy.” State policy reads that “course descriptions for comprehensive health education shall not interfere with the local determination of appropriate curriculum, which reflects local values and concerns.” Curriculum must include a teen dating violence component.
Florida Statute 48-1003.46 allows school boards to include additional instruction regarding HIV/AIDS. Such instruction may include information about “means used to control the spread of [AIDS].” If this instruction is included, it must:
- Teach abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for all school-age students, while teaching the benefits of monogamous, heterosexual marriage;
- Emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity is a certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, STIs, including AIDS and other associated health problems;
- Teach that each student has the power to control personal behavior and encourage students to base actions on reasoning, self-esteem, and respect for others; and
- Provide instruction and material that is appropriate for the grade and age of the student.
Parents may submit a written request to the school principal to exempt their child from “the teaching of reproductive health or any disease, including HIV/AIDS, its symptoms, development, and treatment.” This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
State Profiles provided by SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change. For more information regarding your state’s sex ed policy, visit https://siecus.org/state_profile/florida-state-profile/