The Los Angeles Unified School District is testing out new sex education lessons this year for fourth-grade students, as well as those in fifth and sixth grades at a handful of schools, it was reported Thursday.
A leading advocate of sex education even at an early age is health educator and nurse Wendy Sellers.
Students “should be able to learn about the very normal natural changes that happen for everyone as they grow,” she said in remarks reported by the Los Angeles Daily News. “When they reach puberty — sooner now than in decades past — students need to be armed with information.”
Sellers, who lives in Michigan, is the author of “Puberty: The Wonder Years,” one of the courses LAUSD is testing, according to the newspaper. Her curriculum of about six to 11 lessons has been used at schools in 27 states. If it’s adopted here, LAUSD would be the largest school district to use it.
“Sex education has not changed much over the decades,” Sellers said, according to the Daily News.
She’s trained hundreds of teachers on her curriculum. Most told her their own sex education consisted of a video on menstruation for girls in the sixth grade and something separate for the boys in another classroom. It was highly secretive, and not a positive memory.
Sellers said her course aims to change that. It’s also inclusive of LGTBQ identities and doesn’t assume traditional gender roles in describing relationships, the Daily News reported. There’s no specific lesson to define same-sex relationships, but rather, examples of same-sex couples are integrated into lessons, she said.
“Kids are just unflapped by this,” she said. “It’s old people that are having a hard time getting used to it.”