Yes, HealthSmart is intended to be inclusive and support all students in establishing healthy behaviors. It also specifically addresses demonstrating respect for different aspects of sexuality.
Lessons in the Emotional & Mental Health content area at Grades K–5 help build a foundation for respecting self and others as well as accepting and celebrating differences. Grade 5 includes a lesson on gender roles and gender expression. At the middle and high school levels, language around dating relationships and feelings of attraction has been carefully chosen to avoid making assumptions about sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition, roleplays involving relationships and many of the relationship case study examples use gender-neutral names to avoid assigning a specific gender identity or sexual orientation to the characters, so that all students can feel represented. Teacher notes alert teachers to places they can model respect for differences around aspects of sexuality.
The sexual health units in middle and high school in particular help address the needs of LGBTQ+ students in the following ways:
- The Abstinence, Puberty & Personal Health unit for middle school, and the Abstinence, Personal & Sexual Health unit for high school both include discussion of different aspects of sexuality, including sexual orientation and gender identity.
- The lessons on reproductive anatomy are now presented in a non-binary way to allow all students to feel represented.
- The HIV, STI & Pregnancy Prevention unit in middle school includes a lesson on Stopping Sexual Stereotypes, which teaches about different aspects of sexuality, and how to recognize and challenge stereotypes based on gender roles or sexual identity.
- The HIV, STI & Pregnancy Prevention unit in high school includes a lesson on Respecting Sexual Differences, which teaches about different aspects of sexuality and promotes understanding and respect for those differences.
- Throughout the program, language around dating relationships and feelings of attraction has been carefully chosen. Roleplays and relationship case study examples use gender-neutral names and include some same-sex couple examples.
- Teacher notes alert teachers to places they can model respect for differences around aspects of sexuality.