Students in Comparative Politics visited the Massachusetts State House to meet with Senate President Karen Spilka and talk about their work advocating for the passage of the Healthy Youth Act, officially known as S.268 and H.544. The bill would mandate that all public schools in Massachusetts would have to teach comprehensive and inclusive sex education that is both medically accurate and LGBTQ+ inclusive as well as discuss information about healthy relationships.
Before the field trip, the students collaborated on defining the problem and reason for why this bill needs to be passed, identifying the different stakeholders, and exploring curriculum in other states and districts. They then came up with their own recommendations for the legislatures. This research culminated in the students writing a joint declaration highlighting the importance of this bill and the specific demands they hope to see included in it. They sent their declaration to all House of Representative and Senate members.
“It was inspiring to see the students come together and collaborate to bring awareness and advocacy for the passage of the Healthy Youth Act,” said Upper School Social Studies teacher Marianna Paone. “I was particularly impressed by their persistent passion and spirited discussion coming up with their recommendations to the State legislatures. I believe that through this project, students were able to see the importance of speaking up in support for important causes and that their advocacy work can make a difference — and that their voices matter.”