Does Kittitas Have a Sufficient Sex Ed Program?

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Does Kittitas Have a Sufficient Sex Ed Program?

April Dahlen, Staff Reporter

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Sex Ed classes are typically meant to teach high school and middle school students about puberty and safe sex. Many schools offer these classes to their students, but Kittitas School District does not.

Children in America have not been very educated on sexual health in the past. In addition, many parents, students, and teachers used to avoid the subject, and many still do.

“In my day and age, you didn’t talk a lot about this topic; Sex Ed was highly controversial. It was supposed to be the parents’ job,” Principal Heather Burfeind said, “but parents weren’t talking about this topic.”

In 2014, Planned Parenthood, an organization that specializes in sexual and reproductive health, surveyed 1,663 pairs of parents and students and found out that 96 percent of those parents wanted sex education to be taught in high school.

“Mr. Wood and I have talked about offering a more classroom-based health curriculum which could include topics such as sex education. I was surprised that we don’t have more health classes in the schedule,” Burfeind said.

The National Health Education Standards recommends that schools put students, grades 3-12, through at least 80 hours a year of a health class which includes sexual education.

“I know that Mrs. Uceny offers some health classes so it may be good to look at what we have and make sure we are providing the students with what they need,” Burfeind said.

Some schools have a mandatory Sex Ed class for more than a week in fifth and/or sixth grade. Other schools, such as Kittitas, only have one for a few days in those grades.

“Our fifth grade health class did not specify things; they had mistakenly led me to believe that boys got their periods,” an unnamed student said. “The class was for a few days, and in that few days all they had talked about were periods and liking boys.”

There is a massive amount of information that students are meant to learn in a Sexual Education class, such as anatomy, consent, periods, sexuality, and diseases. Some schools, such as Kittitas, just go through the basics of puberty.

“They made all the girls on their periods seem happy,” sophomore Aria Jaramillo said, “and  they didn’t talk about anything of what the guys were going through.”