Opinion

Father of girl, 13, protests explicit school sex-ed poster

When a Kansas man saw the photo his daughter took of a poster hanging in a school classroom, he thought it was a joke by some students.

When he complained to the school about a poster touting “oral sex,” “anal sex,” and “masturbation” as ways “people express sexual feelings for each other,” he was told it was part of the curriculum.

kansassexman0116
Photo:
Fox4KC-TV
Mark Ellis

His daughter is 13 years old.

“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,’” Mark Ellis of Shawnee, Kan., told Fox4KC-TV. “Why would you put it in front of 13 year-old students?”

Good Question.

Turns out, explicitly listing anal and oral sex is as natural as the birds and the bees, Shawnee Mission School District spokeswoman Leigh Anne Neil explained. And besides, she told the station, it’s part of an abstinence-based curriculum (hence, apparently, the absence of handcuffs, leather masks and riding crops.)

“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,” Neal said. “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.”

But Neal did acknowledge some unenlightened people might be offended by a poster advertising anal sex in a middle school classroom since it could be taken the wrong way without a teacher around to guide the occasionally imaginative minds of young people in the throes of puberty.

“Certainly as a standalone poster without the context of a teacher led discussion,” Neal said. “I could see that there might be some cause for concern.”

It’s good to see that Ms. Meal understands that the parents of a 13-year-old girl might have qualms about posters discussing explicit sex practices being displayed in classrooms. It’s also good to see Kansas isn’t quite the black-and-white hinterland of human sexuality L. Frank Baum might have been thinking of for young Dorothy Gale. Instead, the Shawnee Mission School District is celebrating the full technicolor sexual experience.

And if that means making middle-school classroom posters read like a website middle-aged men keep getting arrested over when the Lolita of their dreams turns out to be a New Hampshire state trooper, that’s part of the price we pay for the sterling quality of America’s public school system.

Some neo-Victorians like Mr. Ellis don’t seem to get that. He told Fox4KC he’ll remove his daughter from the class middle school classroom posters don’t stop looking like middle school bathroom walls.

“This has nothing to do with abstinence or sexual reproduction, actually, a lot of these things,” he told Fox4KC. “I would like to see that this particular portion of the curriculum is removed from the school.”

The prude.

Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at [email protected].

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