level. An additional course beyond the semester is required by 13 percent of schools. Unfortunately, three-fourths of schools allow students to be exempted from all or part of required health education courses. Although 90 percent of schools require health education at some level, there is no state that requires health education at every grade level. The goal in Healthy People 2000 states that 75 percent of the nation's elementary and secondary schools should provide planned, sequential health instruction in grades K-12. This goal remains elusive.

The three specific content areas that are required most often by the state educational agency are HIV-AIDS prevention education (79 percent), prevention of drug and alcohol abuse (75 percent), and tobacco use

TABLE 3-8 Percentage of States and Districts Requiring That Each Health Education Topic Be Taught and Percentage of All Schools Including Each Topic in a Required Course—by Topica

Topic

States Requiring Topic (%)

Districts Requiring Topic (%)

Schools Including Topic (%)

Alcohol and other drug use prevention

75.0

86.0

90.4

Community health

54.8

73.5

58.9

Conflict resolution, violence prevention

38.5

61.0

48.0

Consumer health

55.8

70.6

56.6

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation

37.5

61.9

48.0

Death and dying

25.0

54.1

52.5

Dental and oral health

51.2

78.2

56.7

Dietary behaviors and nutrition

68.9

80.1

84.3

Disease prevention and control

68.9

81.3

84.5

Emotional and mental health

64.4

76.8

73.8

Environmental health

59.1

70.5

59.9

First aid

55.8

73.9

58.8

Growth and development

62.2

79.5

80.2

HIV prevention

78.7

83.0

85.6

Human sexuality

48.9

76.0

80.0

Injury prevention and safety

62.2

74.5

66.2

Personal health

63.0

81.2

79.0

Physical activity and fitness

65.2

81.9

77.6

Pregnancy prevention

43.9

72.1

69.3

Sexually transmitted disease prevention

65.1

80.9

84.1

Suicide prevention

37.8

66.7

58.1

Tobacco use prevention

71.7

83.2

85.6

a School Health Policies and Programs Study, 1994.

SOURCE: Collins et al., 1995.



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