Enhance Classroom Instruction with Community Sex Education Professionals

In the Journal of School Health research article Unusual Suspects: The People Inside and Outside of School Who Matter in Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Efforts by Karen Pittman, MA; Deborah A. Moroney, PhD; Merita Irby, MPP; Jill Young, PhD, the WSCC model is explored regarding collaborative health education.

The Whole School, Whole Community, While Child (WSCC) model posits that, basically, it takes a village to educate students and support them mentally, socially, and physically as well as academically. Certainly, we expect health teachers to teach health education, but there are other academic areas that can enhance health curricula simultaneously, such as math (explore STI infection rates with and without condom use), language arts (explore the LGBT community with wonderful books such as Simon v. the Homo
Sapiens Agenda
by Becky Albertalli), and of course science (how viruses and bacteria are spread–quite timely, I might add.).

Beyond the classroom, there are other personnel within the school that can enhance learning such as counselors, nurses, and janitorial staff.

The community surrounding the actual school building also has a responsibly to educate young people, and it can be done within a coordinated health model and policies — with a little effort.

Specifically, sex education professionals whose expertise represent many different subject areas such as pregnancy prevention, domestic and sexual abuse, or puberty add an enlightening dimension to the
student’s educational experience that many classroom health educators appreciate.

Physicians, counselors, non-profit educators, and independent sex educators enhance the classroom learning experience for both students and teachers. Additionally, when sex educators involve the school, community, and family with coordinated discussion plans, the repetition of information aids in educating the broader public, but also reiterates the message of sexual health to students. It is important to note that more often than not, sex education centers around white, heteronormative and cisgender curricula, which marginalizes more than half of our student population. Students who are neuro-diverse or have any kind of disability are often excluded from traditional sex education programs. It is imperative that we invite sex educators into the classroom who represent all our students.

The article ends with:
“The adults working directly with young people are the alchemists who have the power and ability to create the environment in which young people learn and thrive. Adults are the climate‐setters. In each
setting and situation, the adults in the room, on the playground, or in the park—the educators and practitioners on the front‐line—have an opportunity to create the climate to support each young person’s
health and well‐being.”

As sexual health educators, it is imperative we involve parents in the discussion about sexuality. We know that already. But how do we also involve the schools, community centers, spiritual organizations, etc. to further the message of comprehensive sex education?

It is not easy, but we are on our way!

There are excellent resources for health teachers to help them find outstanding, diverse sex educators who offer family-centered, sexpositive, inclusive education. These professionals are available to train teachers. They are also available to present programs within the classroom — in person and virtually!

StephanieSpeaksHere.com (S.L.A.M.) founded by Stephanie Zapata and the Sex Education Alliance, LLC (SEA) founded by Kim Cook are two resources available to help find these specialized sex educators.
Dive in and learn more…
From Journal of School Health/Volume 90, Issue 12.
https://doi.org/10.1111/josh.12966

This microblog post was a featured post in #slowchathealth’s #microblogmonth event. You can search for all of the featured posts here. Please do follow each of the outstanding contributors on social media (including Kim Cook, the author of this post) and consider writing a microblog post of your own to be shared with the global audience of slowchathealth.com

Pair this blog post with the following:

Teen World Confidential: Five Minute Topics to Open Conversation about Sex and Relationships by Kim Cook

What Divides Us, Becomes Us by Michelle Rawcliffe

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