Sex (Ed)itorial

Maddie Deasy, Editor-in-Cheif

On March 7, 2020 the Washington State legislature passed Senate Bill 5395. This bill would require comprehensive sex education in Washington’s public schools. One of the big goals of the bill and for comprehensive sex education as a whole is to help students detect and be able to react to sexual violence. It also emphasizes the idea of consent, healthy relationships and sexually transmitted infections and diseases. The bill still allows for parents to opt out their children from sex ed class. If parents have the option for their child to not participate in these lessons why shouldn’t students at Seattle Prep have the opportunity to learn about the important topics and experience comprehensive sex education?

At Seattle Prep, sophomore year students take Health and Wellness. This class as stated in the course catalog allows students “reflect upon and assess their behaviors as related to their personal health and well‐being, so they are capable of making informed choices.”

Although this is all great it is not very descriptive and leaves students unclear about what the class would entail. Health and Wellness is an important class and parts of Bill 5395 could be implemented into the Health and Wellness class to make it more specific and applicable to high schoolers.

In Section 1, Article 2 of the bill it says one of the requirements in teaching about “healthy relationships that are based on mutual respect and affection and are free from violence, coercion, and intimidation”.

Prep has begun to implement the “One Love” program at Prep which is a single class session taught by peers about healthy relationships. This is a great first step to bringing this important message to Prep but is one day really enough? The information from the One Love program and the 5395 Bill should be included in sophomore Health and Wellness and should be offered to students optionally every year at Seattle Prep. This is an extremely important topic that needs to be addressed regularly and thoroughly not just one day in the year.

The only standalone health class at Seattle Prep other than physical education style class is during sophomore year for one semester. It seems hard to believe that all the necessary knowledge a high school student would want, or need could be covered in that amount of time. Students should have more opportunities to learn about all types of health here at Seattle Prep. These include physical, mental, sexual health education.

Whether these opportunities be through classes such as Health and Wellness sophomore year or through Window classes or seminar where students could receive half a credit for participating or even having health and wellness discussion groups with students, HEX faculty members and counselors, Seattle Prep students should have the opportunity to learn about sexual health.

As time changes, the knowledge teenagers need to be healthy changes too. This includes discussing topics like consent, sexually transmitted diseases and infections, and safe sex practices. These opportunities should be optional to students at Seattle Prep but should be a topic of conversation here at Prep. As Washington State changes their protocol for sex education let’s reflect on how the Seattle Prep community teaches their young people about all health, mental, physical and sexual health.