May is Youth Sexual Health Awareness Month!

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Did you know that Governor Kitzhaber has proclaimed that May is Youth Sexual Health Awareness Month? Check out the proclamation, exciting events, policy updates, and relevant resources below!

Governor's Proclamation

Read Governor Kitzhaber’s Proclamation that outlines Oregon’s goal to:
  • Build environments in which all youth can thrive and contribute meaningfully to their communities.
  • Advance comprehensive strategies of the Oregon Youth Sexual Health Plan at the state and local level to: support youth as they use accurate information and well developed skills to make thoughtful choices about relationships and sexual health; eliminate sexual health inequities; and reduce unintended teen pregnancy, STIs, and non-consensual sexual behavior.
  • Value young people and trust in their capacity to make healthy decisions when provided information, skills, and support.
  • Recognize that positive youth development aligns with prevention priorities of healthcare transformation

Local Trainings and Events in Oregon

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Register here

Make the Connection - How Positive Youth Development Offers Promise for Teen Health & Teen Pregnancy Prevention

The US Department of Health and Human Services and Office of Adolescent Health is hosting a live webcast on positive youth development. You’ll learn:
  • What positive youth development is, and how it’s valuable for programs working with adolescents
  • The research behind positive youth development, and what we know about its success in teen pregnancy prevention
  • How community programs have been using positive youth development to benefit youth
  • Future interventions using positive youth development, and the way forward for positive youth development research
Community Events at Pivot in Portland 
Monday, May 12, 2014

3-7pm Free HIV Testing for youth (24 and under) along with games, education, and conversation
5-7pm Youth Sexuality Night – Cascade AIDS Project Sextperts and Planned Parenthood Columbia-Willamette Teen Council Members will lead discussions and activities around sexual health in our communities, and how we can improve
Location: 209 SW 4th Ave. Portland, OR 97204
Friday, May 30, 2014

Youth Sexual Health in Oregon: What county health departments tell us -by the Oregon Public Health Division

Location: Portland State Office Building – 800 NE Oregon Street Room 1E Portland, OR 97232
Sex Ed Boot Camp
Tuesday, June 24 to Wednesday, June 25
Registration deadline is June 13, 2014. SPACE IS LIMITED to 25 participants.

This two-day training is for school and community educators, social service professionals, school counselors, youth leaders, and others who work with young people.

In this training, participants will:
  • Examine how their values and experiences influence their conversations with young people about sexuality.
  • Reframe sex education messages in a positive, affirming way.
  • Answer challenging questions about sexuality with increased confidence and skill.
  • Examine how to include the needs and experiences of young people of all sexual orientations and gender identities
Location: Planned Parenthood Regional Health and Education Center – Eugene, Oregon

National Policy Updates on Youth Sexual Health

On April 29, 2014 the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the U.S. Department of Education issued official guidance which makes clear that transgender students are protected from discrimination under Title IX. Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities.

The Department has brought enforcement actions against school districts in the past on behalf of transgender students, but had not previously made such a proactive statement about their commitment. The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and other advocates for LGBT youth had long sought such a statement regarding the protections available to transgender students under Title IX to ensure that schools had a clear understanding of their responsibilities. As GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard notes, “Make no mistake: transgender students are protected by Title IX, and the U.S. Department of Education stands ready to help them”.

For schools and districts needing to update their policies to protect transgender students, GLSEN has a model policy available, developed in partnership with the National Center for Transgender Equality. The Model School District Policy on Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students outlines best practices for schools to ensure that all students are safe, included, and respected in school, regardless of their gender identity or expression. It is meant to be adaptable to the specific needs of local school districts, while keeping the original intent of the policy intact.

Violations of Title IX protections should be reported to the Office of Civil Rights. GLSEN has guidance on incident reporting available here.

Youth Sexual Health Resources

The 2014 Rational Inquirer has been released!

2014 Governor's Proclamation

Oregon Youth Sexual Health Plan

Model School District Policy on Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students