Planned Parenthood addresses newly proposed sex ed programming at Spokane Public Schools

Planned Parenthood addresses newly proposed sex ed programming at Spokane Public Schools

On April 11, the Spokane Public Schools (SPS) Human Growth and Development Community (HGD-CAC) will vote on a newly proposed sexual health education program.

Last month, SPS administrators released the new program to HGD-CAC members. The program incorporates various sources including lessons from Get Real, an evidence-based intervention developed by Planned Parenthood, Health Smart, KNOW, F.L.A.S.H. and other lessons developed by SPS.

HGD-CAC will reconvene on April 11 to vote on whether to recommend the new program to the school board for adoption.

Last year, Spokane Regional Health District released a fact sheet showing that students attending Spokane Public Schools are in need of effective sexual health education.

Planned Parenthood has released a statement rejecting the proposed program, stating, “The majority of voices in our community support an evidence-based approach to sexual health education. While the proposed patchwork sexual health program is better than the current sexual health education materials, our students deserve a program that has been evaluated and proven to be effective.”

In its evaluation, Planned Parenthood has expressed five main areas of concern in regards to the proposed program, including:

Undetermined program effectiveness and no evaluation plan
Lack of LGBTQ inclusivity, most program materials are heteronormative
Very few lessons with a strong social and emotional learning component
Many patchwork program materials use ineffective fear-based and shaming language
Lack of clearly identified teacher training plan

Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho recommends that an evidence-based program be implemented in 6th-9th grade classrooms.

“When young people have access to evidence-based and inclusive information in a trauma informed environment, they make healthy decisions about their lives.”