When it comes to sex education, the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada seems hell-bent on shaming the Clark County School District, and now the students have joined the fun. In August, the nonprofit launched #SexEdSay, an essay contest asking CCSD students in grades 9-12 to share thoughts on the current sex-ed program, a lightning-rod issue given the prospect of content revisions and policy changes firing up the community.
Last week, the ACLU revealed the winning essays, which suggest curriculum deficiencies more embarrassing than any classroom discussion on sex. Among the students’ illuminating observations:
“I have never been taught that people with vaginas do not, in fact, urinate out of their vaginas. Instead, I learned about my own anatomy from [Netflix’s] Orange Is the New Black.” –First-place $5,000 scholarship winner Samantha Gingrich
“There was a section on dating and relationships in our textbook, yet it assumed everyone was straight and that’s definitely not okay. Gay and questioning students can feel excluded easily by this.” –Second-place $3,000 scholarship winner Riley Schlemmer
“Sex education should be updated to help prepare students emotionally and mentally for things they are likely to be exposed to on the Internet.” –Third-place $2,000 scholarship winner who remained anonymous due to “concern with their parents’ objection to sex education.”
In late September, ACLU of Nevada parsed the sex-ed source material used in Clark County School District health classes, highlighting incorrect, obsolete, biased and confounding assertions. The District’s Sex Education Advisory Committee fixed six of the eight offending inclusions.