ACLU Lends Hand In 'Healthy Teens' Florida

Healthy Teens Florida

The Healthy Teens Campaign is a group of organizations and individuals in Florida seeking statewide legislation that promotes a comprehensive approach to sex education in Florida's schools. Joyce Hamilton Henry and Kevin Aplin of the ACLU of Florida's Central and Brevard Offices respectively, along with Jenna Cawley of Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando, recently spoke to an audience of concerned parents and members of the Beth Am Jewish Congregation in Seminole County to promote the Healthy Teens Campaign.

Parents raised concerns that the abstinence-only curriculum currently in place in Seminole County schools censors vital health information and contains medically inaccurate information.

Hamilton Henry explained that a more comprehensive approach is urgent as rates of unintended pregnancies as well as HIV and STD infection rates are on the increase. She also cited data from the Florida Department of Health indicating that there is a disparate impact on communities of color.

Aplin provided encouragement to parents by recounting Brevard County's successful parent-led grassroots campaign in 2007 that resulted in outside presenters of abstinence-only being removed from the schools and the school board's adoption of a more comprehensive curriculum.

Planned Parenthood's Jenna Cawley pointed out that until we can secure statewide legislation that mandates comprehensive sex education, local county school officials can be persuaded to make the changes necessary to protect the health and lives of teens. Since 2006 Palm Beach and St Lucie Counties have joined Brevard in taking a more comprehensive approach to sex education and county campaigns are currently underway in Volusia and now Seminole County.

To learn more about the campaign or to get involved, visit: