Newsletter #11!

Visit the complete newsletter HERE or read the preview below…

Humanizing the Standards
Sex Education is a Human Right

Kalmiopsis Mountains by Selena Newman

What is health education and what does it look like at KCA? 

Now more than ever, teens across the nation desire and deserve a holistic health education that helps them  build their confidence and knowledge of their own bodies and the relationships (inter and intrapersonal) that will continue to evolve as they grow and develop. But what does that look like??

Well, the ODE (Oregon Department of Education) has laid the groundwork for a comprehensive foundation that we will strive to adopt.  In the words of ODE, “Health education provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to develop health literacy, so they are able to access valid information, resources and services in order to develop, maintain and promote healthy behaviors.

Health education is built on the foundation of teaching to all dimensions of the whole child.  The eight main standards in health education focus on the development of knowledge and skills that students use throughout their lifetimes – understanding health content and concepts; analyzing influences; interpersonal communication; decision-making; goal setting; self-management; and advocacy.

Quality health education requires time for students to develop and practice healthy behaviors, and ensures that students from every background and identity can learn the knowledge and skills to live their best, and healthiest lives.”

Under the umbrella of health education resides the subject of sexuality education. Oregon is one of only 24 states nationwide that mandates sex education for K-12 students. Almost every state in the U.S. has some guidance around sex education.  Currently, 39 states and the District of Columbia require that HIV and/or sex education is covered in school.

However, there is no guarantee that the sex education students are offered is of high quality, medically accurate or covers the topics young people need to learn about to stay healthy.  Sexuality education has become one of the most important aspects of a holistic health education for the developing youth.

Decisions about sex education are usually made at the state and local level – no federal laws dictate what sex education looks like or how it should be taught in schools.  At KCA, we value a comprehensive sexuality education and luckily have great resources and guidance from our state. From the ODE website, “Oregon’s approach to Comprehensive Sexuality Education equips students with the knowledge and skills to realize their health, well-being, and educational goals.

Sexuality Education supports students to:

  • Realize their health, well-being, and dignity;
  • Build and maintain healthy relationships, including friendships, and/or romantic or sexual relationships; 
  • Develop awareness of their own identities and support the identities of others;
  • Ensure the protection of their rights and the rights of others throughout their lives;
  • Consider their own boundaries and respect the boundaries of others;
  • Recognize and access support, information, and care from trusted adults and organizations; and
  • Reduce child abuse, sexual violence, harassment, and bullying.”

Our mission at KCA states, “Where it’s okay to be who you are while discovering your place in the world.”  Our Health Education curriculum will strive to not only maintain that mission but also to help our students thrive in a curriculum based on safe spaces, medically accurate information, and a multitude of topics that are student centered through the lens of age appropriateness.

Access to comprehensive, medically accurate sex education is a human right. 

For more updates, the entire newsletter is HERE. Thanks!

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