Friday, June 15, 2012

Sex Education For Fifth Graders

Apparently the principal, who was teaching sex education, went a bit beyond what the parents thought was appropriate for fifth graders:

Fifth-graders at Onalaska Elementary School were supposed to get a lesson about HIV-AIDS, but the class discussion turned graphic when a child asked about other forms of sexual activity. The principal, who happened to be teaching the class, then told the children about oral and anal sex.
“I’m one pissed off cowboy,” parent James Gilliand told Fox News Radio. “I didn’t appreciate them teaching my daughter – who is innocent of that – at all.”
Gilliland and his wife, Kadra, were among the moms and dads in Onalaska, about 73 miles south of Tacoma, demanding answers from their local school system – and so far – they are still waiting.
The Pannkuk and Gilliland families said they knew something was wrong when the daughters came home from school. They were quiet and withdrawn.
“You could tell she was embarrassed,” Jean Pannkuk told Fox News Radio. “She didn’t want to have to repeat what had been said. It was really sad to see her struggle with feeling like she was responsible.”
Pannkuk and her husband sat their daughter down and asked her explain what she was taught in the class.
And then the description becomes far more graphic than I am willing to quote.

I am shocked that there are still parts of America where fifth graders can be shocked by this.  But then again, I have a pretty negative view of what the mass media are doing to kids--excuse me, "pre-adults."


  1. There's a difference between hearing jokes or seeing inexplicable visual shorthands and having a trusted adult give embarrassing levels of detail. Especially with how much schools stamp curiosity out of kids, the average pre-teen is going to file away jokes about ex-President Clinton and a stained dress in the same bin as any other Weird Old Person Reference. It's why, ten years ago, you'd have folk in even the mid-teens using 'fag' as a slur without being particularly certain what it involved, despite Will and Grace or other similar stuff.

    On one hand, if we're already to talk on STDs, it's kinda hard to do a decent job without at least mentioning types of sex other than penetrative vaginal intercourse. Even among straights, anal sex is a bigger risk factor for HIV transmission on a per-act basis, and some of the STDs quite readily infect the throat in very disgusting ways.

    On the other hand, there's a long way between mentioning things and the incredibly unprofessional and inappropriate terms used here. Especially if we're going by the standard of kids familiar with the 'miracle of life' and horses or dogs -- not exactly a pretty thing to watch -- there are ways to go about the matter without sounding like the target of an FBI investigation when the kids are interviewed. Hell, we could even point out that the very definition of STD is a convenient shorthand for most common transmission methods, rather than a strict deliminator, and discuss infection at abstract levels.

    On the gripping hand, it's a rather telling foray into mushy-minded progressivism, given the underlying cause. Kids might have sex as teenagers, so the obvious solution is to discuss STDs? Even ignoring the idea of discouraging bad decisions or reporting abuse, do they think HIV generates itself ex nihilo?

    ((Some of the quotes are also rather stupidly heterosexist. I'm pretty convinced that fifth grade's not a good time to bring up sexual orientation, unless we want even more slurs thrown around, but at the same time there's no reason to be specific in a misleading way. A teenager, assuming we were to transport this talk to a more reasonable grade level, could conceivably come away thinking that providing oral sex to someone of the same gender isn't an STD risk.))

  2. And (people formerly known as)Adults are Fully Grown Children, and should be treated accordingly.

    And all this discussion about sexuality, sexual orientation, sex acts and sexually transmitted diseases with ten-year-olds (and earlier based on other news items over the years) is a big reason the children call each other fag and queer, much to the distress of the "educators" who thought talking about it would eliminate the insults and phobias and prejudice.