Last month, some parents removed their children from public schools in protest of sexual health education. The event was called Sex Ed Sit Out. In response, teens clapped back with a protest of their own which they called #SexEdLive. This social media event brought many students together to share youth led sex education live throughout the day.
According to the Sex Ed Sit Out website, participating parents believe that sex education in schools is inappropriate. They even went so far as to call sex education “graphic,” “immoral” and “gender-bending.” This movement began in Charlotte, NC but quickly gained traction in several other cities. By the day of the event, 16 cities were participating and many students were not happy about it.
Advocates for Youth, a sex-ed nonprofit, hosted a day-long event to counterprotest. Young activists from the organization used Facebook Live to share information on everything from safe sex and STD/HIV testing. They spoke about consent, assault and respecting gender pronouns.
The Sex Ed Sit Out, which took place on April 23rd, comes at a time when sex education is decreasing in schools across the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, STD rates are reaching all time highs almost everywhere. Many public health officials have cited a lack of sex ed as a reason for more young people not knowing how to protect themselves from infection. This year alone there have been outbreaks of syphilis, an infection once thought to be nearly extinct, in multiple cities stretching from the South going all the way to Alaska.
Truly the best way to help future generations protect their sexual health is to educate them about the risks involved with sexual activity and how to protect themselves from those risks. Today’s youth has no problem speaking up for themselves. #SexEdLive is a fine example of teenagers demanding a change in their world.
If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to an STD, you should have STD testing performed right away. Many times, symptoms of an infection will not be present and testing can be the only way to detect it.