Sexual education can be a dicey thing – especially for younger kids. Where do you draw the line between adequately teaching kids about an essential part of life and exposing them to too much information at a young age? For the most part, schools do a pretty good job of keeping this balance in check. But, of course, there will be problems from time to time. One of these problems is coming out of Shawnee, Kansas.
Father Mark Ellis has a 13-year-old daughter who attends Hocker Grove Middle School. His daughter was so shocked by a sex-ed poster she found in her classroom recently that she decided to take a picture of the poster and show it to her parents.
Here is the poster:
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After seeing the poster, Ellis could only assume it was a prank poster put up by students. When he learned it was an approved part of the school’s sexual education curriculum, he was outraged.
“Why would you put it in front of 13-year-old students?” Ellis asked. “It upsets me. And again, it goes back to who approved this? 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.'”
School district spokesperson Leigh Anne Neal spoke to Kansas-area news station Fox 4 KC and defended the poster.
“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. “However the item is meant to be part of a lesson, and so certainly as a standalone poster without the context of a teacher led discussion, I could see that there might be some cause for concern.”
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Neal added that the curriculum is similar to many others across the country.
Ellis isn't buying the school’s logic. He’s standing by his opinion that the poster is too explicit for children of his daughter’s age.
“This has nothing to do with abstinence or sexual reproduction, actually, a lot of these things,” he said. “I would like to see that this particular portion of the curriculum is removed from the school.”