Reflection on Sexual Health Education Forum
By Grace Beedles
Recently, Ms. Biggar hosted HB alum, Shaina Munoz from Ohio Youth Leadership Council and The Collaborative For Comprehensive School Age Health during X and Lunch on November 1st, 2017 to help start a conversation about sexual health education. The goal was to get the students talking about sexual health at HB, share experiences surrounding the topic, and open about areas of improvement for HB.
Admittedly, I was skeptical of how this event would go because during my time at HB the school hasn’t always done the best job of giving students a decent understanding of sexual health. It has appeared to be rushed through and not given the right attention it needed. Wellness classes in the last two years only discussed the sexual part of sex-ed and touched on relationships. It left out misconceptions about birth control, consent, LGBT relationships (emotional/social standpoint) and many other topics.
Going into the talk, I tried to remain positive and excited to share my thoughts. In the back of my mind I remembered this week’s junior wellness homework since focused on sexual health. I thought it did a solid job as exploring sexual education as a whole. Watching the TED talk What Young Women Believe, which discussed a wide ranges of factors that go into a girl’s experience with sexual education, showed that HB might be changing their narrative of sexual health. This talk discussed how emotional and social aspects of a relationship impact sexual health and identity. In addition, it shared striking statistics about young females and how they view themselves regarding their sexual identity. With that in mind, I wanted to hope this event would be useful for the administrators and allow them to cultivate an open atmosphere about sexual health.
Shaina Munoz facilitated a conversation between students and administrators about anything surrounding sexual health. The feedback shared by students was astonishing. I had known that there were holes in HB’s sexual health program, but not as many as people brought up in the discussion. From personal stories to fear, students highlighted many places that need improvement. Administrators listened to students and gathered ideas for how to make HB a more open environment. They seemed open and excited to help and spark change in the curriculum.
I felt that many people’s voices were listened to and meant something to faculty present. Before leaving, most people felt more comfortable and supported from HB.
While there are many things that need to be changed about sexual health taught at HB, I have faith that the administrators will take to heart all that was talked about today and put some of our ideas into action. I’m not as skeptical anymore, but careful not think everything will be fixed right away.