Branham sex education updated to code

The district has dropped the Christian-affiliated group Real Options last year in favor of Health Connected to teach its sex education program.

The change came after The Bear Witness revealed in March 2016 that the physical education department was bringing in Real Options, a pregnancy crisis clinic with Christian ties, to educate the underclassmen in sexual education. The information taught failed to meet the standards of the California Healthy Youth Act,  and the district has cancelled its presentations from the group.

The act requires the teaching of HIV/AIDS prevention,

The CUHSD contracted a 501(c)(3) organization, Health Connected, to educate the underclassmen in sexual education. The group came in and presented in September. In comparison to Real Options, who came in for two class periods, Health Connected came in for five class periods. Because the P.E. department no longer books and arranges for groups to come in, they instead work with the group contracted by the district to plan dates and times.

Issues arose last year when Real Options did not teach the content required by California State Law, specifically sexual identity and sexual violence. Health Connected states what each session covers in their “Teen Talk High School” package. In the 11 sessions that they offer in this package, they cover everything from sexual identity, to sexual violence, to sex in the media.

The difference in content was acknowledged by physical education teacher Mr. Ron Smare, who stated, ”Essentially it did not differ at all. It added more.”

Aside from the adults noticing the difference in topics that were discussed, students who went through the program also noted how in-depth the sessions were.

Freshman Courtney Kahai said, “I feel that the sex ed we received here was more extensive than others I’ve had. And the information I received was new and eye-opening to the extent of realization. The way they taught us and what they told us made it informational and interesting to the point of awareness.”

The “Teen Talk High School” package shows the various activities that Health Connected does in order to relay the information to the students in a memorable way.