Ryan Dunn, a student at Bishop Blanchet High School in Seattle, surveyed 100 of his schoolmates about their experience with sex education. He found that almost 60% of those surveyed were not satisfied by the sex education they had received at Blanchet, and comments from students revealed that many desired a more comprehensive approach than the instruction they had received. Other interesting findings included the 58% of students who indicated that they have had sexual intercourse; of those students, 39% admitted to having had unprotected sex.
After compiling the results of the survey and researching the history of sex education policy within the Catholic Church, Dunn presented an article for his school’s newspaper. However, he was asked not to run the story for fear of a negative reaction by the Archdiocese of Seattle. Dunn decided to release the comprehensive and well-written story anyway, via a personal blog: Let’s Talk About Sex.
This survey touches on a topic that has been skirted in the sex education movement in Washington for the last few years: comprehensive sex ed in private schools. We now have such a fantastic law concerning medically-accurate sex education taught in PUBLIC schools and have been so focused on assisting school districts in the implementation of this law that approaching private schools is overlooked.
Talking with private schools is a whole different ball game. There is no law to back us up. All we have to stand on is the courage of our convictions that comprehensive sex education provides information to teens for healthy lifestyles. So how do we do this? How do we begin this effort? It all comes back to community organizing.
Find the parents in these schools who care about giving their kids a well-rounded education. Sex ed is a part of that. Ask them to appeal to their school’s mission and beliefs, whether it is a commitment to the best education possible or a particular religion. Comprehensive sex education fits in everywhere when explained properly. We just have to keep fightin’ the good fight!