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Archive for Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Poster that incited Kansas sex-ed debate lists ‘grinding,’ ‘oral sex’

February 18, 2014

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This sex-ed poster from Hocker Grove Middle School in Shawnee has inspired legislation that would require districts to receive written permission from parents before students would be allowed to take part in sex education classes.

This sex-ed poster from Hocker Grove Middle School in Shawnee has inspired legislation that would require districts to receive written permission from parents before students would be allowed to take part in sex education classes.

— A poster at a Shawnee middle school that incited a debate today before the House Education Committee listed sexual acts ranging from “oral sex” to “grinding.”

A parent complaint about the poster used as a visual aid in teaching students at Hocker Grove Middle School about human sexuality has made its way to the Statehouse. A House bill inspired by the poster introduced by Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, would require districts to receive written permission from parents before students would be allowed to take part in sex education classes.

Officials with the Shawnee Mission school district say the poster was a supplemental visual aid meant to be used in the context of classroom discussions on human sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases. The poster is a supporting component of new curriculum, called “Making a Difference,” students are using this school year. Human sexuality is a part of health classes taught at middle schools in Shawnee Mission, said district spokeswoman Leigh Anne Neal.

Since the complaint was made in January by the parent of a student at Hocker Grove, the poster has been taken down and the district is in the process of conducting a full review to determine whether it will be used again in the future, Neal said.

“The material will not be utilized until we can do that comprehensive review,” she said.

Pilcher-Cook said she developed the House and Senate bills after the poster was brought to her attention by concerned constituents. The poster was put up without parents' knowledge, she said.

“Parents should be given full information about what their children are being taught on a very sensitive subject,” she said in a press release. “I will be working with school officials to ensure that happens and I am relieved to hear the Shawnee Mission school district is doing a comprehensive review of the sexual education material.”

But the legislation in question already has some solid opposition from Kansas college students, who descended Monday on the Capitol, lobbying legislators to reject the changes and arguing such changes would ignore the wishes of local communities.

The Kansas University, Emporia State University and Wichita State University students are members of campus Choice USA, a national abortion-rights organization that speaks out on reproductive rights issues. The students lobby in Topeka each session and chose the sex education bill as their focus this year.

Currently, the decision regarding policies about parental approval of sex education is left to local school districts.

In the Shawnee Mission school district, Neal said, parents have the option to opt their child out of the human sexuality portion of health classes by simply contacting the school and filling out a form. They can also review the materials beforehand, she said.

John Milburn of the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comments

Leslie Swearingen 10 months ago

If I were a student I would simply refuse to attend the health class no matter what was being taught. There is too much in school that is not necessary and is there only to take up time because parents don't know what else to do with their child while they are working.

Think about it. How much do you use the information that you learned in school? Precious little.

I am appalled that students would be forced to look at this poster. Visual aid?

I am very aware of the comments that are going to follow this but I do have the right to speak my mind and then attend to the consequences.

"When the lightning flashes and the thunder roars and the rain comes down like a sheet of lead, and the desert towers fall, you know what Jack Burton says, Jack Burton says, bring it on I can take it."

My sentiments exactly.

Rick Masters 10 months ago

You're backing up your stance that most school education - including Sex Ed - is unnecessary by using a quote from "Big Trouble in Little China"?

face palm

Bob Forer 10 months ago

I would have preferred "the horror, the horror ............"

Bob Forer 10 months ago

"Think about it. How much do you use the information that you learned in school? Precious little".

You're right, Leslie. I learned my reeding, riting, and rithmitic down on the streeet corner.

Joe Blackford II 10 months ago

RE: "attend to the consequences."

I taught "sex ed" to 8th graders in 1993 for the entire month of Feb. Parent(s) could opt their child out. I don't recall any that did, as this was a portion of 8th grade Science.

A District Nurse brought in 3 HS mothers who spoke about having a baby & the attendant consequences. Each brought up their child's contact with the father.

Following one such presentation (5 X day); one of my boy students asked about his visitation rights to see EITHER OF HIS TWO CHILDREN.

I was also required to keep a Question Box on my desk during the month. I'm sure for Frankie8 (sorry, but I've been reading your posts for some years), she would find some of those 8th Grade Qs "Beyond The Pale" (to leave behind all the rules and institutions of English society, which the English modestly considered synonymous with civilization itself).

I went on to teach Middle & HS Science classes in 2 other Districts. In one, my predecessor had relations with many female students, some as young as 7th Grade. As an 8th Grader, this girl was having relations with the son of a School Board Member. This "teacher" worked for only one year; & was threatened by the County Attorney with prosecution IF he did not leave the county. But in fact, he lived in the County Seat the following year, working as a computer specialist. No "attendant consequences."

Addie Line 10 months ago

The district in which the poster was reported already has an opt out option. What more do parents want? To prohibit other children from learning in the course just because they evidently aren't comfortable with their own children learning human sexuality? Oh to be so repressed. And to be appalled that kids saw this poster? I'm more appalled that people actually think high school students don't already know about "grinding" or oral sex.

Addie Line 10 months ago

I'm sorry, middle school students.

Phillip Chappuie 10 months ago

I hate to think where we would be in this world if everybody thought like Hermione Irish. Good gravy woman do you have no sense at all? You don't think people use what the learned it school? Did you learn about learning? Did you develop any critical thinking skills? You and Mary Pilcher Cook would have us in the dark ages again.

Sylvie Rueff 10 months ago

Time for sex ed classes for parents. Then they can teach their kids what they need to know. - Or let them go to classes together.

Nancy Hamilton 10 months ago

If you want to write school educational policy, run for the school board not the state legislature.

Julius Nolan 10 months ago

Leslie, sorry that you feel you learned nothing in school. Glad I'm not you. i think I learn something every day, with every interaction with life events. I feel sorry for you for not learning as you go thru life.

Leslie Swearingen 10 months ago

Julius, I learn something every day. Right now I am reading "American Statecraft-The Story of the U.S. Foreign Service", by J. Robert Moskin and I would recommend it. I am also reading Bleak House by Charles Dickens.

If we are going to delve into the mysteries of sex, then how about having the students discuss men whose reasons for having women wear the burka is that if they didn't they would become inflamed with desire and be unable to control themselves. Is this true or false of all men, I would ask the students? Are women ever stirred by the sight of men or is it only one way? How about the girl who was shot to keep her from going to school? That was gender related.

Can boys/girls or men/women have true friendships or does the question of sex always get in the way? See, I can think of lots of questions dealing with sex and gender that have nothing to do with the specifics of the act.

Come on now, people, re-read my entire post. I believe that those of you who read my posts know I try to be thoughtful and think out what I have to say before I write. That was behind my quote from Big Trouble In Little China. (face palm slap) :-)

Matthew Herbert 10 months ago

If you think your 15 year old isn't having or actively trying to have sex, you are woefully ignorant. Educating them to make good decisions and practice safe sex is not only a good idea for the individual kid, it's a good idea for the community. If you opt your kid out of these lessons and they get pregnant at 16, can I opt out of using my tax money to support that child the rest of their life?

Cille King 10 months ago

Pregnancy and abortion rates for teens have continued to drop – due to sexual education and access to birth control. This is all good. Would people prefer the rates of both to climb? Sexual education is about human development and facts. These classes weren't available when I was in school. Girls thought they were terribly sick when their periods started – because they didn't know this was a normal development - most parents didn't talk about this with their children. Kids didn't know that having sex one time could result in a pregnancy. It's good that students learn these critically important lessons.

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