HIV/STD Prevention, Teen Pregnancy Prevention & Sexual Health EducationOur aim is to reduce instances of HIV/STD and pregnancy among our youth. Florida State Statute 1003.42 (2)(n) requires comprehensive health education which incorporates both sex education and disease prevention and includes language on the awareness of the benefits of sexual abstinence as the expected standard and the consequences of teenage pregnancy. Specific content in any subject matter is determined by local school district policy which gives districts the latitude to determine the type of family life (sexual health education) program that is implemented.Duval County Public Schools is proud to offer Abstinence-Plus programs. Abstinence-Plus programs emphasize the benefits of abstinence; includes informational about non-coital sexual behavior, contraception, and disease prevention methods. Prior to students receiving any Sexual Education instructions, Parent Notification Letters are distributed by the classroom teacher.
High School Sexual Education CurriculumHigh School Sexual Education lessons are taught using the Reducing the Risk curriculum. Reducing the Risk (RTR) is a 16-session curriculum designed to help high school students delay the initiation of sex or increase the use of protection against pregnancy and STD/HIV if they choose to have sex. This research-proven approach addresses skills such as risk assessment, communication, decision making, planning, refusal strategies and delay tactics.
The greatest emphasis of Reducing the Risk is on teaching students the interpersonal or social skills they can use to abstain or protect themselves. Abstinence is presented as the best, safest and most common choice for high school students, but Reducing the Risk also recognizes that some students are sexually active. For this reason, students are given clear guidelines and rationales for using protection during sex. Young people do not find these messages contradictory, and lessons reviewing protection do not increase the likelihood that students will become sexually active. Students learn they must consult with their parents and think through their own values to decide what to do.
Two key skills are taught:
- Refusal skills – Responses that clearly say no in a manner that doesn't jeopardize a good relationship, but which leave no ambiguity about the decision not to have sex or to refuse unprotected sex.
- Delay tactics and alternative actions – Ways students can avoid a situation or delay taking action until they have time to decide what to do or say, or until they are more prepared to make a decision.
Reducing the Risk is delivered through roleplays, skill practice, brainstorming, mini-lecture and worksheet activities. Roleplays are an essential and powerful part of the program. At first, students may be hesitant about their performances, but they soon begin to enjoy these opportunities and use them to great advantage. Teachers help students by encouraging them to practice their interpersonal skills in the roleplays. The more students practice effectively saying no to sex (or to unprotected sex), the more likely they'll be to use these skills in real life.
As a result of participating in RTR, students will be able to:
- Evaluate the risks and lasting consequences of becoming an adolescent parent or becoming infected with HIV or another STD.
- Recognize that abstaining from sexual activity or using contraception are the only ways to avoid pregnancy, HIV and other STD.
- Conclude that factual information about conception and protection is essential for avoiding teen pregnancy, HIV and other STD.
- Demonstrate effective communication skills for remaining abstinent and for avoiding unprotected sexual intercourse.