Posted by Ryan Morgan on November 29, 2013 at 12:00 PM
By Kat Heavner
In November, we asked you, our intrepid online advocates, to speak up and tell the world about your experience
of sex ed in South Carolina schools, and we're so grateful you heard our call! These videos and blogs
gave us real insights into a few of the cities where non-compliance with current law is having long-term impacts on students' health and well-being. We're overjoyed to see that #tellmesc video and blog submissions continue to roll in!
So what did we find out about what "really happens" in SC classrooms?
It's hard to say.
The voices we heard told stories of outstanding teachers, innovative teaching methods, and supportive environments; we also heard stories of deep confusion, withheld information, and limited opportunities to ask questions. Some students didn't remember being offered education at all. In one case, a young woman was impacted by her mother's lack of education, as well as her own. Several mentioned feeling shy in talking about sex with their parents--highlighting the need for open and honest dialogues in a safe environment, such as schools.
It would be nice to say we have an answer to the question of how the 25-and-a-half-year-old Comprehensive Health Education Act is being implemented in this state. But the reality is that compliance varies district to district. Each county may interpret the law differently. Local control is great, but we think it's time our students got a more unified message on sexual health--one that is age-appropriate, and rooted in scientific fact--and our advocates agree. One take-home message that cropped up over and over is that young adults wish they could tell their adolescent selves it's okay to be informed.
Please help us continue our work advocating for sex ed reform by donating
Kat Heavner is a social work student that cares about public policy. Kat volunteers at Tell Them and is a Macro Social Work Intern at Palmetto Place Children’s Shelter.