The Student News Site of University Prep

The Puma Press

The Student News Site of University Prep

The Puma Press

The Student News Site of University Prep

The Puma Press

Health Needs Help

Health+Needs+Help

I remember zoning out many times in ninth grade health class because the lesson’s content didn’t apply to me, and, as a queer student, I’ve noticed that my health-related education has been disturbingly unequal. UPrep’s implementation of health class dangerously overlooks the needs of LGBTQ students.

Currently, the school’s health curriculum is extremely cisgender and heterosexual. It is a lasting relic from a bygone era when conformity was a rule and when LGBTQ people lived in silent fear. There is barely any education about sexuality or gender beyond heterosexuality and the male/female gender binary. This is a major problem.

Queer students’ health curriculum leaves out much of the crucial representation and health information that applies to them and not to most of their peers, forcing them to conduct independent research and consult external sources. This lack of knowledge could cause LGBTQ students to make dangerous choices. According to a study by the American Public Health Organization, gay, lesbian, and bisexual students experience higher rates of teen pregnancy than their cisgender and heterosexual peers.

In addition, cisgender and heterosexual students who do not receive education about the diversity of the human experience may be made, through no fault of their own, less able to accept and understand their fellow human beings. This kind of misunderstanding has been a thorn in human society for thousands of years and will continue to be one.

The seventy-year-old ghosts of 1950s homophobes can continue to enforce their brutal conformity through the lack of knowledge and education simply because we choose to ignore their persistence.

The world changes, and education should change with it. But our health class curriculum is that of a doddering old fool who cannot accept change. I’m lucky enough to have parents who were able and willing to educate me on everything that the curriculum presented to me did not cover. If I had been born into a less fortunate household, I would have had to search the internet for any representation or accurate information, which would have been extremely dangerous, or I would have had to remain oblivious. We need to return the spirit of health education to our school. If our health class’s job is to keep students safe and prepare them to live independently, it is miserably failing at it.