If you are like most people, you clicked on this page looking for a list of school districts so that you could find yours and see what is happening in terms of sex education. If we could, we would happily provide that! However, not only is there no complete listing of what is happening in each district, it is often difficult to find out what's happening in the school down the block.
For many of the reasons touched on elsewhere in this ToolKit — including that there is not a clear state standard around this topic and therefore no testing on the subject — it is often overlooked. But that doesn't mean that there isn't teaching going on in your district.
We would love to help you find out what's happening in your district. Even more, we would love for you to share with us what you learn!
First, call your school district administration.
If you have a child in the district, you probably know this number. If you don't, you can click here and find it on the Ohio Department of Education's list of school districts.
Then call the superintendent's office and express interest in learning what is offered in health education.
This may begin a phone transfer or phone message experience to rival the time you thought you won that contest… Districts are often leery when they get this request — they know that typically whoever is calling has an agenda and wants to hear a certain answer. If you are told "we teach abstinence" or something along those lines, you can ask for clarification as to whether that is the ONLY thing taught or there are other, practical lessons provided, as well.
Ask who decides what health curriculum is taught, and try to speak with that person.
Remember, too, that policy and practice often differ. So, just because your student says that he or she only heard about abstinence or never heard about sex at all, doesn't mean the district has a firm policy requiring abstinence-only-until-marriage. Rather, it could be that your student fell through the cracks in the system, and the vast majority of students did receive a comprehensive lesson. The opposite is also true. Your student could have the one teacher who goes out on a limb and teaches comprehensive sex ed, while the district requires otherwise. Asking the question of multiple sources at multiple levels of the district is crucial.
Let supporters know you are an ally.
It is quite possible that you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that your district is doing the right thing for its students, or at least trying. If that's the case, please let them know that you are an ally, believe they are doing the right thing and that you would love to help them find additional resources. Please let us know what you learn, so that we, too, can congratulate them.
If you are disappointed in what you learn, you can pursue the steps to getting a change in policy and practice.
If you are interested in a Charter School...
If your interest is in a CHARTER SCHOOL, the way it works is quite similar, except that you simply need to contact the head of the school, as opposed to the superintendent’s office. Charter schools are, by definition, governed by their own individual boards. Some charter schools partner together in some aspects of education, but your point of entry to get this information is the head of the individual school. We are happy to help you obtain resources for comprehensive sexuality education in charter schools, as well.