Florida Schools Push for Sex Education
Some Florida schools are pushing for health lessons instead of focusing heavily on scores in standardized tests for the Florida school grades. There is a general consensus that an increased focus on standardized test scores in Florida schools has led to a decline in the other measure of a student’s success – his or her health. This fact was brought to light recently at Broward County public schools where one of the students, an exemplary scholar, aced the high pressure standardized test only to learn later that she had HIV/AIDS. Florida schools’ authorities admit that the emphasis on high performance in standardized tests might have led to schools neglecting health and sex education.
AIDS Figures in Florida Schools are some of the Highest in the Country
Broward County has some of the highest rates for HIV infection in the country. Between 2005 and 2006, infection rates for teens in this county jumped 20 percent. These increased figures have Florida schools’ authorities concerned. They feel that the existing health education curriculum which focuses on wellness and nutrition doesn’t address issues of sex among teens. Efforts are now being taken in some Florida schools to design a health education curriculum that will include these topics. There are more then 600 teens living with AIDS in the Florida schools, and 253 are in Broward County alone. At least three quarters of Florida teens with the disease were found to be infected through unsafe sex. Of these figures, art least 80 percent were girls who were infected by their male partners.
Education in Florida Schools is Crucial to Stopping Teen AIDS
Awareness is the only known prevention against AIDS. When students are educated about the ways the disease spreads and the fact that there is no permanent cure for it, the incidence rates for teen HIV infections will be reduced. In Florida schools, health authorities have noticed a disturbing trend. Young girls and boys are being infected by older men. Authorities say teens in such cases may unknowingly place themselves at risk for HIV, and the only way to tackle this problem is to expand the existing health and sex education curriculum to include these issues.
When it comes to sex education, not just in Florida schools but in the country as a whole, teens seem to be getting only half the message. For instance, it is common for teens to assume that oral or anal sex does not count as sexual activity. Such teens in Florida schools are at great risk of infection because they lack knowledge that is the greatest tool in the fight against this disease. The new health education curriculum in some Florida schools aims to do exactly that- make children aware of the ways the disease is spread, and how to protect themselves from it.