Panel wants to improve sex ed in local schools

The Oasis Center for Women and Girls. Photo by Tatyiana Hayes

Leon County’s Commission on the Status of Women and Girls held a Health and Education Committee meeting Monday, addressing things regarding how to stay safe health-wise and how to introduce sexual education in local schools.

Middle schools in Leon County have only one sex education class and in high school there are health classes available to students who may need to know the importance of safe sex.

Many parents do not agree with sex education being taught in middle and high schools because they fear that it may be taking away their children’s innocence.

This year’s theme for the commission is “The year of the girl, the intersectionality of race, class and health and the lives of the women and girls in the Tallahassee Leon County area.”

The goal is to enhance the sex education classes in schools while also adhering to the needs and wants of the parents.

The committee is led by Gwendolyn Singleton and Jazmyne Simmons, an assistant professor at the School of Allied Health at Florida A&M University.

“Maybe talking about the practice of abstinence in schools will help the parents become more at ease with the program,” Singleton said.

Entertainment education can be a good thing when talking about STDs and sex education. “It can always be tailored for different age groups,” Simmons said.

In Leon County, Black men and women are leading in numbers as it comes to chlamydia (women) and gonorrhea (men). 

At this moment Leon County is ranked No. 7 in the state when it comes to HIV diagnosis. The top infections in Leon County right now are gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis, in that order.

There are different stigmas for people who have had a positive result. The stigmas are different representations on how they view themselves or how that individual views the situation that they are in. 

The most common stigma that people who have a positive result for their STI is called perceived stigma. This is the stigma in which the individual is accepting of the fact that they have tested positive and that they are going to have to live with this result for the rest of their life.

There is also anticipated stigma, a stigma in which the individual is scared to disclose any information about their condition because of the fear of what happens next.

There are things in place around Tallahassee to continue to stay informed about staying healthy and safe if at any time an individual wants to engage in sex.