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Students Critique D.C. Sexual Health Education in New Study

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A D.C. council member says a new study of students and school nurses is helping determine ways to improve sexual health education.

230 students participated in focus groups and more than 120 others were surveyed in the study.

Councilman David Catania chairs the committee responsible for the project. "We have long had a problem with STI rates among our young people but we simply have not done much about it," said Catania.

Students said they prefer Trojan or Magnum brand condoms, even though D.C. Public Schools distribute the Durex brand. Generally, students said they were disappointed with school health education classes and prefer peer-led programs or interactive workshops. They also considered school nurses were inaccessible, untrustworthy and judgmental.

"We've got very bright young people who are looking for tools to make smart choices and adults have simply failed them."

Catania said the council now has close to 50 action items, or next steps, to improve health education in the District. His committee will delegate responsibility among District agencies and community groups.

Rebecca Blatt reports...

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