Sex (Ed) for Lunch, Math and Science
A consideration for horizontal alignment (pun intended)
Failing to provide Sex Education that is inclusive, diverse and universally designed for learning, is like sitting your teen under the cafeteria table at lunch time. In High School. Until senior year.
Cafeteria duty in high school would transform your life. Intermingling a 30 minute window of time with socially hungry or avoidant teens within a space that booms at 70 or 80 decibels will instantly snatch your soul back to your sub 19 years. If you’re even half way committed, your monitoring skills will develop to the level of casino security within the first few weeks. Walking around and chatting with other staff members is just a façade. The reality is that out of the peripheral you are able to spot all of the foolery and lunchtime revelry while effortlessly maintaining a trigger ready ability to intervene if an occasion presented itself. In days of old, the first half of the school day was the opportune time for note passing in class or in the hallways, while lunch time was the opportunity for a face-to-face meet up. But our tech-savvy insta-generation is far beyond those days. Break-ups, make-ups, sales deals, exchange agreements, hook-ups, test answers, prank plots (and lots of good stuff too) happen all throughout the day.
For students, at the heart of a mid-day lunch period, you’ll see that there is no place to escape to in order to recover or obtain a bit of reprieve. Not a single student would consider exiting, or, settling into a corner of the lunchroom unless they felt completely drained socially or overwhelmed sensorially. Honestly, nothing is really happening in the cafeteria except, perhaps…
the biggest social exchange of the day. Yikes!
Just as there are some who are looking to skip out of lunch time all together, there are those who try to leave class in order to swing by a lunch period that is not their own. So, I wondered, why did I observe large groups of teens with disabilities picking up their lunch and bee-lining back to their self contained classroom, or to a favorite teacher’s class? Often times this mass exodus happened right in the nook of…