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THREAD: I was thrilled to present at #SHAPETampa last week! @ShapeAmerica’s national convention is the largest gathering of #healthed and #physed teachers in the country. I know not everyone could make it, so here is a recap of my presentation.
My session was scheduled at 8 a.m. on the first day of the convention, so I didn’t know if anyone would make it. I wore my #SEXEDU shirt from @AskGoody in tribute to @THEKINGDMC, who was presenting (and doing some Run-DMC classics) with @HHPHorg later that day.
I was coming from the West Coast, so this 8 a.m. session felt like 5 a.m. to me.

Luckily, the room filled up early with lots of energetic folks. Shout out to @MelanieLynch52 for helping me navigate some projector connection trouble!
Shout out to the dolphins playing outside, too!
The goals for this presentation:

Think critically about #sexed in schools
Learn about how “Be Real. Be Ready.” curriculum came together
Think about how you can bring community leaders together to develop #healthed lessons tailored for the needs of your local schools
I loved having this chance to reflect on how #berealbeready came together. It was truly a community effort.
These are the norms we use in all of our meetings at @SFUnified’s School Health Programs and @SFWellness. They help keep us focused on equity. Feel free to borrow them!
Asking people about the health education that they had (or didn’t have) in school almost always leads interesting conversations. I also like to acknowledge talking about sexuality - especially with teens - can feel awkward and make people nervous. It gets easier w/ practice!
I told a little bit of my own story: This journey started for me when I was back I was in high school, supporting a friend who was a rape survivor.
Last year, I talked to @jeremyadamsmith at @GreaterGoodSC about how that experience helped me find a sense of purpose in my life:
I started doing rape prevention presentations with the Rape Education Office (now @rsvpcenter) in the ‘90s, when I was a student at @mujschool
The slogan we used most at the time was “No Means No.” I’m glad our language around consent has grown more sophisticated since that time.
I’m grateful for writers like @JessicaValenti, @jaclynf, @heathercorinna, & @margaretcho for helping us understand that we should be teaching about affirmative consent - a.k.a. The “Yes Means Yes” standard. (Also: Get their newly re-released "Yes Means Yes" book!)
I’m THRILLED that research is now starting to show that comprehensive, skills-based health education in high school can reduce sexual assault in college, as I wrote about recently in this story for @ETRorg: etr.org/blog/how-high-…
I talked about why I think sex ed in schools is important.

Why do *you* think it’s important for schools to teach about sexuality?
People in the session paired up and shared lots of good ideas about this.

I think remembering this sentiment - why teaching sex ed is important to you - can help teachers maintain their commitment to this work.
The next section of the presentation focused on how we created “Be Real. Be Ready.,” the sex ed curriculum now used in all @SFUnified high schools.
In 2012, I was working as a #healthed teacher at @SFUnified’s Balboa High, and I was invited to a meeting at the teen clinic that @SF_DPH runs at the school.
The meeting was called by Michael Baxter, who was the director of Primary Care Youth Programs and Family Planning for @SF_DPH and oversaw eight youth clinics located throughout the city
The folks in the room were frustrated, wondering why teens were showing up in their clinics with STIs and pregnancies who hadn’t had #sexeducation in school.
Some school had great #healthed classes, but implementation was inconsistent across the district. We weren't doing enough to make sure that every student had access to quality information or health services.
Over a series of meetings, we brought together a number of partners, including @ythorg, @ppfa, @HuckleberrySF, @TheBODofHIFY, @sfunified and @SF_DPH
After building some trust and sharing some of our concerns, we started to talk about working together. What started out as frustration turned into growth.
By asking everyone to bring their best lessons together, we were able to start building a comprehensive sexuality curriculum, which eventually was named “Be Real. Be Ready.”
Think about your own district, town, or city. If you were going to initiate an effort to improve sex ed in your community, who would need to be in the room?
Working together, we developed some guiding principles for this sexuality education project. Having these written out has really helped ground our work and keep us working in the same direction.
We want to normalize talking about sexuality and reduce shame.
We got our first bound copy of “Be Real. Be Ready.” on Oct. 11, 2014.

The day we picked this up from the printer was one of the last times I saw Michael Baxter, who died soon after. This project would not have happened without him, and I think of him often when I talk about it.
The #healthed teachers in @sfunified are some of the biggest boosters of this curriculum.
Getting this kind of feedback from teachers is incredibly rewarding.
A lot of teachers were involved in making the lessons, and they continue to offer suggestions for improving them.
We work hard to help our teachers feel comfortable with this material. We know it can be challenging!
We administer a pre- and post-survey every time we deliver this curriculum, and the evaluation team from @ETRorg helps us analyze the results. We’re happy to know that it’s making a difference with our students.
When we talk about sexuality education in schools, it’s often framed as either “abstinence-only” or “comprehensive.”

But think about that for a minute - what would it take for sexuality education to truly be “comprehensive”?
The people in this room had *a lot* of ideas about what young people should be learning in class.
After the California Healthy Youth Act passed in 2016, we started getting a lot of calls from other schools asking how they could use “Be Real. Be Ready.”
The California Healthy Youth Act requires that ALL middle and high schools in California teach comprehensive sex ed. It is FANTASTIC legislation, and I encourage advocates in other states to copy it!

The #MeToo movement is also opening the door for more comprehensive #sexed in schools. People are starting to recognize the importance of teaching about consent, sexual assault and sexual harassment.
We address sexual harassment in “Be Real. Be Ready.,” but if you’re wanting to teach even more about the topic, here are some lessons I wrote up with @NYTimesLearning:

California was the first state to require that all high school health education classes give lessons on affirmative consent, which includes explaining that someone who is drunk or asleep cannot grant consent. This information is included in “Be Real. Be Ready.”
If you want to learn more about what it's like to teach affirmative consent ("Yes Means Yes") in schools, here's a great story about it by @geraldineah_sue:

I encouraged people to think about this quote from @BonnieJRough.

How can we create a world where more people say they feel good about their early sexual experiences? Could *this* be a goal of comprehensive sexuality education?
Here are some of the lessons in “Be Real. Be Ready.” As you’ll see, they are really a lot more about “sexuality” as a broad topic than they are about “sex.”
One of the early lessons is very practical - how to plan a first date. Doing these kind of activities gives young people a chance to practice decision making and communication skills in a relatively low-risk setting.
When we teach about human sexuality, students work in small groups to create a “human sexuality person.” It’s a fun activity that gets them thinking about gender roles, sexual orientation, communication, relationships, body image and values.
We tackle consent, healthy relationships and even human trafficking before we get to anatomy.

When we do talk about anatomy, we make sure we include the sexual response cycle, and emphasize that sex should feel good for everyone involved.
#healthed #sexed #berealbeready
We cover menstruation, contraception, pregnancy, and pregnancy options. Near the end of the unit, there's a #medialiteracy lesson where students practice finding - and evaluating - sexual health information online. We train our teachers to present everything without bias.
We make sure all students have a chance to look at different methods of birth control and get to practice putting an external condom on a wooden model.
#sexed #healthed
Since “Be Real. Be Ready.” was released, it has been covered regularly in the media. Here are a few examples.

"San Francisco Public Schools Include Human Trafficking in Health Curriculum" in The Chronicle of Social Change (@ChronicleSC): "
"The Key to Curbing Campus Sexual Assault Lies in High School Health Class" from Mic.com (@Mic):

"California Schools Scrambling to Comply with New Sex Ed Laws" from The California Health Report (@calhealthreport):

"Sex Education in Schools Needs an Upgrade" From NEA Today (@NEAToday):

The lessons in “Be Real. Be Ready.” are available for free. The easiest link to access them is:

Training on how to use “Be Real. Be Ready.” is available through the Adolescent Health Working Group. They can bring expert trainers to help get your teachers ready to teach these lessons. Please contact Adam Chang <at> socialchangeconsulting.com to learn more about this.
BONUS: For Middle Schools:

“Be Real. Be Ready.” is designed for high schools, but we later created a middle school curriculum called “Healthy Me. Healthy Us.” which you can view at:

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