Non – School Based Sexual Education Program for Middle School Students To Be Offered at YMCA
Planned Parenthood, Missoula City-County Relationship Violence Services and Empowerment MT have joined forces to offer more comprehensive sexuality education specifically for 7th and 8th graders.
Prevention Coordinator at Missoula City-County Relationship Violence Services, Kelly McGuire, said the new education program will be offered at the Missoula Family YMCA once a week starting in January.
"We think teachers are doing a great job teaching sex-ed, but what they're allowed to teach is pretty limited," McGuire said. "We wanted to offer something more progressive and inclusive, particularly for youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgendered. We thought a great way to pilot that would be to start it as an after-school program. We'll be offering training for teachers down the road and start building some momentum for more progressive sex-ed for our kids in Missoula."
McGuire points out some of the specifics of the alternate sex-ed program.
"It covers a lot about dynamics in relationships, orientation, gender identity, and gender stereotypes," she said. "There's a lot about healthy relationships, consent, social media, and it really gets into our values about sexuality and how that affects the way students behave, and a lot about discussion and communication."
McGuire said there has been no opposition to the proposed program, due to its voluntary nature.
"There has been no resistance at all, primarily due to the fact that's it's a purely voluntary program," she said. "It's entirely up to the parents if they want to sign up their kids, and all we're doing is providing more information for those kids."
McGuire said parents can find out more information about the after school sex-ed program here.