What is the Healthy Relationships Task Force?

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A group of students, parents and faculty set out to examine how Friends teaches sexuality and healthy relationships. Convened in the spring of 2017 at the invitation of Matt Micciche, the Healthy Relationships Task Force has been hard at work. Some highlights of our work to date: we have examined our school’s human sexuality curriculum and made recommendations, including expanding middle school offerings and offering sexuality courses for 9th and 10th grades; and guided the work of a Sexuality Education Symposium hosted at Friends this fall.

Currently we are looking at ways to teach healthy body image and we continue to explore how we can implement all-division sex-ed and anti-bullying curriculums. Our most recent work has involved working towards making menstrual care products and contraception widely available to students.

Through the work we have done, I believe we are making a real difference at Friends. Last year we were faced with multiple cases of sexual misconduct at our school. Reforming how we teach sex ed could help to prevent such events from happening in the future. In addition, making menstrual care products available to students starting in fourth grade and contraception available starting in middle school will help reduce stigmas around menstruation and can help increase safer sex practices. To me, this work is what a progressive education is about.

 

Mission Statement:

The Healthy Relationships Task Force of Friends School of Baltimore works to promote and support education around healthy interpersonal relationships that reflects Friends School’s values and ideals.  We aim to guide the School towards a comprehensive approach that teaches students how to build healthy relationships, to honor consent from the earliest ages, and to understand sexuality from a sex-positive, values-guided, inclusive perspective.   

 

In addition to explicitly supporting the School’s efforts to live out its commitments to peace, integrity, community, and equality through its healthy relationships and sex education work, we also specifically encourage the School to offer sexuality and relationship curricula that are grounded in commitments to self-worth, respect, sexual health, justice, and responsibility.   We encourage all members of our community, led by trained experts in the field of human sexuality, to gain competency in discussing healthy sexuality and building healthy relationships. Thus, we hope to foster a community where students know how to communicate clearly and compassionately, to resolve conflicts, and to create safe spaces for sensitive and difficult conversations.  In such a School, all students can thrive.

 

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What is the Healthy Relationships Task Force?