Video produced by Shelby Dechant, Andi Endruhn, Kennedy Enns, Mariam Taiwo and Robyn Welsh

A decision by the Calgary Board of Education has Calgarians talking about sex this week, mostly trying to remember what they learnt from sex-ed class in high school.

After 25 years of working with the Calgary Pregnancy Care Centre (CPCC), an organization that delivered curriculum in some schools, the CBE parted ways after concerns were voiced about the CPCC’s ties to a Christian charity with anti-abortion policies.

The story prompted Calgary Journal reporters to ask university students to reach back into their foggy memories of high school and recall their time in sex-ed class, however awkward, hilarious or exaggerated.  They also graded their experience.

Photo by Andi Endruhn

Courtney Erikson

School: Queen Elizabeth High School

System: Calgary Public

How would you rate your sex-ed experience on a grading scale from A to F?

Well, I went to a junior/senior high. I remember grades seven and eight they told us, “don’t have sex you’ll die” and “don’t you even think about it!” In grade nine, they actually try to treat you like an adult.

After that the only sex-ed you really get would be in CALM (Career and Life Management) class. Usually the person would be super chill and open to answering questions. So in junior high it’d probably be a D, and then a C in grade 9, and then a good B+ in CALM class.

Do you have any memories that stand out from sex-ed?

I think with sex-ed there’d always be one dude that always asked disgusting questions just to see if the teacher would answer it.

Was there anything that the teachers ever said that you didn’t agree with?

I’m very pro-choice and I think in junior high you could just get the vibe that they were very anti-choice. It puts a negative spin on it, especially in junior high a lot of people are in a vulnerable position and I think that negative atmosphere probably affected a lot of kids. I got a lot of sex-ed from the internet, but I know some kids probably aren’t so lucky.

Where did you go for sex-ed?

I remember Laci Green on Youtube. I still find sex-ed really interesting so also Sexplinations on Youtube. Just a lot of videos on Youtube and I think on Tumblr too. But I know a lot of boys learn from porn which isn’t very good.

Photo by Andi Endruhn

Azubike Osakwe

School: St. Francis High School

System: Calgary Catholic

How would you rate your sex-ed experience on a grading scale from A to F?

Maybe like an F? I don’t think I learned anything about sexual education in high school. After junior high we just kind of avoided it to be honest.

What did you learn in junior high?

Nothing really that I remember, just basic things. Like the difference is between female and male genitalia and stuff like that.

Do you have any memories that stand out from sex-ed?

No? I think I remember one of my teachers asking if we knew what the name of the male genitalia was and I was the first one to scream out “penis!” so that’s all I remember.

Where did you get your sex-ed then?

Usually from friends and talking about it here and there. I maybe had a talk with my parents once or twice when I was really young. But I feel like most of what I learned was from friends and my parents just told me stuff I had already learned.

Do you remember how they taught the classes and what they focused on?

The main idea was just to show us what everything was called and give us some general knowledge of how they worked, nothing more into detail than that. I don’t think they gave us any information about safe sex.

Photo by Andi Endruhn

Keeghan Rouleau

School: Homeschool

System: Calgary Board of Education (But no designated curriculum)

How would you rate your sex-ed experience on a grading scale from A to F?

A+. I did way better than most kids in formal school because it was just my parents. So I could learn about it whenever I wanted. I learned probably too young but other than that it was good.

Do you have any memories that stand out from sex-ed?

I remember learning a lot about pleasure and safety and not just about ‘use condoms or you’ll die.’ I learned how to make people feel good and about consent.

Editor’s Note: Interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity. Since the story was published, one interview has been removed for privacy reasons.

Editor: Nathan Kunz & Colin Macgillivray | & 

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