MABTON – The Mabton School District is one of 16 districts in Washington state to be awarded grant funding for sex education classes.
The grant, provided by the Centers for Disease Control, has been awarded to the school districts for the purpose of improving sexual health education.
Mabton Superintendent of Schools Minerva Morales said the five-year grant will help assess the sexual education needs of students at Mabton Junior/Senior High School.
She said the first year of the grant will involve a study and analysis of those needs. The Healthy Youth Survey is one tool the district will use to analyze the needs of the students. The district will receive $500 for the work.
The Mabton School District will receive as much as $10,000 for the remaining four years of the grant.
Morales said, “In the ensuing years we will look at the data to develop, adopt and potentially implement a sexual education program.”
She said the program will be grade specific “…and evidence-based.”
The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction will provide the school district support to ensure staff is highly qualified and has the tools necessary to best meet the needs of students, including project planning and policy reviews.
“The ultimate purpose is educating students on the risks associated with early onset sexual activity and to improve the sexual health of students by delaying the onset of sexual activity,” said Morales.
She said teen pregnancies in the Mabton School District have declined over the past several years via a partnership between School Nurse Cindy Howe and Planned Parenthood. The district would like to continue providing students with the education that will further stem at-risk behaviors, according to Morales.