When Mark Ellis’s 13-year-old daughter first showed him a cell phone picture of a poster at her middle school, he assumed it was a student prank, albeit an ugly one. The poster asks the question “How do people address their sexual feelings?” It then provides a range of possible answers, including oral sex, sexual fantasy, and touching each other’s genitals.
Ellis never figured that this grossly inappropriate display was a “teaching tool” — until he phoned the school and discovered it was indeed part of their sex-ed curriculum.
A report by Kansas Fox affiliate WDAF (h/t The Blaze) indicates that Ellis is just one of many parents aghast and angry that Hocker Grove Middle School would find this content acceptable. Ellis told reporters:
It upsets me. And again, it goes back to who approved this? You know this had to pass through enough hands that someone should have said, ‘Wait a minute, these are 13-year-old kids, we do not need to be this in-depth with this sexual education type of program.’
Leigh Anne Neal, a spokeswoman for the Shawnee Mission School District, maintains that the poster needs to be viewed in the context of a bigger curriculum, which she calls abstinence-based for students in middle school.
The poster that you reference is actually part of our middle school health and science materials, and so it is a part of our district approved curriculum. However the item is meant to be part of a lesson, and so certainly as a standalone poster without the context of a teacher led discussion, I could see that there might be some cause for concern.
The curriculum it is a part of, it aligns with national standards around those topics, and it’s part of our curriculum in the school district.
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