Essay advocating for health education in schools


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Paper details:

The national YRBS is conducted every two years during the spring semester and provides data representative of 9th through 12th grade students in public and private schools throughout the United States.

The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors six categories of health-related behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability among youth and adults, including:

Behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence.
Sexual behaviors related to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV infection.
Alcohol and other drug use.
Tobacco use.
Unhealthy dietary behaviors.
Inadequate physical activity.
YRBSS Main site: (Links to an external site.)

YRBSS 2019 full report: (Links to an external site.)

At this link you can find topic specific reports as well as trend reports: (Links to an external site.)


Let’s say your school district is considering eliminating health as a required course in the curriculum. As a public health educator you have been asked to prepare a 5 minute statement (about 2 full pages no more than 3 pages, double spaced) to help advocate for health education in schools. Use data from the YRBSS to add data to your statement, To write your statement, consider the following questions or topics:

Introduce yourself and the purpose of your statement
Describe health and briefly explain the goal and purpose of health education.
State why health education should be included in the curriulum.
Address when health education should begin and how frequently should health education take place.
Highlight the topics that should be included in the curriculum. You may approach this topic advocating for a full range of health topics (such as the 6 topics covered in the YRBSS) or you can advocate for the inclusion of a minimum of two particular topics in the health curriculum. Be sure to explain why these topics should be included. What does the data say about this issue? Include at least 4 examples of data to support your points.
Conclude with a strong closing statement the reiterates your first paragraph.
Important: Use the YRBSS data to support your responses. For example, the following is an argument without evidence to support your point:

“Health education in high school should include sex education because the YRBSS data shows that the percent of sexually active teens increases with grade level.”

By adding evidence/data, the statement is more powerful, more accurate, and evidence-based. Such as:

“Health education in high school should include sex education because the YRBSS 2019 data shows that “the prevalence of having ever had sexual intercourse was higher among 10th-grade (33.6%), 11th-grade (46.5%), and 12th-grade (56.7%) than 9th-grade (19.2%) students.”


Work independently
For this assignment you can reference the source of your data as shown in the example above but you are NOT required to have a references page.
Submit on Canvas
Consult Canvas for the due date and time


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