Legislature(2019 - 2020)DAVIS 106

02/18/2020 03:00 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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Audio Topic
03:08:30 PM Start
03:09:10 PM Presentation: Statewide Suicide Prevention Council
04:19:22 PM Presentation: Improving Public Health and Comprehensive Sex Education
04:53:09 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Teleconference <Listen Only> --
+ Presentations: TELECONFERENCED
- Improving public health with comprehensive sex
education by
Samantha McNelly, Zoe Kaplan, Sammy Stevens, &
Zafara Strain; Anchorage Teen Council Members
Michaela Goodman, Juneau Teen Council Member
- Statewide Suicide Prevention Council by
Beverly Schoonover, Exec. Dir., Alaska Mental
Health Board & Advisory Board on Alcoholism &
Drug Abuse
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
      HOUSE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                     
                       February 18, 2020                                                                                        
                           3:08 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Tiffany Zulkosky, Chair                                                                                          
Representative Ivy Spohnholz, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                      
Representative Harriet Drummond                                                                                                 
Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                       
Representative Sharon Jackson                                                                                                   
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION: STATEWIDE SUICIDE PREVENTION COUNCIL                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION: IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH AND COMPREHENSIVE SEX                                                                     
EDUCATION                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BEVERLY SCHOONOVER, Executive Director                                                                                          
Statewide Suicide Prevention Council                                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented a PowerPoint titled "Statewide                                                                 
Suicide Prevention Council.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SHARON FISHEL, Education Specialist                                                                                             
IEE- School Health and Professional Development                                                                                 
Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Testified   during  the  presentation  on                                                             
suicide prevention.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REBECCA PIATT, Counseling Coordinator                                                                                           
Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District                                                                                       
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified during  the presentation  on the                                                             
Statewide Suicide Prevention Council.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
KRISTIN GAROT, Principal                                                                                                        
Yaakoosge Daakahidi High School                                                                                                 
Juneau School District                                                                                                          
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Testified   during  the  presentation  on                                                             
suicide prevention.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MAX WHEAT, Student                                                                                                              
Yaakoosge Daakahidi High School                                                                                                 
Juneau School District Juneau, Alaska                                                                                           
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Testified   during  the  presentation  on                                                             
suicide prevention.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MELISSA LINTON, Curriculum Coordinator                                                                                          
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District                                                                                         
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Testified   during  the  presentation  on                                                             
suicide prevention.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
KAEGAN KOSKI, Student                                                                                                           
River City Academy                                                                                                              
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District                                                                                         
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Testified   during  the  presentation  on                                                             
suicide prevention.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEGHAN CROW, Lead School Social Worker                                                                                          
Lower Kuskakwim School District                                                                                                 
Bethel, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Testified   during  the  presentation  on                                                             
suicide prevention.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SAMANTHA McNELLY, Facilitator                                                                                                   
Anchorage Teen Council                                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Presented a  PowerPoint titled  "Improving                                                             
Public Health and Comprehensive Sex Education."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
ZOE KAPLAN                                                                                                                      
Anchorage Teen Council                                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:       Testified   during   the   PowerPoint                                                             
presentation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MICHAELA GOODMAN                                                                                                                
Juneau Teen Council                                                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION   STATEMENT:       Testified   during   the   PowerPoint                                                             
presentation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ZAFARA STRAIN                                                                                                                   
Anchorage Teen Council                                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:       Testified   during   the   PowerPoint                                                             
presentation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SAMMY STEVENS                                                                                                                   
Anchorage Teen Council                                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:       Testified   during   the   PowerPoint                                                             
presentation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:08:30 PM                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
CHAIR  TIFFANY  ZULKOSKY  called  the  House  Health  and  Social                                                             
Services  Standing  Committee  meeting  to  order  at  3:08  p.m.                                                               
Representatives  Zulkosky,   Drummond,  Tarr,  and   Claman  were                                                               
present  at  the  call  to  order.    Representatives  Spohnholz,                                                               
Jackson, and Pruitt arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
^Presentation: Statewide Suicide Prevention Council                                                                           
       Presentation: Statewide Suicide Prevention Council                                                                   
                                                                                                                              
3:09:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ZULKOSKY announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be a presentation by the Statewide Suicide Prevention Council.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:09:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BEVERLY   SCHOONOVER,  Executive   Director,  Statewide   Suicide                                                               
Prevention  Council,  presented  a PowerPoint  titled  "Statewide                                                               
Suicide  Prevention Council."   She  shared slide  1, "Behavioral                                                               
Health   Advisory  Boards   and  Councils,which      listed   the                                                               
Behavioral  Health  Advisory  Boards,  noting that  she  was  the                                                               
director  of  all three  boards:    Alaska Mental  Health  Board,                                                               
Advisory Board  on Alcoholism and  Drug Abuse, and  the Statewide                                                               
Suicide  Prevention  Council.    She  added  that  these  citizen                                                               
advisory  members  were all  Alaskan  with  lived experience  and                                                               
expertise related  to mental health, substance  use, and suicide,                                                               
and  were appointed  by the  governor.   She explained  that they                                                               
advised,  educated,  and   collaborated  with  multiple  partners                                                               
regarding state  funded behavioral  health services.   She shared                                                               
slide   2,  "Statewide   Suicide  Prevention   Council  Meeting,                                                                
reporting  that the  council  was  in statute  and  served in  an                                                               
advisory  capacity  to  the legislature  and  governor  regarding                                                               
suicide  awareness and  prevention.   She said  that they  meet 4                                                               
times  annually, had  1 paid  staff, and  17 council  members, of                                                               
which 13 were voting members,  with 2 non-voting members from the                                                               
Alaska  House of  Representatives and  2 non-voting  members from                                                               
the  Alaska  Senate.    She  pointed out  that  of  these  voting                                                               
members,  there  were  specific seats  established,  including  a                                                               
military seat,  a youth seat,  a suicide survivor seat,  a clergy                                                               
seat,  a  rural  seat,  and  a seat  recommended  by  the  Alaska                                                               
Federation of  Natives.  She declared  that the main duty  was to                                                               
work with  Alaskans statewide  to create  and maintain  the five-                                                               
year suicide  prevention plan and  to collaborate  with statewide                                                               
partners for the on the groundwork of suicide prevention.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHOONOVER reported that, in  the Centers for Disease Control                                                               
(CDC) list of  state suicide rates, Alaska was always  in the top                                                               
three  for highest,  and  currently was  in  second place  behind                                                               
Montana.   She  declared that  the data  on the  following graphs                                                               
were for  Alaskans, and  she shared  slide 5,   Intentional Self-                                                               
Harm  Mortality by  Year,   a bar  graph  listing Alaska  suicide                                                               
deaths, rate  per 100,000,  and the U.S.  suicide rate  each year                                                               
from 2009 to  2018.  She pointed out that  although the number of                                                               
deaths were  low, as Alaska has  a small population, the  rate of                                                               
suicide was high, adding that one  death by suicide in Alaska has                                                               
huge and lasting impacts in the community.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:14:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.   SCHOONOVER  presented   slide  6,   "Intentional  Self-Harm                                                               
Mortality by Race,    a graph which also depicted  2009 - 2018 in                                                               
Alaska.   This graph compared  Alaska Indian/Alaska  Native rate,                                                               
the non-Alaska  Indian/Alaska Native  rate, the Alaska  rate, and                                                               
the U.S.  rate.   She pointed  out that  the Alaska  Natives were                                                               
most  at risk  for  suicide in  Alaska, a  huge  concern for  the                                                               
council.   She reported that the  council had an annual  booth at                                                               
the Alaska  Federation of Natives, conducted  outreach to tribes,                                                               
and was always  looking for more ways to partner  with tribes and                                                               
tribal citizens.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. SCHOONOVER  shared slide 7, "Intentional  Self-Harm Mortality                                                               
by Region,  a bar graph  showing suicide deaths and the statewide                                                               
rate.    She pointed  out  that,  although the  Matanuska-Susitna                                                               
region had the  highest number of deaths, it did  not have a high                                                               
rate of  suicide per  100,000 people.   She reported  that Alaska                                                               
Natives living  in the  northern regions,  such as  Nome, Bethel,                                                               
and Dillingham,  were the  most at-risk for  suicide.   She added                                                               
that  these  areas  were  the most  challenging  to  receive  and                                                               
provide  services  and  support.    She  moved  on  to  slide  8,                                                               
"Intentional Self-Harm  Mortality by  Age Group,noting    that it                                                               
was necessary  to consider Adverse Childhood  Experiences (ACEs),                                                               
historical  trauma,   racism,  and   economic  disparity.     She                                                               
emphasized that it was necessary  to have dedicated resources and                                                               
focused efforts in  the rural Alaskan communities.   She directed                                                               
attention to  the bar graph, pointing  to the spikes in  the 15 -                                                               
29  age group,  as suicide  was the  leading cause  of death  for                                                               
Alaskans age 15  - 19.  She expressed concern  with the rates and                                                               
discussed the focus  for youth intervention in the  schools.  She                                                               
relayed  that  the  prevention  plan  supported  early  childhood                                                               
interventions to reduce  ACEs.  She added that  there was concern                                                               
for the  spike in  the 60 -  79-year-old population,  noting that                                                               
the  council had  addressed this  with the  Alaska Commission  on                                                               
Aging with a hope to partner on some projects.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SCHOONOVER  directed  attention  to  slide  9,  "Youth  Risk                                                               
Behavior  Survey  (YRBS),"  a  survey of  Alaska  teens  in  both                                                               
traditional and  alternative high schools, done  every other year                                                               
with parental consent.  She  reported that, since 2009, the rates                                                               
of depression and attempted suicide  had grown dramatically.  She                                                               
noted that  there was improvement,  however, with a  reduction in                                                               
tobacco use and  youth drinking.  She declared that  this was the                                                               
most   important  data   for   school-based  suicide   prevention                                                               
programs.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:18:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ZULKOSKY asked  if the YRBS survey  was facilitated through                                                               
the state-wide council and what was the total number of surveys.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SHARON  FISHEL,  Education  Specialist, IEE-  School  Health  and                                                               
Professional  Development,  Department  of  Education  and  Early                                                               
Development (DEED), in response to  Chair Zulkosky, said that the                                                               
Division of  Public Health conducted the  survey in collaboration                                                               
with the  schools and  the DEED.   She added  that the  2019 data                                                               
would soon be available.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:18:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  reported that  nationwide rates  for suicide                                                               
were "really  skyrocketing," adding  that this  had been  a trend                                                               
for the  last number of years.   She pointed out  that the Alaska                                                               
rate had  plateaued whereas the  national trends  were continuing                                                               
to rise, and that this spoke  to the importance of the prevention                                                               
work.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:19:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. FISHEL  presented slide 10,  "Suicide Awareness  Prevention &                                                               
Postvention  Program,and    slide 11,  "Reducing Youth  Suicide                                                                 
SAPP Grantees.    She reported  that funding through  the Suicide                                                               
Prevention Council had been the  primary funding for school based                                                               
mental  health programming,  which  included suicide  prevention,                                                               
intervention, postvention and trauma work.   She pointed out that                                                               
there  was not  any other  dedicated funding  to meet  this need,                                                               
noting  that  this  work  had  reached  all  of  Alaska's  school                                                               
districts in  some form with  more than 23,000  online e-learning                                                               
users.    She  clarified  that   these  SAPP  (Suicide  Awareness                                                               
Prevention  & Postvention  Program) grants  were really  the SAPP                                                               
program.   She reported that  the program  provided opportunities                                                               
for  schools to  support  programs, practices  and policies  that                                                               
focused  on  the  areas  that   were  related  to  state  suicide                                                               
prevention plans, goals,  and strategies.  She  stated that these                                                               
programs provided  an action  plan, parts of  which also  met the                                                               
statewide Suicide Prevention Plan.   She listed the SAPP grantees                                                               
for FY20,  which included schools  in Juneau,  Petersburg, Kenai,                                                               
Bering  Straits, and  North  Slope.   Almost  all these  programs                                                               
included peer to peer work.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FISHEL paraphrased  slide 12,  "Statewide Crisis  Response                                                                 
SAPP Program,which read:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     In   addition   to   the   more   traditional   suicide                                                                    
     programming  DEED administers  through district  grants                                                                    
     and  training,  DEED  is  often   able  to  respond  to                                                                    
     unforeseeable district  crisis with this  funding. DEED                                                                    
     can authorize  grant funds to  be allocated  for crisis                                                                    
        counseling and even provide funding for external                                                                        
     counseling support to a school in crisis.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FISHEL  stated that  this  funding  also provided  statewide                                                               
support by having  staff that could respond  to district requests                                                               
for support  during a crisis,  including a mental  health crisis,                                                               
suicide  crisis, counseling  support,  and technical  assistance.                                                               
She shared  anecdotes for responses  to four different  crises in                                                               
the past  two weeks, as  well as  an earlier incident  of suicide                                                               
and attempted suicide in a  school in December.  She acknowledged                                                               
that, as she was the only  staffer at Department of Education and                                                               
Early Development  to do behavioral health  which included mental                                                               
health,  suicide prevention,  trauma,  and  substance abuse,  she                                                               
also worked with school counselors statewide.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:26:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FISHEL moved  on  to paraphrase  slide  13, "DEED  eLearning                                                               
Suicide Resources (Statewide), which read in part:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Staff Trainings                                                                                                            
       Part A: Suicide Awareness                                                                                                
       Part B: Suicide Prevention                                                                                               
       Part C: Suicide Intervention                                                                                             
       Part D: Responding to Suicide-Postvention                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FISHEL said  that this  training was  in response  to Senate                                                               
Bill 36  in 2012  which required that  all school  district staff                                                               
receive  suicide awareness  prevention and  postvention training.                                                               
She  added that  these were  online courses  available to  anyone                                                               
statewide.    She  reported  that   there  was  a  collection  of                                                               
professional  development  resources  for the  districts,  noting                                                               
that since  July 1, 2019, 5600  educators had taken at  least one                                                               
of the suicide courses.  She  shared that 195 educators had taken                                                               
the student lessons listed on slide 13, , which read:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
       Student Lessons: Navigating Transitions: Promoting                                                                       
     Wellness to Prevent Suicide                                                                                                
     Grades 5-12                                                                                                                
        All lessons align with the Alaska State Suicide                                                                         
     Prevention Plan                                                                                                            
       Each course contains printable instruction sheets                                                                        
     for the teacher/instructor                                                                                                 
         Age-appropriate objectives aimed at promoting                                                                          
     resilience and preventing suicide.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FISHEL explained  that five  counselors from  the Matanuska-                                                               
Susitna  School District  had helped  create  these lessons,  the                                                               
first  online lessons  for  students  around suicide  prevention.                                                               
She added that  about 150 students from this  school district had                                                               
been  trained to  deliver these  peer  to peer  model lessons  to                                                               
other students,  with some of  these students going  to Anchorage                                                               
to train other students to deliver these lessons.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. FISHEL shared slide 14,  "Transforming Schools:" stating that                                                               
Alaskan students  endured an  extremely high  rate of  trauma and                                                               
ACEs.   She reported that  one of two  youth in Alaska  had lived                                                               
through one or more ACEs  by the beginning of kindergarten, while                                                               
two of  three youth  will have  one or  more ACEs  by graduation.                                                               
She  explained  that  this  framework was  a  result  of  lessons                                                               
learned by  school staff and  community members in  Alaska, using                                                               
stories,  research,  and  best   practice,  to  improve  academic                                                               
outcomes and well-being  for all students, adding  that more than                                                               
2500  copies of  this framework  had been  distributed throughout                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:30:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. FISHEL  shared slide 15,  "DEED eLearning  Trauma Resources,                                                                
stating that  the online lessons  for suicide prevention  and the                                                               
trauma lessons  were all paid for  out of the DEED  funding.  She                                                               
pointed  to  the  micro courses,  including  classroom  practice,                                                               
self-regulation,    mind   body    connection,   and    emotional                                                               
intelligence,  which  she  described   as  "hands  on  tools  and                                                               
activities  that  teachers  and   educators  can  do  with  their                                                               
students  in the  classroom."   She  pointed to  the new  courses                                                               
listed on the slide, which read:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Five new courses coming Winter/Spring 2020                                                                                 
         Childhood traumatic grief for school personnel                                                                         
     (Live)                                                                                                                     
       a Guide to Family Partnerships (Live)                                                                                    
       Self Care for Educators                                                                                                  
       Birth to 5 Trauma Engaged Practices                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FISHEL   reported  that  the  self-care   chapter  was  most                                                               
requested for training.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY  asked  if  the   framework  for  trauma  engaged                                                               
practice was  used as a tool  by school boards and  teachers as a                                                               
resource  to implement  trauma engaged  environments.   She asked                                                               
for any statistics that this  had been used for developing models                                                               
statewide.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FISHEL  reported  that the  Bering  Strait  school  district                                                               
offered  a copy  of the  document to  every educational  staffer.                                                               
She added that  the Fairbanks North Star  Borough School District                                                               
had  requested 500  copies of  the framework,  and that  requests                                                               
were  coming  in soon  from  the  Anchorage and  Lower  Kuskokwim                                                               
School Districts.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. FISHEL declared  that, although this was not a  lot of money,                                                               
there  was a  lot done  with the  money.   She shared  a personal                                                               
anecdote about suicide in her family.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:35:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SCHOONOVER  concluded  with  slide  17,  "Statewide  Suicide                                                               
Prevention Council  2020 Activities, which read:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
       Reducing Lethal Means Campaign                                                                                           
       Careline Promotion                                                                                                       
       "Recasting the Net- Promoting Wellness to Prevent                                                                        
    Suicide   in   Alaska"-    Statewide   planning,   data                                                                     
     collection and assessment                                                                                                  
       Statewide Suicide Prevention Collaboration                                                                               
       Division of Behavioral Health                                                                                            
       Division of Public Health                                                                                                
       Office of Substance Misuse and Prevention                                                                                
       Department of Education and Early Development                                                                            
       Alaska Mental Health Trust                                                                                               
       Ongoing partnerships and collaboration with local                                                                        
     suicide prevention groups, partners and programs                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:39:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:39:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REBECCA PIATT, Counseling  Coordinator, Matanuska-Susitna Borough                                                               
School  District,   spoke  about  the  necessity   for  full  and                                                               
continued  funding  for  the  suicide  awareness  prevention  and                                                               
postvention (SAPP) program.   She reported that  her district had                                                               
been  a grantee  of  the  program for  multiple  cycles, and  the                                                               
district  SAPP  activities all  aligned  with  the state  suicide                                                               
prevention plan  strategies.  She  stated that some of  the major                                                               
deliverables  included explicit  suicide  prevention training  to                                                               
students  and  staff,  and   educational  programming  to  foster                                                               
resiliency,  connectedness,  and   social  emotional  skills  for                                                               
students in  some of  the alternative schools.   She  shared that                                                               
SAPP   funds  had   supported  the   development  of   navigating                                                               
transitions,  promoting wellness  to prevent  suicide, e-learning                                                               
modules  in collaboration  with the  Department of  Education and                                                               
Early Development, and free curriculum  for any Alaskan educator.                                                               
She spoke  about the major  goal for  the current grant  cycle to                                                               
expand  the reach  of the  navigating  transitions curriculum  by                                                               
using  a peer  to peer  training  model and  shared some  details                                                               
about the "saving teens at  risk" suicide prevention training for                                                               
student leaders  and staff  advisors.  She  shared that  the cost                                                               
for  this district  wide training  was about  $2.83 per  student.                                                               
She  declared  that  these  SAPP funded  efforts  were  making  a                                                               
difference, pointing  to the  increase in  the number  of suicide                                                               
interventions as students were recognizing  warning signs and had                                                               
the courage  and training to  speak up.   She shared  an anecdote                                                               
from her  school district.   She reported that the  youth suicide                                                               
indicators  in the  YSRB survey  reflected that  21.6 percent  of                                                               
high  school students  in  the  Matanuska-Susitna Borough  School                                                               
District  reported engagement  in suicide  consideration and  9.2                                                               
percent had reported an actual  suicide attempt.  She pointed out                                                               
that the statewide  averages were higher.  She  declared that, as                                                               
the  reach  of  the  SAPP   dollars  extended  farther  than  any                                                               
statistic  could  truly  show,  full and  continued  funding  was                                                               
important  to  support  the  suicide  prevention  activities  and                                                               
resources to promote the safety and well-being of the students.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY  asked if  there  had  been any  discussions  for                                                               
contributions to the rise in suicide across the state.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. PIATT, in  response, offered her belief  that, although there                                                               
was not  any officially  clear causation,  the ACEs  research had                                                               
brought  recognition   for  the  extent  of   trauma  within  the                                                               
community, with no discrimination.   She declared that there were                                                               
also "uphill  battles with substance  abuse issues in  our state"                                                               
which  did lead  to  suicidal  behavior.   She  relayed that  the                                                               
activities  tried  to address  these  issues  in order  to  build                                                               
connections  and  pipelines  toward  support  and  resources  for                                                               
healing.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:47:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KRISTIN  GAROT,  Principal,   Yaakoosge  Daakahidi  High  School,                                                               
Juneau  School District,  acknowledged that,  as Alaska  did have                                                               
one  of  the highest  rates  of  suicide  in the  U.S.,  targeted                                                               
intervention, support, and education  for high school students in                                                               
high  risk school  districts was  important.   She said  that the                                                               
SAPP program helped her school with  a grant of $25,000 which had                                                               
increased the  support for  student engagement  at school  and in                                                               
the  community,   as  well  as  providing   staff  training,  and                                                               
increasing  attendance and  positive connections.   She  reported                                                               
that  the  funding  had shown  success  for  student  engagement,                                                               
attendance,  and  graduation  rates.     She  relayed  that  more                                                               
students now shared  when they and their  friends were struggling                                                               
and asked for  help.  She declared that, without  the funding, it                                                               
was more difficult  to systematically fill the gaps,  so kids did                                                               
not "fall through the cracks."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:50:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MAX WHEAT, Student, Yaakoosge Daakahidi  High School, shared some                                                               
stories  about  his  participation in  leadership  circles  which                                                               
helped bring people in and make them  want to talk.  He said that                                                               
one person could make a difference,  and this was contagious.  He                                                               
declared  that  having a  trusting  relationship  with a  teacher                                                               
would allow someone  to talk about traumatic issues.   He offered                                                               
his belief  that the  program helped  "kids not  go on  that dark                                                               
side"  and "make  them  feel happy  about life."    He shared  an                                                               
anecdote  about one  of  the classes  that helped  a  lot of  the                                                               
students deal  with a  lot of trauma,  knowing that  "someone has                                                               
your back."  He spoke  about community involvement, which goes "a                                                               
long way just saying, 'got you'."   He spoke about the importance                                                               
of the program  for helping to know the signs  of suicide so that                                                               
you could  look out  for your  family, your  friends, and  even a                                                               
teacher and  help them.   He expressed  his appreciation  for the                                                               
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:54:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. GAROT  spoke about  the program to  support students  who had                                                               
experienced  trauma, a  full day  training for  specific ways  to                                                               
teach kids self-regulation strategies  which the grant had helped                                                               
provide  to  the school  staff.    She  referenced the  signs  of                                                               
suicide that were  taught in the e-learning modules  and had been                                                               
implemented school  wide for  the students.   She noted  that the                                                               
teachers used  those resources to  lead and teach  their classes.                                                               
She declared that the funding was critical for her school.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. GAROT, in response to  Representative Jackson, explained that                                                               
it  was  the  supporting  students who  have  experienced  trauma                                                               
class.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY  spoke  about   the  importance  for  having  the                                                               
vocabulary  to  express  and  describe  what  someone  was  going                                                               
through.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:56:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MELISSA LINTON,  Curriculum Coordinator, Kenai  Peninsula Borough                                                               
School  District,  shared  that,  in 2017,  she  had  become  the                                                               
coordinator of a Project Aware  grant for the alternative school.                                                               
That experience  had brought her  the recognition for a  need for                                                               
the students to address suicide  prevention and awareness.  Since                                                               
2017,  the   district  had  increased   the  number   of  suicide                                                               
assessments  almost 60  per  year  to almost  110  for the  first                                                               
semester, which could double by years  end.  She reported that at                                                               
the  end  of   the  previous  year,  there  had   been  210  risk                                                               
assessments for  student suicide.   She  reported that,  with the                                                               
SAPP program, the district had  introduced a program, "Sources of                                                               
Strength,"  an evidence  based,  upstream,  positive program  for                                                               
suicide prevention.   She pointed out that this  training was for                                                               
students,  to  give   them  the  skills  and   leadership  to  be                                                               
connectors, as they  were the first responders when  it was known                                                               
their peers needed  help.  She stated that  previous training had                                                               
been  directed toward  adults.    She declared  that  this was  a                                                               
positive   program  that   promoted   strength-based  ideas   for                                                               
students,  what  you  can  do,  instead  of  what  you  can't  or                                                               
shouldn't do.   She shared  that currently there were  almost 600                                                               
students  and  100 adults  throughout  the  community trained  as                                                               
adults or  student advisors for  Sources of Strength,  and active                                                               
in 14 middle  and high schools.  She added  that the SAPP program                                                               
funding had also  provided for 6 trainers within  the district to                                                               
continue  to  train  students  and  schools  on  the  Sources  of                                                               
Strength  program.   She  explained that  the  SAPP funding  also                                                               
supported other programs, and she  offered some details on these,                                                               
including work on trauma informed practices.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:02:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KAEGAN  KOSKI,  Student,  River  City  Academy,  Kenai  Peninsula                                                               
Borough  School District,  shared  that he  was  in the  eleventh                                                               
grade at River City Academy and  was a participant in the Sources                                                               
of Strength  program.  He  declared his support for  the program,                                                               
pointing to the  effects in his school when  kids were encouraged                                                               
to connect with  each other, to talk and identify  when there was                                                               
a problem.  He reflected that  there had been many past instances                                                               
when the Sources  of Strength "would have  been incredibly useful                                                               
to me."   He shared an anecdote of a  friend's earlier attempt at                                                               
suicide and his  own lack of knowledge  for what to do.   He said                                                               
that daily he saw examples  where Sources of Strength had changed                                                               
"the  brain  chemistry  of  students  through  programs  that  it                                                               
implements."  He  declared support for any  grants toward suicide                                                               
awareness that would  keep these programs teaching  his peers how                                                               
to deal with these "terrifying situations and save lives."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:05:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.   LINTON  reported   that  there   had  recently   been  more                                                               
collaboration  with  partners  on  the Kenai.    She  offered  an                                                               
example  for  the  "Sources of  Strength"  program  with  Central                                                               
Peninsula  Hospital and  other  outside  agencies throughout  the                                                               
community.   She declared  that this  program was  very positive,                                                               
and it was  "connecting all the right people to  the right places                                                               
and  supporting  the  students."    She  added  that  Sources  of                                                               
Strength  activities had  been used  for the  staff to  deal with                                                               
secondary trauma.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:08:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEGHAN CROW,  Lead School Social  Worker, Lower  Kuskakwim School                                                               
District, reported that  she had been a school  social worker for                                                               
22 years as well as a  member of the statewide suicide prevention                                                               
council  for 7  years.    She said  that  suicide prevention  was                                                               
currently  a focus  among  the  10 school  social  workers.   She                                                               
shared that the free lessons offered  by the state had helped the                                                               
department to  train teachers.   She added  that the  addition of                                                               
resilience  and protective  factors  into  the presentations  had                                                               
been proven effective  in prevention.  She relayed  that the SAPP                                                               
programs had  been used to  expand existing programs  by training                                                               
advocates from  the rural  schools to  better respond  to student                                                               
needs.  She added that this  also included training in Yupik life                                                               
skills  and traditional  skills,  the way  of  being well,  using                                                               
Yupik values.   She noted that  mental health first aid  was also                                                               
taught, as well  as ways to combat bullying  and dating violence.                                                               
She pointed out that the SAPP  program allowed them to think in a                                                               
different direction  and expand comprehensive  prevention efforts                                                               
for life  skills, protective factors, and  community involvement.                                                               
She  added that  these funds  allowed a  broadening of  focus for                                                               
trauma to staff, teachers, and students.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CROW, in  response to  Chair  Zulkosky, said  there were  28                                                               
schools in the district.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. CROW, in response to  Representative Tarr, explained that the                                                               
district had both social workers  and counselors.  The counseling                                                               
department had 8 counselors, with 2  full time at the Bethel High                                                               
School,  which comprised  about  33 percent  of  the high  school                                                               
students in the  district.  She said that the  other 6 counselors                                                               
and  5  social workers  visited  the  23  village schools.    She                                                               
reported that the  social workers did a lot  of social, emotional                                                               
counseling especially  in the village.   The  academic counselors                                                               
were  doing testing,  scheduling, guidance  lessons, college  and                                                               
vocational  programs.   She pointed  out that  although each  had                                                               
different  focuses,  the  two groups  came  together  for  crisis                                                               
intervention and  the social, emotional  needs of students.   She                                                               
acknowledged that having both was a unique system.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
^Presentation:  Improving  Public  Health and  Comprehensive  Sex                                                             
Education                                                                                                                     
  Presentation: Improving Public Health and Comprehensive Sex                                                               
                           Education                                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
4:19:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ZULKOSKY announced  that the final order  of business would                                                               
be a  presentation on improving  public health  and comprehensive                                                               
sex education.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:19:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:21:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SAMANTHA McNELLY,  Anchorage Teen Council  Facilitator, presented                                                               
a PowerPoint  titled "Improving  Public Health  and Comprehensive                                                               
Sex Education,"  stating that the  statistics were  very alarming                                                               
and that a lot of them had "been  true for quite some time."  She                                                               
directed  attention to  slide 3,  "Scope of  the Problem,which                                                                  
read:                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
       Alaska has some of the country's highest rates of                                                                        
    sexual   assault,   sexually   transmitted   infections                                                                     
     (STIs), and unintended pregnancy.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  McNELLY  moved on  and  paraphrased  from slide  4,  "Public                                                               
Health Crisis," which read:                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska  has  extremely  high  rates  of  STIs,  ranking                                                                    
     highest in the nation  for chlamydia and second highest                                                                    
     for   gonorrhea.   Alaska   youth  (ages   15-19)   are                                                                    
     particularly  vulnerable    contracting chlamydia  at a                                                                    
     rate more than 3x the state average.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. McNELLY,  in response to  Representative  Jackson,  said that                                                               
she did not know exactly when these numbers began to rise.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY  offered for  her  office  to provide  additional                                                               
information at the end of the presentation.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. McNELLY moved  on to slides 5 and 6,  "Scope of the Problem,"                                                               
and paraphrased the slides, which read:                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Syphilis  Outbreak:  During  2018,  there  was  a  293%                                                                    
     increase over 2017 for reported syphilis cases.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska's rate  of teen pregnancy is  above the national                                                                    
     average. Nearly  48% of all  pregnancies in  Alaska are                                                                    
     unintended.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. McNELLY shared slide 7, "Scope of the Problem," which read:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Sexual Violence                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska has  the highest  rate of  reported rape  in the                                                                    
     country  almost 3 times the national average.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     13.7% of  people in Alaska  have experienced  some form                                                                    
     of childhood sexual abuse, estimated  to be the highest                                                                    
     in the country.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. McNELLY added that this  was unacceptable and there needed to                                                               
be a way to address this problem.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MCNELLY  directed  attention   to  slide  8,  "UAA's  Alaska                                                               
Victimization Survey,   and reported that  of 100 adult  women in                                                               
Alaska,  40  would  experience  some  sort  of  intimate  partner                                                               
violence,  33  would experience  sexual  violence,  and 50  would                                                               
experience intimate  partner violence, sexual violence,  or both.                                                               
She  emphasized that  one  of  every two  women  in Alaska  would                                                               
experience this violence, noting that  although the data was only                                                               
looking at  women, it was  known that  people of all  genders did                                                               
experience intimate  partner violence, sexual violence,  or both.                                                               
She declared that it was  necessary for more education across the                                                               
state to "tackle  these numbers and to  really bolster protective                                                               
factors specifically for young people across Alaska."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MCNELLY  shared  slide  9,  "Discrimination  against  LGBTQ+                                                               
youth,which read:                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Compared  to students  in schools  without  an LGBTQ  -                                                                    
     inclusive  curriculum, LGBTQ  students in  schools with                                                                    
     inclusive curriculum were?                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     ?  More likely  to feel  safe because  of their  sexual                                                                    
     orientation and gender expression                                                                                          
     ? Experienced lower levels  of victimization related to                                                                    
     their sexual orientation and gender expression                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:27:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCNELLY presented slide 10,  "Primary Prevention and Behavior                                                               
Change,and     said that  primary  prevention  was "the  idea  of                                                               
intervening  before negative  health  events  occur in  someone's                                                               
life."    She  offered  an   example  for  the  encouragement  of                                                               
vaccinations before  the contraction of  a harmful disease.   She                                                               
added that primary prevention could  also include substance abuse                                                               
education and  be as  simple as  encouragement of  an environment                                                               
for youth to  bond with trusted adults so there  would be someone                                                               
safe  to talk  with.   She shared  slide 11,  "Prevention,which                                                                 
read:                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Health Promotion                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "Empowering  people  to  increase  control  over  their                                                                    
     health  and its  determinants  through health  literacy                                                                    
     efforts  and multisectoral  action to  increase healthy                                                                    
     behaviors."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MCNELLY stated  that the  goal  of health  promotion was  to                                                               
increase better health outcomes for  all Alaskans, adding that it                                                               
demanded to  "meet people  where they are,  so whatever  point in                                                               
their life that they are in  with their health and their choices,                                                               
we want  to see them  in that moment and  see how we  can provide                                                               
information  resources that  will them  move forward  to an  even                                                               
healthier life.  Comprehensive sex education allows for this."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCNELLY shared slide 12, "Behavior Change, which read:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Long term  changes in health behavior  involve multiple                                                                    
     actions and adaptations over time.                                                                                         
     Behavior   change  often   takes   time  and   multiple                                                                    
     opportunities.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCNELLY  pointed to the  similarity within all  these models,                                                               
that there needed to be consistent information and conversation.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCNELLY  declared that  some of  the programs  throughout the                                                               
U.S.  did  not follow  the  best  practices for  behavior  change                                                               
models,  directing  attention to  slide  13,  "Abstinence    Only                                                               
Programs,  which read:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Are  not effective  in  delaying  initiation of  sexual                                                                    
     intercourse   or   changing  other   health   behaviors                                                                    
     associated  with  reducing   unintended  pregnancy  and                                                                    
     STIs.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     May  have negative  impact on  several groups  of young                                                                    
     people, including  LGBTQ youth, sexually  active youth,                                                                    
     youth  with  history  of sexual  abuse,  and  parenting                                                                    
     teens.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCNELLY stated that there  were numerous studies showing that                                                               
these programs were  not effective in delaying  the initiation of                                                               
sexual  intercourse or  other  health  behaviors associated  with                                                               
unintended  pregnancies  and  STIs,  and  could,  instead,  cause                                                               
direct harm for  many groups of youth,  specifically LBGTQ youth.                                                               
She  pointed  out  that  these  programs  could  be  harmful  for                                                               
sexually active  youth because of  the shame and  stigma attached                                                               
to these  programs and  would not  necessarily encourage  them to                                                               
make healthier future choices.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCNELLY slide 14, "Abstinence   Only Programs,  which read:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Considerable  research, including  from the  CDC, finds                                                                    
     that  abstinence  only   education  withholds  critical                                                                    
     information from young people, leaving them at risk.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:32:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ZOE KAPLAN, Anchorage Teen Council  Member, shared slide 16, "Sex                                                               
Education should ..." which read:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Cover a wide range of topics including:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     ? Healthy and unhealthy relationships                                                                                      
     ? Decision-making and peer pressure                                                                                        
     ? Abstinence                                                                                                               
     ? Communication                                                                                                            
     ? Consent                                                                                                                  
     ? Gender identity                                                                                                          
     ? Sexual orientation                                                                                                       
     ? Body image                                                                                                               
     ? Media literacy and critical thinking                                                                                     
     ? Birth control                                                                                                            
     ? Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KAPLAN  acknowledged that  these  should  be taught  to  age                                                               
appropriate  groups and  she offered  examples  for younger  ages                                                               
that  could be  built  upon  as the  children  were  older.   She                                                               
pointed  out  that abstinence  was  an  important form  of  birth                                                               
control for many people.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KAPLAN moved  on to  slide  17, "Sex  Education should  ..."                                                               
which read:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
      ? Be culturally specific and taught each school year                                                                      
     by a trained educator                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
        ? Equip young people with skills they need for a                                                                        
     lifetime of good health                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     ? Inclusive of LGBTQ+ population                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. KAPLAN  said that  it was  important in  rural areas  for the                                                               
lessons to focus  on what was accessible.  She  declared that sex                                                               
education  should equip  young people  with skills  needed for  a                                                               
lifetime of good health.  She  added that sex education should be                                                               
inclusive of  LGBTQ youth  who felt  marginalized or  excluded as                                                               
there was a higher risk for mental health problems.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. KAPLAN  stated that when  these best practices were  put into                                                               
use,  there were  a lot  of positive  outcomes, and  she directed                                                               
attention to slide 18, "Positive Health Outcomes,which read:                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Comprehensive Sex Ed:                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     ? Reduces unprotected sex                                                                                                  
     ? Delays initiation of sex                                                                                                 
     ? Increases condom and contraception use                                                                                   
     ? Reduces likelihood of unintended pregnancy                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KAPLAN  stated that  this  directly  challenged the  beliefs                                                               
about  abstinence  only  sex education  and  addressed  the  high                                                               
percentage of unintended pregnancies and STIs.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. KAPLAN slide 19, "Comprehensive Sex Ed, which read:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Young  people  should  get  age-appropriate,  medically                                                                    
     accurate  information and  answers  to their  questions                                                                    
     about sex  and relationships,  without being  shamed or                                                                    
     judged.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KAPLAN  moved on to  slide 20, "National  Sexuality Education                                                               
Standards,and    reported that these standards  were derived from                                                               
the  Centers  for  Disease Control's  National  Health  Education                                                               
Standards.      They   were  developed   by   multiple   national                                                               
organizations working  together and  broken into  seven sexuality                                                               
standards, slide 21, "Essential Content,which read:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     There  are 7  topics chosen  as the  minimum, essential                                                                    
     content and  skills for  K-12 sexuality  education. The                                                                    
     standards for  each one of  these topics vary  by grade                                                                    
     level.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KAPLAN stated  that these  topics  would be  developmentally                                                               
appropriate  for  every grade  level  and  she shared  slide  22,                                                               
"Essential Content,which read:                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     1. Anatomy and Physiology                                                                                                  
     2. Puberty and Adolescent Development                                                                                      
     3. Identity                                                                                                                
     4. Pregnancy and Reproduction                                                                                              
     5. Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV                                                                                   
     6. Healthy Relationships                                                                                                   
     7. Personal Safety                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. KAPLAN  reported that, in  2018, fewer than half  of Alaska's                                                               
secondary schools gave  information for ways to  access valid and                                                               
reliable products, information, and  services related to STIs and                                                               
pregnancies.   She  emphasized that  it was  necessary to  ensure                                                               
there was correct, valid information.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:38:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHAELA  GOODMAN,  Juneau  Teen  Council,  explained  that  Teen                                                               
Council was  a peer lead,  sex education program  affiliated with                                                               
Planned Parenthood which had been  active for about 30 years, and                                                               
she directed attention to 24, "Teen Council, which read:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
? Anchorage and Juneau                                                                                                          
     ? 22 members                                                                                                               
     ? Extensive Training                                                                                                       
     ? Formal and Informal Ed                                                                                                   
     ? Peer Led Sex Ed                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:40:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ZAFARA STRAIN,  Anchorage Teen Council  Member, shared  slide 25,                                                               
"Why  it  matters?"  and  offered a  personal  anecdote  for  the                                                               
comprehensive sexual health education  she received in the eighth                                                               
grade, taught by  Teen Council, a lesson for how  to properly use                                                               
a condom to  protect a partner.  After this  lesson, she knew she                                                               
wanted  to  be  part  of  Teen Council.    She  stated  that  the                                                               
questions she  heard from friends  disheartened her, as  she knew                                                               
that  if  they had  had  the  same resources  and  comprehensive,                                                               
inclusive sexual education  as she had, they would  have the same                                                               
feelings of personal empowerment.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:42:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KAPLAN  explained  that  her sex  education  had  been  very                                                               
limited, and  she shared a  personal anecdote detailing  how that                                                               
information  had not  been applicable  to  her life.   She  noted                                                               
that, as she was a very  shy middle schooler, she was hesitant to                                                               
broach this topic with her parents  or anyone else.  She shared a                                                               
personal  anecdote about  her menstrual  cycle and  its symptoms,                                                               
noting that sexual education would  have taught her that this was                                                               
not normal.  She reflected on  how much happier and healthier she                                                               
would have been, had she had this knowledge earlier in her life.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:45:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SAMMY STEVENS,  Anchorage Teen Council Member,  shared a personal                                                               
anecdote about  his sexual education,  which he determined  to be                                                               
"less than adequate" as it  stigmatized STDs rather than give any                                                               
information for  how to prevent  or treat.   He declared  that it                                                               
was "much  more important that  we have this information  and not                                                               
need it than  need this information and not have  it."  He shared                                                               
slides 26 and 27, which read:                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Public health authorities agree:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
       Comprehensive and medically accurate sexual health                                                                       
     education is?                                                                                                              
     The best way to help young people stay healthy!                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Comprehensive  sex  education  is  essential  to  young                                                                    
     people's health, relationships, and  life goals   young                                                                    
     people deserve to have  the information, resources, and                                                                    
     skills  they need  to protect  their  health and  build                                                                    
     their future.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:46:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   TARR  reported   that  public   health  research                                                               
indicated  that  comprehensive  sexuality education  delayed  the                                                               
onset of  sexual activity.   She shared her  personal involvement                                                               
with sex  education during  the campaign  to prevent  teenage and                                                               
unplanned pregnancy.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:48:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  acknowledged  that,  although  talking                                                               
about  sexual health  education  was an  uncomfortable topic  for                                                               
many  people,  it was  important  for  this  to be  talked  about                                                               
amongst their  peers.  She  reiterated that the  research clearly                                                               
indicated that providing more  information delayed the initiation                                                               
of intercourse and sexually activity.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:49:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JACKSON  said that there  were a lot of  issues in                                                               
the  state.   She expressed  her concern  "for kids  to learn  to                                                               
read."  She  offered her belief that sexual  education should not                                                               
necessarily  be provided  in the  education system.   She  opined                                                               
that sex education in school "scared  the sex out of our mind for                                                               
a while."   She offered  her belief that, until  graduation rates                                                               
and reading  abilities were  up, this was  "nice to  be available                                                               
but it just  seems that it could be overwhelming  for some."  She                                                               
expressed her desire to be careful  and "not to cross the line of                                                               
overwhelming those that aren't ready."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:51:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN declared that  all the research showed that                                                               
accurate and  timely information on  sex education was  needed by                                                               
everyone.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:51:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ZULKOSKY added that it  was "incredible to see such poised,                                                               
educated  young leaders  of  the  great State  of  Alaska, a  new                                                               
generation of leadership  come before a committee  and talk about                                                               
something that can be really  difficult and sometimes politically                                                               
divisive."   She  offered her  belief that  the presentation  was                                                               
thoughtful and thorough.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:53:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Health and Social Services Standing Committee meeting was                                                                       
adjourned at 4:53 p.m.                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Suicide Prevention Council Presentation.pdf HHSS 2/18/2020 3:00:00 PM
Statewide Suicide Prevention Council
Teen Council Presentation.pdf HHSS 2/18/2020 3:00:00 PM
Teen Council
Teen Council FACT SHEET.pdf HHSS 2/18/2020 3:00:00 PM
Teen Council
Teen Council ALPHA-Passed Resolution-Sexuality Education.pdf HHSS 2/18/2020 3:00:00 PM
Teen Council
Teen Council AASG Resolution 9_Sept. 2018.pdf HHSS 2/18/2020 3:00:00 PM
Teen Council
Teen Council 1.24.20 AK Sex Ed fact sheet FINAL.pdf HHSS 2/18/2020 3:00:00 PM
Teen Council