Did you know that California requires public high schools to teach affirmative consent, also known as “yes means yes”?

SB 695, signed into law in October 2015, “requires public high schools to develop curriculum that covers “yes means yes,” the consequences of sexual violence and how to develop healthy peer relationships built on mutual respect.” This bill, coupled with the California Healthy Youth Act, is designed to make consent and healthy relationships a major part of sex education in the state.

As this bill was being rolled out, I was thrilled to be part of a panel on KALW’s City Visions. The panel features:

  • Shafia Zaloom, a teacher and administrator at Bay Area schools for 20 years and currently a Health Educator at the Urban School in San Francisco, where she creates and oversees all student and parent health education.
  • Hanna Pastrano, a City College student who works with Expect Respect San Francisco, which offers “healthy relationship workshops” to every freshman health class within the San Francisco Unified School District.
  • Sofie Karasek, an anti-sexual violence activist and a co-founder of End Rape on Campus. Prior to her graduation from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015, she spearheaded several federal complaints against Berkeley and has assisted students nationwide in holding universities accountable to Title IX. Sofie has also been a leading advocate for California’s groundbreaking affirmative consent law.
  • And me: Christopher Pepper, a Teacher on Special Assignment with the San Francisco Unified School District, where I help coordinate the district’s high school sexuality education and HIV prevention efforts.