Headline Of The Day*

“Science Or Sex: Which Does The Right Hate More?”

Oh, but conservatives hate BOTH ever so much. Must they choose?

Anyway, here’s this from Salon:

A principal in Onalaska, Wash., was accused of “raping” her fifth-grade students. Not actually — this isn’t a case of, you know, rape-rape but rather rape as an inappropriate metaphor: “rape” by sex ed. James Gilliland, the parent of an 11-year-old girl who took C.J. Gray’s class on the birds and the bees, told Seattle’s KING 5 News: “It’s basically the same as raping a kid’s mind and taking their innocence.” What got this father and other parents so fired up? In a recent lesson on HIV, Gray answered a student’s question about what oral sex and anal sex are. Onalaska superintendent Scott Fenter told KING 5, “She only gave factual information, no demonstrations.” Gray herself told Centralia, Wash.’s Chronicle, “It was very factual and it was dropped. I did not demonstrate it.” Yes, despite at least two parents likening her answering of kids’ questions to child molestation — and others inundating her with angry phone calls and letters — she did not actually demonstrate the act; there were no photos or videos, either. It was just a matter-of-fact explanation of the basic mechanics.

Yeah, whatever. Ignorant parents are encouraged to freak out and shield their children from facts thanks to a sick culture created by vicious, deranged conservative pundits. Nothing new here.

Although: “Onalaska”? Really? Nah, no place with a lame-parent sex-freakout controversy could be called that. Somebody’s shittin’ me.

*Technically, this headline is from yesterday. Anyway.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth was carried to Regina in a swarm of bees. He's been with Prairie Dog since May 1999 and will die at his keyboard before admitting his career a terrible, terrible mistake.

24 thoughts on “Headline Of The Day*”

  1. This is a case where the teacher should have turned back the responsibility to the parents and said “That’s a question for your mother and father” – and then sent a note/e-mail home telling the parents what the children asked, with a cc to the principal. Seriously. Teachers have to remember that they aren’t “in loco parentis” all the time, and that they can, for their own protection, put the responsibility where it belongs. If the parents don’t want a teacher telling their kids about sex, then they have to step up and answer those questions themselves.

  2. Hullo Barb! Hope you are well and enjoyed this beautiful day!

    On to business!

    I get what you’re saying (I think) but in my view, the way the teacher handled it is better for the children. Children needs facts. Especially grade five children. Especially about sex. And in the context described–a lesson on HIV–the teacher really needed to answer the question.*

    (Then again, a letter from a principal telling parents it’s their job to explain oral sex WOULD be amusing. Perhaps the principal could include a lesson plan. With photos.)

    Thanks for the comment. I hope you have a marrrvelous evening!

    *If Carle’s around maybe she’ll pop up and leave a comment about how ex ed. is designed to terrorize everybody and this sucks.

  3. My reading error: the principal WAS the teacher.
    Yes, kids need facts, but it must be made very clear, bluntly clear, to parents what topics will be discussed and what questions can be expected. The parents should then sign a release saying that they have been informed and have no problem with the content; that release should be kept on file. If they don’t want to sign the release, and have qualms about the course content, the onus should be on them to find an alternative that is satisfactory to whoever sets the curriculum.
    As to sex ed being set up to be scary, man, sex IS scary, especially these days.

  4. Sorry, I see now there were no extra vowels. Just out-of-order vowels.

    Let’s call ’em JAZZ vowels.

  5. #1#3 yup, your spot on.

    Anyone see the crescent moon? With the bluesky? Beautiful.

    yall, should giggle CNTV, & watch the docking. very neat camera angles.

  6. And, you know, maybe parents need to recognize that sex ed can be a thorny and occasionally embarrassing thing for teachers to teach. And that sometimes the teachers might get caught off guard by the “worldliness” of today’s youth and maybe wind up saying something that’s a little more frank than maybe some parents would like. And so maybe those parents should just take a deep breath, recognize that teachers are human, and have a loooooong chat with their kids about whatever it was that came up at school that day instead of accusing the teacher of mind rape.

    But somehow, I’m thinking the parents in question here were maybe just waiting for something to come along that they could pounce on.

  7. Parents in general have ceded so much responsibility to the schools over the years that I find it hard to take seriously complaints such as those of the parents in the story. Of course, for the sake of the teacher(s), these complaints can’t just be dismissed, because those parents can make her/his life hell. That’s why I like the idea of a signed release; you complain, you come in to the principal’s office; you are presented with the form you signed; you are asked if that is your signature or not. Then there will be a frank discussion about the partnership between family and school.

  8. Barb. I did 5th grade sex ed. in the US (admittedly it was 25 years ago). My parents had to sign a waiver such as you describe and could attend an information session before the class took place. My parents both signed the waiver and attended the info session. Topics like these did come up in that class (at least oral sex did, it’s long ago and I can’t remember if anal sex did) and were handled in a similar way by the teacher. I do not recall anyone freaking out (not even my parents who were nervous for me to take the class to begin with and are Christian, ultra-right wing people – although they did take the time to explain things to me from their perspective before and after the class). I find it truly upsetting actually that the US seems to have gone backwards the last several years on this and on so much else. Although I do find it odd that they would have taken so many precautions 25 years ago and not now? It seems like with how htings are down there now they would be even more cautious.

  9. Why on earth would parents need to sign a waiver allowing teachers to teach? By 11, most kids are talking about sex amongst their peers and have been picking up clues from mass media for most of their lives. Factual descriptions of sex acts are not mere theories like global warming or evolution–there is plenty of photographic proof of their existence. Try looking online! Kids sure will.
    Withholding factual information on sex from 11-year-olds is child endangerment and a sure way to increase teen (and pre-teen) pregnancies and the spread of STIs.

  10. anonymouse; thanks for this info; I couldn’t agree with you more.
    Emmet: I can see your point, but the waiver/release is a pre-emptive action on the part of the school so that it can be proved that complaining parents haven’t got a leg to stand on. Teachers need backup; a release is part of that. I also refer you to my earlier comment, where I suggested that queasy parents be told that the onus is on them to find an acceptable alternative…and the definition of “acceptable” will rest with the curriculum-setters. To be blunt, the kid doesn’t get her/his Grade 5 unless (s)he has finished the requirements.

  11. Sorry; I was interrupted before I could finish my thought.
    The sex-ed waiver is like having a book-challege policy and procedure in place, should a perent or group of parents make a fuss about a particular book on a reading list or in the school library. As many a school has discovered to its sorrow, it’s better to have a comprehensive policy and procedure in place before the egg hits the fan, than to try to set one up in the midst of a kerfuffle. The best policies are heavily weighted in favour of freedom to read, and towards making complainants do a lot of work on their own time to make their case. You’d be surprised how effective this has been in discouraging challenges.

  12. I think that sex education should consist of a semester on cunnilingus with a weekly lab on STIs and everything else. (Gay boys would get a hall pass, of course). Think of how much more humane sexuality would be if that’s what everyone learned.

  13. #17 .. to err is human ..

    #18 huh?

    My 1st “sex ed” ,class was in grade 9,at Campbell High, was “expalained” by some gym “teacher”.
    He never told us ,( probably because he didn’t know ), how to make a female Gush.

  14. @ Carle: just ’cause you can’t see me, doesn’t mean I’m not smiling!

  15. #19 ?


    Just the same illustrations were used then, that are typical to any walk-in clinic today.
    No Penthouse pics,.. boring.

    Mabye 2? SE classes in June,(right before summer of course)..

  16. When some teachers think they are co-parents of these children some kids would be better off being orphans

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