Florida Senate - 2011 SB 1854
By Senator Wise
1 A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to required instruction in the public
3 schools; amending s. 1003.42, F.S.; requiring that the
4 instructional staff of a public school teach a
5 thorough presentation and critical analysis of the
6 scientific theory of evolution and certain
7 governmental, legal, and civic-related principles;
8 revising the curriculum of the character-development
9 program required for students in kindergarten through
10 grade 12 and requiring school districts to annually
11 inform certain personnel of that curriculum; amending
12 s. 1006.148, F.S.; conforming a cross-reference;
13 providing an effective date.
15 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
17 Section 1. Subsection (2) of section 1003.42, Florida
18 Statutes, is amended to read:
19 1003.42 Required instruction.—
20 (2) Members of the instructional staff of the public
21 schools, subject to the rules of the State Board of Education
22 and the district school board, shall teach efficiently and
23 faithfully, using the books and materials required to
24 the highest standards for professionalism and historic accuracy,
25 following the prescribed courses of study, and employing
26 approved methods of instruction, the following:
27 (a) A thorough presentation and critical analysis of the
28 scientific theory of evolution.
29 (b) (a) The history and content of the Declaration of
30 Independence, including national sovereignty, natural law, self
31 evident truth, equality of all persons, limited government,
32 popular sovereignty, and inalienable rights of life, liberty,
33 and property, and how they form the philosophical foundation of
34 our government.
35 (c) (b) The history, meaning, significance, and effect of
36 the provisions of the Constitution of the United States and
37 amendments thereto, with emphasis on each of the 10 amendments
38 that make up the Bill of Rights and how the constitution
39 provides the structure of our government.
40 (d) (c) The arguments in support of adopting our republican
41 form of government, as they are embodied in the most important
42 of the Federalist Papers.
43 (e) (d) Flag education, including proper flag display and
44 flag salute.
45 (f) (e) The elements of civil government, including the
46 primary functions of and interrelationships between the Federal
47 Government, the state, and its counties, municipalities, school
48 districts, and special districts.
49 (g) The historical context in which the Declaration of
50 Independence was drafted and signed; the purposes, functions,
51 and limitations of the legislative, executive, and judicial
52 branches of the federal, state, and local governments; the
53 significance of common law, state and federal constitutional
54 law, statutory law, procedural law, and local ordinances or
55 codes; an understanding of important legal principles, including
56 the rule of law, stare decisis, and the federal supremacy
57 clause; and the duties that all citizens share in order to know
58 and protect the rule of law.
59 (h) (f) The history of the United States, including the
60 period of discovery, early colonies, the War for Independence,
61 the Civil War, the expansion of the United States to its present
62 boundaries, the world wars, and the civil rights movement to the
63 present. American history shall be viewed as factual, not as
64 constructed, shall be viewed as knowable, teachable, and
65 testable, and shall be defined as the creation of a new nation
66 based largely on the universal principles stated in the
67 Declaration of Independence.
68 (i) (g) The history of the Holocaust (1933-1945), the
69 systematic, planned annihilation of European Jews and other
70 groups by Nazi Germany, a watershed event in the history of
71 humanity, to be taught in a manner that leads to an
72 investigation of human behavior, an understanding of the
73 ramifications of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping, and an
74 examination of what it means to be a responsible and respectful
75 person, for the purposes of encouraging tolerance of diversity
76 in a pluralistic society and for nurturing and protecting
77 democratic values and institutions.
78 (j) (h) The history of African Americans, including the
79 history of African peoples before the political conflicts that
80 led to the development of slavery, the passage to America, the
81 enslavement experience, abolition, and the contributions of
82 African Americans to society. Instructional materials shall
83 include the contributions of African Americans to American
85 (k) (i) The elementary principles of agriculture.
86 (l) (j) The true effects of all alcoholic and intoxicating
87 liquors and beverages and narcotics upon the human body and
89 (m) (k) Kindness to animals.
90 (n) (l) The history of the state.
91 (o) (m) The conservation of natural resources.
92 (p) (n) Comprehensive health education that addresses
93 concepts of community health; consumer health; environmental
94 health; family life, including an awareness of the benefits of
95 sexual abstinence as the expected standard and the consequences
96 of teenage pregnancy; mental and emotional health; injury
97 prevention and safety; nutrition; personal health; prevention
98 and control of disease; and substance use and abuse. The health
99 education curriculum for students in grades 7 through 12 shall
100 include a teen dating violence and abuse component that
101 includes, but is not limited to, the definition of dating
102 violence and abuse, the warning signs of dating violence and
103 abusive behavior, the characteristics of healthy relationships,
104 measures to prevent and stop dating violence and abuse, and
105 community resources available to victims of dating violence and
107 (q) (o) Such additional materials, subjects, courses, or
108 fields in such grades as are prescribed by law or by rules of
109 the State Board of Education and the district school board in
110 fulfilling the requirements of law.
111 (r) (p) The study of Hispanic contributions to the United
113 (s) (q) The study of women’s contributions to the United
115 (t) (r) The nature and importance of free enterprise to the
116 United States economy.
117 (u) (s) A character-development program in kindergarten
118 through grade 12 the elementary schools, similar to Character
119 First or Character Counts , which is secular in nature. The
120 program must emphasize the core values of honesty, virtue, moral
121 courage, dignity of honest labor, patriotism, self-discipline,
122 self-respect, perseverance, duty, honor, compassion, charity,
123 conflict-resolution management, peer mediation, and other
124 qualities of character that better prepare students to recognize
125 and accept the responsibility for preserving the blessings of
126 liberty inherited from prior generations. The goal is for these
127 core values to be integrated into primary classroom instruction
128 for students in kindergarten through grade 5. Beginning in
129 school year 2004-2005, the character-development program shall
130 be required in kindergarten through grade 12. Each district
131 school board shall develop or adopt a curriculum for the
132 character-development program that shall be submitted to the
133 department for approval. Each school district shall inform its
134 principals, administrators, teachers, and any other appropriate
135 school personnel of this paragraph at the beginning of each
136 school year. The character-development curriculum shall stress
137 the qualities of patriotism; responsibility; citizenship;
138 kindness; respect for authority, life, liberty, and personal
139 property; honesty; charity; self-control; racial, ethnic, and
140 religious tolerance; and cooperation.
141 (v) (t) In order to encourage patriotism, the sacrifices
142 that veterans have made in serving our country and protecting
143 democratic values worldwide. Such instruction must occur on or
144 before Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day. Members of the
145 instructional staff are encouraged to use the assistance of
146 local veterans when practicable.
148 The State Board of Education is encouraged to adopt standards
149 and pursue assessment of the requirements of this subsection.
150 Section 2. Subsection (1) of section 1006.148, Florida
151 Statutes, is amended to read:
152 1006.148 Dating violence and abuse prohibited.—
153 (1) Each district school board shall adopt and implement a
154 dating violence and abuse policy. The policy shall:
155 (a) Prohibit dating violence and abuse by any student on
156 school property, during a school-sponsored activity, or during
157 school-sponsored transportation.
158 (b) Provide procedures for responding to such incidents of
159 dating violence or abuse, including accommodations for students
160 experiencing dating violence or abuse.
161 (c) Define dating violence and abuse and provide for a teen
162 dating violence and abuse component in the health education
163 curriculum, according to s. 1003.42(2)(p) s. 1003.42 (2)(n), with
164 emphasis on prevention education.
165 (d) Be implemented in a manner that is integrated with a
166 school district’s discipline policies.
167 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.