Posted by Ellen Krafve - email
Gregg County (KLTV) - Your child is getting more choices when it comes to their education. The Texas state legislature has made health classes an elective, and not a requirement for graduation. This comes at a time when child health issues, like obesity are considered by some, as critical. In the past, Health classes usually covered topics like alcohol awareness, peer pressure, and abstinence. Now, some fear the state's law to drop the the class as a state requirement will cause students to miss out.
"We feel like it's beneficial. I think the parents, the community, and faculty all feel the same way," said James Skeeler, Director Student Services at Pine Tree ISD.
Skeeler says the decision to drop health classes as a requirement came so quick ,that his school district is opting to continue to teach health.
"There are things that are probably important for them to know that will effect their health. We feel like it's an important class," said Skeeler.
Longview Family Health Care Center physician Larry Huffman, M.D. says health classes in high schools are also important when it comes teaching sex education.
"The most rapidly expanding growth in HIV incident every year occurs in ages 13 to 25. So, information about sexually transmitted diseases is really critical," said Dr. Huffman.
"Jane Silvey" works in curriculum services at Region VII. They cover 96 school districts and 9 charter schools.
Silvey says when it comes down to teaching health, schools will have to answer one question.
"What's best for your students? Is keeping health at the school best? I go back to the fact that, it doesn't mean you can't teach health. It means that the school decides what's best. So, if I have several health teachers, I'm probably going to continue teaching health," said Silvey.
So the decision now lies with students and their parents.