Archive for Saturday, March 10, 2007

Parents say sex lesson too explicit

March 10, 2007

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— A health teacher made eighth graders read aloud explicit questions about oral sex and masturbation during a sex-education lesson at a suburban school this week, outraging parents who demanded the teacher be disciplined.

The principal at Wolcott School in Thornton, Ill., said he learned of the lesson early Friday after numerous phone calls from parents and directed the health teacher to apologize to his class for the two-day lesson.

Parents say this apology isn't enough. They plan to attend the Thornton School District board meeting next week to demand that the 27-year-old teacher, Scott Groff, be suspended or fired.

"My daughter brought it to our attention because she was disgusted with it," said Grady Braley, father of a Wolcott 14-year-old. "There's certain things at her age they need to know. But this was a how-to manual. It's creepy, and I'd like to know why he's still teaching."

Braley's daughter, Sandi, said she objected to the lesson, but the teacher told her it was part of the school's "human sexuality" curriculum.

"I just felt really uncomfortable talking about this in a class with boys and girls," Sandi Braley said. "I was like, 'Mr. Groff, why do we need to learn this?' He just looked at me and said, 'Calm down, calm down.'"

Even a local organization that is pushing to get more comprehensive sex-education programs into Illinois schools said the material and the way it was taught was "really over the top."

Jonathan Stacks, campaign manager for Illinois Campaign for Responsible Sex Education, gasped when he heard the details of the "frequently asked questions" read aloud in the eighth-grade class. He said the material was not age-appropriate, and never should have been taught without discussing such sensitive material with parents first.

"This is really getting into the aspect of pleasure ... and the mechanics of how to have good sex," Stacks said. "It goes way beyond what the national medical associations recommend for a comprehensive program."

Stacks said most Illinois schools shy away from teaching anything but abstinence, AIDS and human development, which is what is mandated by state standards. Though his organization advocates going beyond abstinence and discussing some sexual issues and contraception more openly with teens, Stacks said, "It's really important we don't go to the other extreme."

Principal Stephan Harman said the teacher made a serious mistake in judgment by giving the students the handout and having them read the material aloud. Harman said the teacher told him "he didn't read it thoroughly enough."

The four-page handout was printed from a British Web site called avert.org. The site promotes an international organization that seeks to educate the public about AIDS and HIV prevention. Among other information, the site offers two links about sex - one "mainly for young people" and the other one titled "general questions about sex." The teacher made the printout from the "general questions" link.

Comments

Ragingbear 8 years, 1 month ago

Ok. To be fair, I did read this. It is on the line somewhat. Most of them, however, is something that I think every 8th grader should know. Sex is all around them, and education is important. Yes, that even includes instructions on how to find the G-spot.

This entire approach to sex of "Don't tell them how to do it, it's not like they can't figure it out on their own." is out dated, and actually harmful to today's youth. We must face facts that it's out there, whether or not we like it. If we turn a blind eye to the sex that is already being practiced by 12 year olds, then we will keep on finding out that more and more are doing it younger than ever.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 1 month ago

would teir parents have talked with them as openly?

promitida 8 years, 1 month ago

I read the section and I have to say, I would have been very uncomfortable talking to a teacher and my peers about this kind of stuff in 8th grade. Regular health was embarrassing enough. Maybe he should have just sent the pamphlet home with them, or recommended the website, and let their parents decide if they thought their child should read it.

Ragingbear 8 years, 1 month ago

So in other words, you are for children being misinformed because it may make them feel uncomfortable?

I bet these kids aren't the only one that need instructions on how to find the G-Spot.

Godot 8 years, 1 month ago

What is the status of the bill that makes teachers subject to the porn laws?

Ragingbear 8 years, 1 month ago

Topeka, do you honestly think that any man she is ever with will be able to show her?

It's anatomy. It's reality, and it's there. That is like saying that men don't need to know what their glans are, or that they can expect to see hair growing "Down there." There are even kids I have seen that believe there is something wrong with them after their first nocturnal emission.

It's biology, and just because some outdated, Victorian concepts think that the world has come to a screeching halt because they will it does not change that people have a responsibility, and a right to learn about themselves, and their bodies.

And any parents that think otherwise are almost guaranteeing their children to engage in risky activity.

gr 8 years, 1 month ago

I think the schools should show kids the correct way to hold a bong. I mean, it's all around them anyway, and if they are going to do it, they should know the best and safest ways.

Porter 8 years, 1 month ago

gr- You're comparing an illegal act to a natural one. Just because your fire and brimstone preacher told you that a puppy dies every time you think about sex, it doesn't mean that the rest of us have to pretend that it doesn't exist.

sourpuss 8 years, 1 month ago

The problem here is that the kids themselves were uncomfortable, so the information should be toned back a bit. At twelve, I was a lot more concerned about the changes puberty was causing more than sex itself, which I wasn't interested in.

Frankly, with the Internet being what it is, anyone can find out how to do things "better." Good sex is really up to the practitioners, not the teachers. I don't know why the schools need to worry about that. Unless there will be a quiz... :S

ksdivakat 8 years, 1 month ago

Porter: You said "gr- You're comparing an illegal act to a natural one." But your forgetting that sex with a 12 y/o IS illegal....in any way you cut it. I have 3 teenage daughters, 17, 15 and 13, I have always been and will always be open and honest with them about sex. Sex is a battlegroud thesedays and the only way to win the battle is to be educated, so therefore we have regular discussions and my girls know that there is no question off limits. Having said that, we have never engaged in where the g spot is nor how to preform oral sex successfully as this is a subjective opinion anyway. But we have talked about the mechanics of it and even "rainbow parties" The "snap" game and so forth, my girls could probably teach a sex ed class, however, along with the physical part of sex being taught so does the emotional and psycholigical part need to be taught and this does not happen in schools. I understand that there are parents who are uncomfortable speaking with their children about sex, but if you want them to win the war-you gotta be straight with them.....and that doesnt mean explict and vulgar!

Porter 8 years, 1 month ago

ksdivakat- I completely agree with every word you typed. And a big bravo to you for having the candid talks with your daughters that every parent should take part in.

I wasn't condoning this teacher's actions. It sounds like he made a major mistake. I was only responding to gr's insinuation that we shouldn't teach sex ed just because sex is out there. I believe that's the exact reason why we should teach sex ed. There really are creeps out there ready to take advantage of 8th graders. Those kids need to know what they're getting in to, what the risks are, and how to protect themselves.

Unfortunately, not every student is going to get the same education at home that ksdivakat's kids get. I'm a firm believer that a quality sex ed program should be available to ALL adolescents.

Porter 8 years, 1 month ago

Gonorrhea and Chlamydia don't care what moral code you subscribe to.

J Good Good 8 years, 1 month ago

I think this is inappropriate, and over the line. I think the abstinence only programs where they tell kids not to use condoms cause they don't work anyway is just as bad.

ksdivakat 8 years, 1 month ago

I think morality is a seperate issue. Not everyone believes or has the same morals, so thats between the parent, their concious and their god...or lack thereof one. I dont think we as a society can put morals on sex ed publically, I think that is a private issue, in ones home. Because so many parents are so insecuer about sex and they dont talk about it in the home i think the schools should teach it, however, I want them teaching my kids that abstinence is the only sure thing. When I was in 9th grade I remember in school we had sex ed in biology and the teacher told us that if we did it standing up we couldnt get pregnant. 1 month later in our small town of Eudora, there was a pregnant 14 y/o because she dont it standing up! WHen sex ed is being taught at my girls school, I am sitting in the back of the class to make sure that none of these wives tales get passed down. This teacher that told the kids where their g-spot was and how to successfully preform oral sex is a pervert!!! Plain and simple, he was aroused talking about it and If i were in that community id want him out too!!!

gr 8 years, 1 month ago

"gr's insinuation that we shouldn't teach sex ed just because sex is out there. I believe that's the exact reason why we should teach sex ed."

Because it IS out there?

"Unfortunately, not every student is going to get the same education at home that ksdivakat's kids get. "

So, maybe the problem has more to do with the kids parents. And, teaching parents how to teach their kids would be a legal act. As ksdivakat pointed out, having sex with a 12 year old is illegal.
(by the way, what's this about a puppy dying? You are the first one I heard THAT one from)

========

"Here's how I think, gr. I think if your son/daughter is "surrounded by bongs," then maybe..."

' Really? Is that how you think, Agnostick?

Here's how I think, Agnostick. I think if your son/daughter is "surrounded by kids having sex," then maybe...

1) Your child needs to find some different friends

2) Your child needs some different parents. Parents that will take a little bit more interest in the child's activities, social circle, etc. You know, so they don't end up surrounded by "friends" who surround him/her with sex.

Capice? ' Capiced.

======

"Whose morality?"

Whose component?

shockchalk 8 years, 1 month ago

ksdivakat is right. This teacher is a pervert and he went over the line. It wasn't an accident, it was intentional. Any of you who think that any boundry is too much of a boundry should get a clue. You definitely won't be helping your children out with that kind of attitude. If you truly care, then do some research about age-appropriate material for sex-ed. There's plenty of it out there and it has nothing to do with g-spots and oral performance.

Porter 8 years, 1 month ago

shockchalk - who on this board is defending that guy? I'm not sure who you're arguing with.

gr - So your suggestion is that the parents need to just know who their kids are friends with and everything about those kids? Good luck with that one!! If you aren't hiding something from your parents, you're not a kid. Sorry, but that's the way it's ALWAYS been.

Even if you knew every dirty thought that ran across the neighbor kid's mind, you have no idea who your kid comes into contact with during the day. It only takes a moment for a misinformed pimple-face to make your kid think that oral sex isn't really sex or that condoms alone will keep you from getting an STD.

You're living in a fantasy world if you think you're saving your kid by pretending that they aren't exposed to misinformation every single day. Sorry, but I trust most sex ed teachers more than the guy your kid sits next to in History class. Yes, the guy in the story above was an idiot, but you can bet there were at least 10 other idiots in that class doing their best to screw up the facts about sex.

Linda Endicott 8 years, 1 month ago

If you're talking about sex ed for middle school or high school kids that go into any kind of detail on HOW things are done, then it makes much more sense to me to have classes that are separated by gender.

Have an all-girl class with a female teacher. Have an all-boy class with a male teacher.

At this age, it IS embarrassing to kids to talk about stuff like that in front of someone of the opposite sex.

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