History (2006 - Present)
CMSD implemented the Responsible Sexual Behavior (RSB) initiative in fall 2006, a year that marked the 25thanniversary of the first reported case of AIDS. The idea for the program was promoted by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson in response to high rates of HIV/AIDS reported in Cleveland during the summer of that year.
The mayor’s office worked with CMSD, the Cuyahoga County Commission, The Cleveland Foundation, The Gund Foundation, The AIDS Funding Collaborative and other local nonprofits and service providers to fund and create the initiative.
As one of the first culturally and age-appropriate sexual health education programs offered to all K-12 students in the district, the initiative was considered a groundbreaking model for other cities and school districts.
In the decade-plus since the launch of the Responsible Sexual Behavior initiative, programming has evolved and expanded to include a variety of curricula and programs to reach a greater number of CMSD students, their families, staff and the community. Particular focus has been given to pregnancy and STD/HIV prevention among black and sexual minority (LGBTQ) youth living in poverty.
In 2013, CMSD was honored to be one of 17 local education agencies in the nation to receive a five-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Division of Adolescent and School Health (CDC/DASH) to expand RSBD’s programs. This funding helps create new opportunities to support current district anti-bullying, harassment, and social emotional learning strategies in addition to comprehensive sexual health education.
Program objectives under the CDC/DASH grant include: educating youth on STD/HIV and pregnancy prevention, increasing student access to sexual health services, ensuring safe and supportive school environments and conducting school-based surveillance research.