This week, RETA staff Jeff and Joni headed to Elkhart Memorial High School to talk about Healthy Sexual Boundaries Education. RETA has the awesome opportunity to partner with area schools to present the positive choice of abstinence, as abstinence education is required by the state of Indiana to be taught.
Jeff and Joni's purpose in speaking with teenage students was to educate them on what having healthy sexual boundaries means and what risks there are from being sexually active outside of marriage. They presented the information to provide students examples of how their lives can be affected by their choices.
On the first day of presenting, Joni and Jeff explained what healthy sexual boundaries are and what it looks like for the students to practically set up boundaries in their lives.
“These are choices they need to make for themselves, it’s not silly or dumb to say no”
- Teacher, Elkhart Memorial High School
Jeff and Joni wanted the students to know that it is okay to say no to sexual activity and explained the risks that come with deciding to be sexually active. One activity that stood out during their presentation included Starburst candies. The Starburst activity had the students take a single Starburst, put it in their mouths without chewing, then putting the un-chewed candy into a bag with the rest of the class's. Making a point from the activity, Joni would ask a student to take a Starburst out of the bag and eat it. Joni was not actually going to make students eat the candy, of course. When the student denied eating a Starburst because of germs from others, it helped prove her point that if you did not want to share a piece of candy someone had in their mouth because of bodily fluids, it's no different from sharing bodily fluids during sexual activity.
Continuing with the interactive demonstration, Joni and Jeff moved from Starbursts to BB's. The activity showed the students the number of people they could be exposed to if they decided to be sexually active before marriage and if their partner was sexually active with others. The BB activity gave a visual aid to students about what they are exposed to when having multiple sexual partners. Wrapping up the first day of presenting, Joni and Jeff gave more information regarding statistics about the amount of teens having sex, adoption and abortion. These statistics helped students understand what was really happening with others their age.
To begin the second day of presenting, Jeff started out with an activity where students could understand how their choices affect their path in life. For the purpose of the class, they focused on how sexual activities could affect their future marriage and future plans. One example Jeff gave was helping students think through having a sexual relationship with a person who was not their spouse. He had the students explain how they thought it would affect their life path and their future marriage. The activity helped students think through real-life situations, enabling them to understand how their choices can affect the rest of their lives.
Jeff and Joni wrapped up the two days by having students write on a note card what their personal boundaries would be. Jeff read the anonymous boundaries to the class some to help the students understand they are not alone in having boundaries. Jeff said,
“One example that we have had in the past was that someone’s boundary was abstinence.”
When students know their boundaries and have them in place, they're more likely to follow them if they didn't have any going into a potentially bad situation.
When asked why RETA is invited to speak, the teacher said,
“Kids need to hear about all of this. It’s not made up, it is real life”.
It absolutely is real life. We're so glad to be able to partner with local schools and churches to help teens think through the choices they're making and how they can affect the rest of their lives.
Click here to learn more about our Healthy Sexual Boundaries Education program.