Florida Statute 1003.42 - Required instruction states the following in Section 2 (s) of the statute: "A character-development program in the elementary schools, similar to Character First or Character Counts, which is secular in nature. Beginning in school year 2004-2005, the character-development program shall be required in kindergarten through grade 12. Each district school board shall develop or adopt a curriculum for the character-development program that shall be submitted to the department for approval. The character-development curriculum shall stress the qualities of patriotism; responsibility; citizenship; kindness; respect for authority, life, liberty, and personal property; honesty; charity; self-control; racial, ethnic, and religious tolerance; and cooperation. The character-development curriculum for grades 9 through 12 shall, at a minimum, include instruction on developing leadership skills, interpersonal skills, organization skills, and research skills; creating a resume; developing and practicing the skills necessary for employment interviews; conflict resolution, workplace ethics, and workplace law; managing stress and expectations; and developing skills that enable students to become more resilient and self-motivated."
The goals of building a positive climate in a school are to support student achievement, develop a caring community and provide a safer environment for teaching and learning. Character education is designed to surround students in an environment that exhibits, teaches and encourages practice in the traits our society needs so our children not only hear about the traits, but also internalize them and act in accordance with them.