Task Force: Redesigning Sex Education
The US Department of Education has decided to draft national legislation on requirements for sex education in the United States. Your team has been appointed to help brainstorm ideas for this new legislation.
Why Are We Doing This?
Currently in the US, all decisions about what is or is not included in sex education curriculums happen at the state and local level. In fact, only 29 states have laws requiring sex education, but that doesn’t mean that education is good and effective. Only 15 states require this education to be medically accurate, 26 require it to be age-appropriate, only 18 require students to be taught about birth control, and only 9 states require the discussion of LGBTQ+ identities and relationships to be positive and affirming (Planned Parenthood). All of this means that many students in the US are at higher risk for STDs, unplanned pregnancy, and abusive relationships.
- Research what experts say makes for a quality sexual health education. For example, the CDC has a list of recommended topics. Also, conduct some further research on the state of sex education around the country and notice some key issues. Additionally, see what you can find out about students’ experiences and what they want to change (poll).
- Next, design your list of requirements
- What are some guiding principles behind your legislation? What are its main goals?
- What topics will you require to be taught in every school?
- What will students be required to learn at the elementary, middle, and high school levels?
- What will not be allowed as part of your curriculum?
- What resources and training will teachers need to deliver high quality sex education? Who will be responsible for developing and delivering them?
- Will students’ opinions and feedback be incorporated into sexual health classes? How?
- Think through the possible objections to your plan. Particularly, think through how you would justify your ideas to teachers and parents who disagree with your plan.
- Share with the group and see if you can convince them that your legislation will improve sexual health education in the US.
Things to Keep in Mind:
- You do not have to come up with an exhaustive list of procedures for your plan. It’s better to come up with a few ideas that you feel confident with and spend time thinking through possible objections to them.
- You don’t have to worry about answering all possible objections, but you should have some defense of why you think your plan would work.
- Your suggestions should be things that the government could realistically implement.