That’s one question some parents of children who attend school in a small Oklahoma town might not want their kids to have detailed answers to.
According to conservative media network The Blaze, Mandy Callihan, the mother of a 12-year-old girl at Jay Middle School in northeastern Oklahoma, wrote a Facebook post saying a school worksheet about sex education left her daughter in tears. Callihan wrote that she received no prior notification that her child would be attending a sex education class.
“I was appalled at what someone in our school system had deemed appropriate to talk to my child about. My TWELVE year old child (who still colors in coloring books). In a room where boys and girls are combined,” she wrote. “With male instructors (or female, depending on the time of day, I guess) who are not teachers (or Nurses) in our school system.”
The worksheet contained information about masturbation and oral and anal sex and used words like “underwear zone” — basically, it was extremely scientific and informative. The Blaze reported that officials said they sent home a pamphlet and the class is suspended for this year and other students have thanked Callihan’s daughter.
Snopes reported that the SHAPE (Sexual Health, Awareness and Prevention Education) program curriculum was launched in 2013 and has been used in five other Oklahoma school districts without incident.
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy reports that while teen pregnancy and birth rates have dropped significantly since 1991, Oklahoma’s teen birth rate is one of the highest in the country. Snopes noted that, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, the state’s STD rates are also some of the highest.
So while Chicken-Fried News aren’t experts on how best to teach children about sex education or AIDS and HIV, we feel pretty good about the fact that Jay Middle School is required to at least teach students about AIDS and HIV in years to come.
We’re still a little puzzled about how you would teach someone about how HIV is contracted without talking about the birds and the bees though.