Text as introduced
Florida Senate - 2011 SB 1854 By Senator Wise 5-01631-11 20111854__ Page 1 of 6 CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
A bill to be entitled
An act relating to required instruction in the public schools; amending s. 1003.42, F.S.; requiring that the instructional staff of a public school teach a thorough presentation and critical analysis of the scientific theory of evolution and certain governmental, legal, and civic-related principles; revising the curriculum of the character-development program required for students in kindergarten through grade 12 and requiring school districts to annually inform certain personnel of that curriculum; amending s. 1006.148, F.S.; conforming a cross-reference; providing an effective date.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. Subsection (2) of section 1003.42, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1003.42 Required instruction.—
(2) Members of the instructional staff of the public schools, subject to the rules of the State Board of Education and the district school board, shall teach efficiently and faithfully, using the books and materials required to that meet the highest standards for professionalism and historic accuracy, following the prescribed courses of study, and employing approved methods of instruction, the following:
(a) A thorough presentation and critical analysis of the scientific theory of evolution.
(b)(a) The history and content of the Declaration of Independence, including national sovereignty, natural law, self- evident truth, equality of all persons, limited government, popular sovereignty, and inalienable rights of life, liberty, and property, and how they form the philosophical foundation of our government.
(c)(b) The history, meaning, significance, and effect of the provisions of the Constitution of the United States and amendments thereto, with emphasis on each of the 10 amendments that make up the Bill of Rights and how the constitution provides the structure of our government.
(d)(c) The arguments in support of adopting our republican form of government, as they are embodied in the most important of the Federalist Papers.
(e)(d) Flag education, including proper flag display and flag salute.
(f)(e) The elements of civil government, including the primary functions of and interrelationships between the Federal Government, the state, and its counties, municipalities, school districts, and special districts.
(g) The historical context in which the Declaration of Independence was drafted and signed; the purposes, functions, and limitations of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the federal, state, and local governments; the significance of common law, state and federal constitutional law, statutory law, procedural law, and local ordinances or codes; an understanding of important legal principles, including the rule of law, stare decisis, and the federal supremacy clause; and the duties that all citizens share in order to know and protect the rule of law. (h)(f) The history of the United States, including the period of discovery, early colonies, the War for Independence, the Civil War, the expansion of the United States to its present boundaries, the world wars, and the civil rights movement to the present. American history shall be viewed as factual, not as constructed, shall be viewed as knowable, teachable, and testable, and shall be defined as the creation of a new nation based largely on the universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.
(i)(g) 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.
(j)(h) 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. Instructional materials shall include the contributions of African Americans to American society.
(k)(i) The elementary principles of agriculture.
(l)(j) The true effects of all alcoholic and intoxicating liquors and beverages and narcotics upon the human body and mind.
(m)(k) Kindness to animals.
(n)(l) The history of the state.
(o)(m) The conservation of natural resources.
(p)(n) 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. The health education curriculum for students in grades 7 through 12 shall include a teen dating violence and abuse component that includes, but is not limited to, the definition of dating violence and abuse, the warning signs of dating violence and abusive behavior, the characteristics of healthy relationships, measures to prevent and stop dating violence and abuse, and community resources available to victims of dating violence and abuse.
(q)(o) Such additional materials, subjects, courses, or fields in such grades as are prescribed by law or by rules of the State Board of Education and the district school board in fulfilling the requirements of law.
(r)(p) The study of Hispanic contributions to the United States.
(s)(q) The study of women’s contributions to the United States.
(t)(r) The nature and importance of free enterprise to the United States economy. (u)(s) A character-development program in kindergarten through grade 12 the elementary schools, similar to Character First or Character Counts, which is secular in nature. The program must emphasize the core values of honesty, virtue, moral courage, dignity of honest labor, patriotism, self-discipline, self-respect, perseverance, duty, honor, compassion, charity, conflict-resolution management, peer mediation, and other qualities of character that better prepare students to recognize and accept the responsibility for preserving the blessings of liberty inherited from prior generations. The goal is for these core values to be integrated into primary classroom instruction for students in kindergarten through grade 5. Beginning in school year 2004-2005, the character-development program shall be required in kindergarten through grade 12. Each district school board shall develop or adopt a curriculum for the character-development program that shall be submitted to the department for approval. Each school district shall inform its principals, administrators, teachers, and any other appropriate school personnel of this paragraph at the beginning of each school year. The character-development curriculum shall stress the qualities of patriotism; responsibility; citizenship; kindness; respect for authority, life, liberty, and personal property; honesty; charity; self-control; racial, ethnic, and religious tolerance; and cooperation.
(v)(t) In order to encourage patriotism, the sacrifices that veterans have made in serving our country and protecting democratic values worldwide. Such instruction must occur on or before Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day. Members of the instructional staff are encouraged to use the assistance of local veterans when practicable.
The State Board of Education is encouraged to adopt standards and pursue assessment of the requirements of this subsection.
Section 2. Subsection (1) of section 1006.148, Florida Statutes, is amended to read: 1006.148 Dating violence and abuse prohibited.—
(1) Each district school board shall adopt and implement a dating violence and abuse policy. The policy shall:
(a) Prohibit dating violence and abuse by any student on school property, during a school-sponsored activity, or during school-sponsored transportation.
(b) Provide procedures for responding to such incidents of dating violence or abuse, including accommodations for students experiencing dating violence or abuse.
(c) Define dating violence and abuse and provide for a teen dating violence and abuse component in the health education curriculum, according to s. 1003.42(2)(p) s. 1003.42(2)(n), with emphasis on prevention education.
(d) Be implemented in a manner that is integrated with a school district’s discipline policies.
Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.