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March 11, 2007

Kids Learn a Bit Too Much in School

your sex ed questions answered by peanuts charactersKids tend to have a bad rep when it comes to premarital sex, teen pregnancy and the like. That's why Chicagoist believes in a firm, informative sex education class (huh huh, we said firm). It's the whole "The More You Know" thing, right?

Well, it looks like a health teacher in Thornton took things a bit too far when presenting sensitive materials to his eighth-grade class. School District 154's Wolcott School (which wins the Chicagoist award for Purplest Website) played host to a very interesting two-day lesson plan invoked by 27-year-old Scott Groff. Groff made his students read questions aloud about such subjects as oral sex and masturbation. We didn't consider that such a big deal, until the Trib's story pointed out that it wasn't so much a definition of the acts as a how-to guide, with certain focus on pleasure. Straying from the usual curriculum, Groff downloaded the material off of a British website,, which promotes awareness about HIV and AIDS. It is unknown whether the subject matter was approved in any official capacity by the website itself.

When some students said they were uncomfortable with the questions, Groff continued his lesson plan, telling them to calm down. Several students later told their parents, some showing them the four-page handout. Those parents notified the principal, who forced Groff to give an apology to his class. But the disgruntled parents still want Groff's head on a platter, calling for his suspension or dismissal. So far, Wolcott's principal stands behind the untenured, two-year teacher. We say, if he does get the boot, this guy could always get another gig teaching fourth- and fifth-graders.

Image via Things for Learning.

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I read the info from avert and the content was not salacious at all. It was very concise and matter of fact, more like defining the terms. I think the parents may have been overreacting and of course junior highers will feel uncomfortable about it - they are at that weird awkward age, but I guess it may have been more high school material, than jr. high material. Kids know about all this on their own anyways...if you don't teach it at school, they will still learn it somewhere.

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