The Florida Department of Health partnered with the Florida Department of Education on Friday to invest $5M toward the launch of a teen substance abuse diversion program ‘The Facts. Your Future.’
Governor Ron DeSantis spoke at a press conference at Seminole High School early Friday morning to announce the combined effort.
“We’re taking another step toward protecting and educating our children.” Said DeSantis. “Peers, parents, teachers, health care providers, and other authority figures in our kids’ lives all have a role to play in fostering productive, impactful conversations about avoiding substance abuse.”
The Facts. Your Future. Aims to help educate children of the negative effects of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco and falls under First Lady Casey DeSantis’ “Hope for Healing Florida” initiative.
“This is really very special to be putting five million dollars into a curriculum and a public messaging campaign that someday my children are going to see, and that you all will see, and hopefully it will empower you with the facts to make good decisions in life,” the First Lady said to a blended crowd of students and supporters.
Schools will be provided the resources to host their own assemblies, alongside campaign materials to continue essential conversations throughout the school year. By engaging with peers directly through schools, parents, and educators, The Facts. Your Future. focuses on direct interaction between educator and student to better emphasize the notion of personal choice.
“I want to thank First Lady Casey DeSantis for her crucial leadership to protect children,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “Our goal is to provide students with a world-class education that helps students become great citizens, and this wonderful initiative of the First Lady will help us ensure students have a bright future in the Sunshine State.”
The announcement received bipartisan support, receiving praise from Senator Shevrin Jones of Congressional District 35.
“I believe the Governor’s direction on The Facts. Your Future. is just the type of thing we should be doing for the good of our children, which ultimately benefit the state of Florida. That is what we call good policy!” said Jones.
Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo also spoke at the press conference, providing scientific reasoning and answering questions from the audience.