In a survey conducted by March for Our Lives Los Angeles County, results showed that, of 111 anonymous respondents, 67.6% experienced a form of sexual harassment. Of those respondents, 56% came from the school district.
Inspired by the All-Party Parliamentary Groups for UN Women, March for Our Lives San Gabriel (MFOLSG) also seeks to address existing concerns about sexual harassment. One of its main goals is to improve the district’s sex education curriculum which saw a gradual decline between the late 1990s and early 2000s.
“Back then, we had different units on sex,” social studies teacher and former Biology teacher, Raymond Gin, said. “We talked about the menstrual cycle, the physical, psychological, and hormonal changes, as well as sexually transmitted diseases.”
Currently, the sex education curriculum lasts about a month. The PE teachers receive an outline of topics that should be covered, but they are not given specific instructions on what needs to be taught. Additionally, because the teachers are on a strict schedule to complete their lessons, the sex education classes tend to be cut short.
“When I took sex ed it was via Zoom,” sophomore Patricia Flores said. “It wasn’t taught that well just due to the fact how Zoom was and how it was very unorganized. I felt like they probably should’ve taught it again to sophomores because there is so much a lot of people don’t seem to understand about sex in a way. I haven’t heard of anything about sex education and how it’s being taught this year.”
Furthermore, MFOLSG’s survey included students’ experiences with their respective district’s sex education curriculum. Many students questioned why certain topics, such as consent, were not taught and why the lessons took place in their PE classes instead of life sciences.
“Knowing that 56% of the respondents are from our school district is surprising, but at the same time, not really,” Flores said. “Based [on] some personal experience, there are comments being made left and right about girls’ bodies. I feel like that is very disrespectful, and no one calls it out.”
To further push for the district to change the sex education curriculum, MFOLSG drafted a statement with more information on their survey and what it urges the district to change. Additionally, they created a petition for students and teachers to encourage the district to improve sex education.
“Ultimately, MFOLSG wants to raise awareness about the issue of sexual assault through our data collection,” Sandra Lopez, senior and MFOLSG secretary said. “Hopefully people will feel motivated to push our district for better sex education classes so that students and staff could be more conscientious about sexual assault cases.”