How to Advocate for Sexual Health Education in Your District
At Power Up Education, we believe that sexual health education is not optional and is best delivered from 2 years+ for the safety of our children.
In British Columbia, the sexual health education curriculum is found in the course Physical and Health Education. The first step to advocating for sexual health (K-10) is to learn what your child is supposed to be getting at each grade level. You can find that information here…
You will see the curriculum for K-10. Just click on the grade level you would like to explore. As an ex-physical education teacher/specialist, please know that the person who will be teaching your child sexual health education is the person who is teaching them physical education. This person may or may not have had training, may or may not feel comfortable teaching these sensitive topics, and may or may not have the resources on hand (teachingsexualhealth.ca, amaze.org and 3Rs Google classroom through Advocates for Youth are three great resources to share)
Here is where parents/caregivers come in…
At the beginning of the school year, please ask your child’s teacher when they will be covering body science (K-3) or sexual health education. This will allow you to prepare for these important conversations and will also let your child’s teacher know that you are expecting these classes to happen.
At a PAC (Parent Advocacy Council) level, please bring this up as a topic for discussion. PAC budgets are usually created at the September or October meetings. PACs can bring in guest speakers to supplement the curriculum, either at the school level or parent education. Yes, teachers can teach this curriculum and many do. The supplementation is to bring in an expert in the field, just like authors/artists in the school, cultural performances, etc. In the past, this has been a controversial issue. Teachers are told they must teach the curriculum but not all do for many different reasons. This is improving, but we have a long way to go to provide our kids with much needed, up-to-date, accurate and comprehensive sexual health education. Teaching sexual health is different than teaching other curriculum. Why? Because personal values and beliefs enter into the conversations.
At the DPAC (District Parent Advocacy Council) level, funding is available to bring in speakers of interest – internet safety, child sexual exploitation, impact of pornography viewing on children, etc.
As a parent/guardian/caregiver, I implore you to advocate for sexual health education in your child’s school. This will allow children/teens to have better boundaries, to understand/implement consent and to have healthier relationships now and in the future.
Please do your part. Our kids rely on us, both at home and in schools to be able to access this information.