This High School Senior Is Fighting For Better Sex Education in His State

Anyone who thinks the youth of today are lazy and entitled has not heard of KC Miller. Miller, a high school senior in Pennsylvania, is busy with the usual high school things like studying, applying for college, running a nonprofit and drafting legislation.

Like many other students and parents alike, Miller doesn’t think the sex education in his state is adequately educating students about critical health issues. That’s why he founded the Keystone Coalition for Advancing Sex Education (CASE), a grassroots organization that advocates for comprehensive, LGBTQ-inclusive sex ed.

Currently, his state’s sex ed guidelines only require schools to teach about STDs which, according to Miller, is simply not enough. There’s no discussion happening in these schools about consent, sexual violence or healthy relationships and LGBTQ students are left out of the conversation altogether.

“When I learned the stories of women—my best friends—who had experienced sexual violence, I was horrified, to say the least,” Miller told Broadly. “But their stories awoke the activist inside me. I knew it would be impossible to magically make their pain disappear, but I realized—in my own way—I could help prevent future assaults through activism.”

Through Keystone CASE, Miller aims to “connect with local advocacy organizations to obtain endorsements for our mission to advance sex education and enact the Pennsylvania Healthy Youth Act.”

Miller wrote the Pennsylvania Healthy Youth Act to make comprehensive sex-ed mandatory in Pennsylvania schools. He modeled the bill after the California Healthy Youth Act which was enacted in 2015, and the unsuccessful Pennsylvania Healthy Youth Act of 2009.

Miller believes that improving sex ed to include lessons on consent and sexual assault can deter sexual violence and help keep students safe. Not only that, comprehensive sex ed is proven more effective than abstinence-only sex ed at preventing teen pregnancy.

As a gay student, Miller also saw for himself how poorly the current programs serve LGBTQ students, who he feels are being entirely neglected.

Unfortunately, lawmakers are “notably absent” from the movement. Miller believes most are too scared to be involved in changing sex ed because of backlash from religious conservatives.

“My message to lawmakers is simple: Get involved now,” says Miller. “Abstinence-only and abstinence-based programs are a public health crisis. We’ve got to act now and equip our youth with knowledge about their bodies to stay safe.”

Miller’s work is already gaining traction and recognition. He received the Young Heroes Award from the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia in August. RuPaul’s Drag Race runner-up Miss Peppermint has endorsed his nonprofit and Sexual Assault Survivors & Supporters (SASS) endorsed his legislation.

Currently, Miller is working to partner with other organizations and assemble a Board of Directors with parents, activists, students and health professionals. He’s also applying to nursing schools.

“In the end, I simply want to empower people with the tools to keep their bodies happy, safe, and healthy.”

Photo Credit: Keystone CASE

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