School Health - Human Development and Sexual Health
Part of being a healthy school includes promoting and supporting healthy growth and development, which includes sexual health. As youth grow from childhood, through the teen years and into adulthood, they experience many changes. The resources provided here are based upon the four foundations of a Healthy School.
A supportive environment for promoting positive sexual health is inclusive and non-judgmental. A supportive environment will help students to feel more comfortable and safe when learning about and exploring their own sexual health. Parents/caregivers and teachers/school staff, as well as students are all responsible for creating a supportive environment
To promote positive sexual health, a supportive environment should be safe, trusting and comfortable for students and staff. People should be treated with respect and dignity. It is important that both the social and physical environments support positive sexual health. Teachers/school staff, parents/caregivers and students are all responsible for creating a supportive environment.
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- Participate in school clubs and events related to sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Organize or participate in school-wide awareness events or assemblies related to sexual health.
- Share information with other students about positive sexual health.
- Create a school club where students are able to safely discuss sexual health issues in a safe, non-judgmental environment.
- Talk to your Public Health Nurse or other school staff as needed about sexual health issues.
- Provide support other students struggling with sexual health issues.
Teachers/school staff can:
- Complete training in sexual health as needed to feel comfortable providing support to students.
- Ensure students are aware that they are available as sources of sexual health information and support for sexual health issues.
- Participate in school clubs related to sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Organize or participate in school-wide awareness events or assemblies related to sexual health. Topics could include safe sex practices, sexual orientation and bullying prevention.
- Make sure their school has a policy that clearly states that they do not discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender.
- Create classroom rules or code of conducts about treating each other with dignity and respect.
- For more resources: Educator - Curriclum, Teaching and Learning Resources - Middlesex-London Health Unit
- Act as role models and promote positive sexual health choices.
- Be open with and willing to talk to your children about sexual health.
- Participate in school activities that promote positive sexual health.
Schools are often seen as one of the best places for students to learn about sexual health. However, there is also concern about the best ways to provide this information and the best people to provide this information. By working with community partners, schools will have greater access to resources, information and support to provide sexual health education to students. As a result, this may help to promote positive sexual health among students.
Community partnerships could include:
Healthy school policies that address sexual health are important to create positive learning and teaching environments to help students succeed. These policies can detail the expectations of students and staff’s behaviours to help promote a safe environment. They can also address sexual health education. This can help create a set of consistent values, beliefs and goals of the sexual education provided.
Ontario Ministry of Education
- Equity and Inclusive Education Policy (PDF)
- The Provincial Code of Conduct and School Board Code of Conduct (PDF)
Thames Valley District School Board
- Equity and Inclusive Education (PDF)
- Harassment Policy (PDF)
- Healthy Schools Policy (PDF)
- Safe Schools Policy (PDF)
London District Catholic School Board
- Freedom from Harassment (PDF)
- Safe Schools (PDF)
Individual schools may also create policies focusing on sexual health.
These could include:
- Education or training requirements for teachers that are teaching sexual education.
- Teaching goals and strategies that build on the sexual health education curriculum. This would help ensure that students receive the same messages about sexual health.
Healthy school policies are important to provide everyone in the school community with consistent and clear guidelines to promote positive sexual health among students.
Other Helpful Resources
Last modified on: July 26, 2017