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The Florida Statutes

The 1999 Florida Statutes

Title XVI
Chapter 233
Courses of Study and Instructional Aids
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233.061  Required instruction.--

(1)  Each school district shall provide all courses required for high school graduation and appropriate instruction designed to ensure that students meet state board adopted standards in the following subject areas: reading and other language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, foreign languages, health and physical education, and the arts.

(2)  Members of the instructional staff of the public schools, subject to the rules and regulations of the commissioner, the state board, and the school board, shall teach efficiently and faithfully, using the books and materials required, following the prescribed courses of study, and employing approved methods of instruction, the following:

(a)  The content of the Declaration of Independence and how it forms the philosophical foundation of our government.

(b)  The arguments in support of adopting our republican form of government, as they are embodied in the most important of the Federalist Papers.

(c)  The essentials of the United States Constitution and how it provides the structure of our government.

(d)  Flag education, including proper flag display and flag salute.

(e)  The elements of civil government shall include the primary functions of and interrelationships between the Federal Government, the state, and its counties, municipalities, school districts, and special districts.

(f)  The history of the Holocaust (1933-1945), the systematic, planned annihilation of European Jews and other groups by Nazi Germany, a watershed event in the history of humanity, to be taught in a manner that leads to an investigation of human behavior, an understanding of the ramifications of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping, and an examination of what it means to be a responsible and respectful person, for the purposes of encouraging tolerance of diversity in a pluralistic society and for nurturing and protecting democratic values and institutions.

(g)  The history of African Americans, including the history of African peoples before the political conflicts that led to the development of slavery, the passage to America, the enslavement experience, abolition, and the contributions of African Americans to society.

(h)  The elementary principles of agriculture.

(i)  The true effects of all alcoholic and intoxicating liquors and beverages and narcotics upon the human body and mind.

(j)  Kindness to animals.

(k)  The history of the state.

(l)  The conservation of natural resources.

(m)  Comprehensive health education that addresses concepts of community health; consumer health; environmental health; family life, including an awareness of the benefits of sexual abstinence as the expected standard and the consequences of teenage pregnancy; mental and emotional health; injury prevention and safety; nutrition; personal health; prevention and control of disease; and substance use and abuse.

(n)  Such additional materials, subjects, courses, or fields in such grades as are prescribed by law or by rules of the commissioner and the school board in fulfilling the requirements of law.

(o)  The study of Hispanic contributions to the United States.

(p)  The study of women's contributions to the United States.

(q)  A character-development program in the elementary schools, similar to Character First or Character Counts. Such a program must be secular in nature and must stress such character qualities as attentiveness, patience, and initiative.

(3)  Any student whose parent or guardian makes written request to the school principal shall be exempted from the teaching of reproductive health or disease, including HIV/AIDS, its symptoms, development, and treatment. A student so exempted may not be penalized by reason of that exemption. Course descriptions for comprehensive health education shall not interfere with the local determination of appropriate curriculum which reflects local values and concerns.

History.--s. 85, ch. 65-239; s. 1, ch. 69-300; s. 60, ch. 90-288; s. 1, ch. 94-114; s. 1, ch. 94-225; ss. 36, 126, ch. 97-190; s. 11, ch. 97-285; s. 1, ch. 98-229; s. 2, ch. 98-421; s. 1, ch. 99-344; s. 1, ch. 99-347.