WICHITA FALLS, TX (TNN) - A Wichita Falls ISD health specialist said she would like the Texas Legislature to bring back health education as a requirement for high school graduation.
The class was removed almost 10 years ago as a statewide requirement for high school graduation. The decision to make it a requirement is up to school districts.
Many districts including WFISD because of the costs.
“FTEs are required, teachers are required, because when you put it back as a graduation requirement, then it does have a budget impact as well," Julie Henderson Health and P.E. Curriculum Specialist said.
She said at WFISD health education classes end at the middle school level so many high school students receive a crash course of health education spread out through other classes such as P.E., English and even math.
“Talking to kids about suicide prevention, about CPR, saving lives, again, all those very important, having one place they can be all addressed just makes sense to be in a health class," Henderson said. “I think in High School it becomes very important that you address some issues you are not required to fully talk about in middle schools."
Doctor Jeremy Sautner said it is important students learn about mental health, sex ed, the effects of drug and alcohol in high school not just middle school.
“Only having it as a seventh grader and not reinforcing it and expanding on it later when they are able to understand better as a high schooler is negligent," Dr. Sautner said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Texas has the fourth highest rate of teen pregnancy, ages 15 to 19, in the country.