Sophomore Health Changes Course



   In this generation, “PG-13 content” can be learned through movies, Google, social media, and basically anywhere on the
Internet. Because of this, this year Pinewood’s health teacher Tina Maier has altered the sophomores’ health class to be centered around personal safety and protecting yourself in dangerous situations in addition to going more in
depth about the concepts sophomores are already aware of.

   “When I was here 10 years ago, I really had to start at the beginning when I talked about sex ed or drug awareness. Ten years later, you guys are very savvy, so I have to change the curriculum to keep up with what’s new out there and what’s changing about the class as a whole,” Maier said.

   As the sophomores become upperclassmen and then college students, they will find themselves in situations that are hard to get out of. Maier has realized high schoolers sometimes make brash actions in these types of situations and do not weigh long term consequences, so she decided to teach the grade how to react and to trust themselves in making
good decisions.

   Maier hopes to shed light on different genders, identities, and terms to create a community of tolerance. For example, she defined pansexuality, asexuality, transgender, and other similar words to help clear any confusion or maybe even help someone identify as one of these. She has found that while some of the information is scary, people have been very receptive.

   With the news showing cases of rape or social media teaching teenagers about sex, one thing Maier hopes to get through to the sophomores is how severe and terrible rape culture and the concept of “slut shaming” is. For example, when someone is raped, the media tends to put the blame
on the girl wearing the short skirt or having one too many drinks. She emphasizes that women can also rape men, men can rape men, and women can rape women.
On the flipside, Maier hopes to educate everyone so they know not to take advantage of others or try to send out the
wrong message.

   Some students, however, did not feel this was a strong enough change from the past years or from what they had
already known.

   “There is more to health than the basics and statistics about alcohol, drugs, and sex… Health also includes leading a healthy lifestyle with exercise and nutrition and the different bones in our body,” sophomore Kendall Cook said.

   Sophomore Zarin Mohsenin suggested  discussing topics such as getting a job, paying taxes, or dealing with social situations around school. Sophomore Helena Merk proposed for there to be a class period where students can write down questions anonymously for Maier to answer.

   In a two-week period, it is hard to cover every question that a student might have. Maier has been forced to focus on the most important concepts to cover. When it comes down to it, Maier feels that staying safe and being aware of what is going on in the world trumps anything else.