How to Advocate for Comprehensive Sexuality Education
Parents, educators, school administrators, and teens themselves can have a strong influence on sex education, especially at the local level.
Anyone can be an advocate for comprehensive sex education that provides young people with honest, accurate information about responsible decision-making, healthy relationships, abstinence, disease prevention, and condoms/contraception.
To get started, get educated:
- Find out who is teaching sexuality education, what topics are being taught, and at what grade levels. Find out more about the laws and policies affecting sex education in your state.
- Learn about the people who are involved in making decisions about the health curriculum (i.e., school board, superintendent, principal, curriculum supervisor, and teacher) and the process for selecting the curriculum.
- Learn more about sex education policy and funding in the United States.
Once you know about sex education in your community, start taking steps to improve it.
- Make your support known. Talk to other parents and teachers to mobilize support for comprehensive sexuality education.
- Sign the petition in support of comprehensive sex education.
- Contact your legislators to let them know you care about this issue and want to see change.
- Work with your school board where possible – ask them to take on the issue.
- Find out if your community has a School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) or similar advisory group tasked with advising your community about components of comprehensive school health in public school. In some states, these committees are mandatory.
- Visit the National Association of State Boards of Education at www.nasbe.org Or, to learn how to become a part of a SHAC or similar advisory group in your community, go to http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/backtheshac to request assistance in working with SHACs on comprehensive sexuality education.
- Adults, make sure to include teens in your efforts; teens, remember that a concerned adult in your community is a strong ally. Learn more about youth-adult partnerships.
- Don’t forget new media: use social networking to create social change. Links and comments on blogs, Facebook and Twitter are a great way to start a conversation about sex education.
For more information and ideas about how to get started, visit Advocates for Youth's Sex Education Resource Center.