Teen Council to host a series of sex education talks | ParkRecord.com

Teen Council to host a series of sex education talks

They will be held off campus to allow for freer discussion

Sex is an uncomfortable discussion topic, but Teen Council members feel it's something high-school students need to be educated about.

Utah State Statute requires the sex education taught in schools to be abstinence based, which is why members of Teen Council — Park City High School's peer-led health education group — want to take the topic outside of school in order to teach kids in grades eight through 12 about contraception and sexually transmitted infections, or STIs.

Starting this week, the members will lead a series of talks each Thursday at the Park City Library on a variety of topics.

The first of four peer-led discussions will be at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 6. It will focus on healthy relationships.

"We think this topic is really important, especially as kids move through high school and into college," said Bryan Croce, a senior and council member. "We want to make sure they understand potential red flags in a relationship."

The conversation will define abusive and controlling relationships. It will also focus on consent.

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"I think it's really important students understand the different aspects of consent," Croce said. "While someone might say yes, they might not actually be giving consent because they are being coerced into it."

From healthy relationships to human anatomy, the next talk will be at the same time on April 20. Croce and Lydon said the topic will be inclusive to all gender identities.

"We are trying to make this a super-inclusive class," Lydon said. "We want this discussion to be open to all genders and all sexualities, so everyone gets a chance to learn about these things."

The presentation on STIs will be a week later on April 27.

"In school, kids are taught abstinence education," Croce said. "When they do choose to engage in those activities, they're not well equipped to be as safe as they could be. This course will make it so students have the knowledge to practice safe sex."

The last discussion, scheduled for May 4, will cover the different types of contraception, such as birth control pills and IUDs.

Croce and Lydon hope the students who attend the talks will feel comfortable about asking questions. They also hope the end result of the series will be one where more Park City students know how to make smart decisions when it comes to relationships and sex.

The two Teen Council members added that they spent quite some time preparing for the talks to make sure they have the correct facts.

"We first took lessons from our advisor who works with Planned Parenthood and has access to all medically accurate and inclusive information. She then helped us put these together," Croce said.

Planned by the Teen Council, the first of four talks will be at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 6, at the Park City Library. It will be on healthy relationships.

In addition to hosting the series on sex education, the council also put together a free Get Yourself Tested event, which includes STI testing and information on a variety of sex education topics. It will be from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the People's Health Clinic. Please visit plannedparenthood.org for information on the talks and on the Teen Council.