Freshmen at EHS deprived of important health instruction

Recently a new light has been shined on the deprivation of health instruction at EHS, which is an important factor in young adults’ schooling


All around the nation states still require health and sexual education to be taught to young adults, particularly to students just beginning high school. At EHS a new question arises: Should EHS  be teaching freshmen at EHS sexual education and basic health classes?

The short answer to this is yes, but with opt-out forms and new light on whether or not these classes are actually taught to freshmen, this question is under scrutiny. The importance of teaching freshmen sexual education is massively important, and if it is not being done, what truly are the consequences?

Young adults will learn that not learning about the effects of drug use, not being taught accurate information about sex, and not learning the importance of health and general tools to be used all throughout life will have consequences.

In the past, students have had a full semester-long health class, but these long semester-separate classes are long gone from the modern high school curriculums. It is important to have a full long semester of a health class. Compromising and having a two-week-long health class or month-long class is depriving students of a better understanding of the standards. 

Health classes are being taught at EHS right now but for a one-week period. This isn’t beneficial for students today as the seniors of EHS’s health curriculum looked very different three years ago.Taking a zoomed-out focus it is easy to say Covid affected the health curriculum at EHS and in turn, allowed EHS to step back and diminish the curriculum for students. The fact of the matter is from freshmen and following classes,  students are being deprived of an important curriculum. 

Health class is massively important to the young adults of the nation. School-based learning helps adolescents acquire functional health knowledge and helps students to strengthen their attitudes, beliefs, and skills needed to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors throughout their lives.

Prior to 2010, a full-semester health class was taught for sophomores at Eaton High School. Chad Shaw was a teacher for this class, Shaw said, “The full semester health class was removed from the curriculum as more social studies classes were going to be offered, a full semester class was important because there are so many topics to cover in health class, it is not beneficial for the students to have a shortened health curriculum.”

After 2008, Eaton High School moved the curriculum to be taught through freshman P.E. every Monday of the semester. Still, this class was not entirely beneficial to students, but it was a better curriculum choice.

The current seniors of EHS were the last students to experience this kind of health curriculum. Senior Copeland said, “It was a good experience, the pictures were pretty gross, but it made me realize how bad it could be if you aren’t safe, it provided me knowledge that would make an awkward conversation with my parents if I had not been taught then.” 

Once seniors moved on from their freshman year, the health curriculum was changed once again after Covid protocols brought some unseen problems with the instruction of the health curriculum. The majority of sophomores and juniors in EHS do not recall a sufficient health curriculum at all. Juniors and Sophomores of EHS recall a brief review of automobile and drug safety. 

What are the curriculum requirements for health classes in Colorado, though? Marcy Sanger, Director of Student Services, is a part of curriculum review, Sanger said, “When our teachers and staff work through a curriculum review (meaning they are reviewing the current curriculum to determine if it still best fits our students’ needs or if it needs to be replaced) there are a variety of tools that they utilize.  The main resource is the Colorado State Standards for the content that they are reviewing.” 

To be simply put, the state of Colorado requires that students apprehend how to make decisions that promote healthy sexual and relationship health, utilize knowledge to promote healthy life decisions, apply personal health decisions, and overall lead students to a healthy lifestyle.

The state of Colorado does not require a certain exact time period that the health curriculum must take up. At EHS, the question is not a question of whether or not the curriculum is being taught long enough, but if students are receiving the necessary length of the health curriculum to fully understand the standards of comprehensive health.

Students at EHS as of now do not have a long enough curriculum time to fully fill these standards in a two-week period. Freshman P.E. teacher, Allie Duncan has observed and instructed both curriculums. Duncan said, “We use Weld Waits to talk about social media, drugs and alcohol, and healthy relationships, and we will touch on the STD/STI information, our instructor from Weld Waits will come in for two days.”

Weld Waits is a program that focuses on consequence prevention through a sexual risk avoidance program. Weld Waits teaches an abstinence program through EHS simply. In a modern world, in 2023, students would benefit more from accepting that sex does happen at one point, but it is what one does to prevent STIs, STDs, and teen pregnancy. 

A speaker from Weld Waits for two days is also not enough for the freshman to effectively learn about sexual education. Covid protocol did disrupt the normal health curriculum, but still is two weeks sufficient enough to learn the entire scope of comprehensive health? 

The new health curriculum, the bottom line, is not sufficient for freshmen at EHS. The majority of students now in Eaton High School were deprived of a full semester health class that sufficiently outlines and instructs all topics involved in comprehensive health.

A two-week health “unit” or week-by-week curriculum is not the answer for the students of EHS. Unfortunately, neither is a full semester class, but there is absolutely no doubt that the students and freshmen involved with a changed health curriculum are being deprived of all the necessary health information. The answer to not necessarily to alter the health curriculum at EHS again but to solve a way to appropriately teach the present and future freshman classes all the health curriculum has to offer.