KS Parents Shocked at Sex in Sex Education

A group of parents in Kansas is freaking out over a poster used in sex education classes that actually talks about sex. The poster is entitled “How Do People Express Their Sexual Feelings?” and it lists everything from cuddling to anal sex. Cue the inevitable wailing and gnashing of teeth.

When Mark Ellis first saw his daughter’s photo, he initially thought the poster was a prank. But after he contacted officials in the Shawnee Mission School District, he learned that it was part of an approved human sexuality curriculum — and he was extremely upset that the material had gotten approval in the first place.

“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,’ ” Ellis told a local Fox affiliate…

“It makes me wonder what our country has come to when kids get something like this thrown in front of them,” he said in an interview with Fox News on Friday. “I couldn’t believe something like that was going on in school.”

Yeah, can you believe they talk about sex in sex education? Oh, the humanity. My friend Sharon Brown, who has two boys including a 12-year old, tells it like it is:

To parents everywhere: Education ALWAYS trumps ignorance. As a parent of a 12 year old, TRUST ME, nothing on this list is a surprise to the kids in question. Reacting out of “outrage” is a great way to a) teach kids they better never ask you about their sexual feelings or questions b) teach them that sex in general is wrong and or somehow taboo. FALSE. Sex in the right context is not only ‘not wrong’ it is healthy and good, even encouraged by most faiths (so forget all the “it’s sinful” stuff.) Kids WILL have to make decisions about their own sexuality. Equipping them with information so they can make choices about what is ok for them and their bodies and relationships is EMPOWERING, not contaminating them. Drop the hypocritical puritanical act, stop swooning at the mere mention of, *gasp*, sexuality, and teach your darn kids how to make informed, respectful, and HEALTHY decisions. And for the sake of everyone, stop acting like sex ed that dares to talk about sex is the devil’s work.

Hear, hear.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • jnorris

    Apparently, sex education is one area some Christians do not want the schools to teach the controversy and let the kids decide.

  • cottonnero

    jnorris: From what I’ve seen, evolution is the only area where ‘teach the controversy and let the children decide’ applies. People who want to teach the ‘controversy’ about evolution are straight-up authoritarians practially everywhere else.

  • doublereed

    Reacting out of “outrage” is a great way to a) teach kids they better never ask you about their sexual feelings or questions

    Oooo, I’ve never considered that one before.

  • rationalinks

    I live in the area where this “not story” occurred. The outrage is completely fabricated and is perpetuated by a small, very vocal, minority of religidiots. The Shawnee Mission School District is actually an excellent school district and for the most part they make good decisions regarding education. Hopefully they don’t bow to the pressure these morons are attempting to apply.

  • alanb

    I don’t understand why kids need to learn about sex in schools. They should learn about it the same way that I did – from older kids out on the street.

  • doublereed

    I have neither enough monocles to drop nor enough pearls to clutch. *faint*

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    doublereed, what, no fainting couch?

  • dingojack

    ” Reacting out of “outrage” is a great way to… b) teach them that sex in general is wrong and or somehow taboo.”

    And that’s a great way to allow sexual predators operate in secrecy, harming children again and again who have been taught to be too ashamed and frightened of the subject of sex to come forward and to speak out against their attackers.

    As parents, is that what you want? Some sexual predator hurting your sons, your daughters?

    Dingo

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1017276335 Strewth

    See, that empowering business is the problem. How can you rule with an iron fist if the plebs think they can make decisions and learn things without your oversight? 😛

  • jnorris

    doublereed:

    I have neither enough monocles to drop nor enough pearls to clutch. *faint*

    Thanks Obama!

    dingojack: exactly.

  • essbie

    “I couldn’t believe something like that was going on in school.”

    I wish he would clarify this statement. Does he mean the poster? Because I’m pretty sure better than half the behaviors on that list are going on in the school, too! Or at least some of the kids in the school are participating as part of their extracurricular activities.

    Do the gasp-and-swooners really believe that 7th and 8th graders have never heard of anal sex before they saw this poster? Really? REALLY? Do these kids ride the bus? I mean…c’mon.

  • heather

    The linked Think Progress article on says the poster has been removed and is “under review,” which sucks. I hope the review results in the poster being reinstated. The article also says that in 2007, Kansas changed its sex education standards from “abstinence only” to “abstinence plus,” which means they still focus on abstinence but CAN mention methods of birth control and information about STDs. You know, I grew up in this area (I did not attend the Shawnee Mission school district, but an adjacent one) in the 80s and 90s, and we had comprehensive sex education that was introduced in 5th grade and continued in 7th and 10th grades. I don’t recall abstinence being mentioned, much less emphasized or advocated. It’s really disillusioning to know that the students in Kansas are getting worse education and less information now than they were 20 years ago.

    For what it’s worth, my 9th grade biology class was also almost entirely about evolution, and no one once batted an eye. I can’t imagine that that would be the case now.

  • Artor

    I was recently helping out a friend who teaches at a charter school. While walking through another classroom, I saw a poster showing two girls kissing with a caption that stressed the importance & benefits of clearly-given consent. I didn’t freak, of course, but I did note that I would never have seen such a thing when I was attending school. I think it’s a good thing that sex-ed is getting more explicit and clearly articulated. Yes, 12 year-olds are already talking about things like anal sex, but without addressing the subject in an educational manner, they’re getting only the crudest simplistic understanding of such things.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Now, look, people should discover “everything from cuddling to anal sex” on their wedding night, as God intended.

  • dingojack

    Modus – you and your missus must of had and awkward honeymoon.

    :) Dingo

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    If his daughter’s photo is on the poster, that would be a valid reason to complain. About the poster, not the course content.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    dingojack “Modus – you and your missus must of had and awkward honeymoon.”

    To be fair, everything before and after that were pretty awkward, too. Especially afterward.

  • yak2

    “You know this had to pass through enough hands…”

    I think I see his problem

  • dingojack

    Modus don’t tell me – you brought up anal sex during the wedding speeches, right? See, you should have waited when you weren’t addressing both sets of your parents and 250-odd half-pissed guests*.

    😉 Dingo

    ——–

    * everybody wanted some. That’s how you lost your hair, I’m guessing

  • http://www.facebook.com/kitwalker1990 chriswalker

    By 13, most of us had discovered porn (or erotic fan fiction, for the nerdy girls) and the Big Men on Campus were already getting blow jobs and fingering girls. A couple of girls I knew, who were of the low end of lower middle class and considered themselves to be quite “ghetto fabulous” (despite being white in a 90% white suburb) had already lost their virginity to their older brothers’ friends by 14.

    So yeah Mr. Ellis, we do need to go that in-depth.

  • busterggi

    Fundie Christian children need sex education more than others. All they hear about at home and in church is butt sex, there are so many possibilities in addition to that.

  • DaveL

    Modus don’t tell me – you brought up anal sex during the wedding speeches, right?

    And then, when the crickets were heard chirping in the ensuing dead silence, remarked “those are for afterwards”.

  • eric

    Modus – you and your missus must of had and awkward honeymoon.

    Missuses, as God intended.

  • NitricAcid

    Does these people remember being 13? That would have been grade 9 for me- I certainly had access to magazines back then (not the internet like the kids of today have!), there were girls in the class who had reputations (deserved or not, I had no idea and didn’t care- they wouldn’t have spoken to me if given the choice, and wouldn’t have said anything nice if they had to), and I remember discussing with my friends as to whether or not certain acts would count towards losing one’s virginity. In grade 8, a rather racy novel called (IIRC) “Nobody’s Daughter” was being passed around class because everyone wanted to read the chapter entitled “A *** Has No Nose” (not being one of the cool kids, I read part of it over the shoulder or the cool-but-very-slow-at-reading kid in front of me). People bragged about the drugs they’d taken.

  • RickR

    It makes me wonder what our country has come to

    If you hear yourself sounding like a John Waters caricature of an uptight prude (especially one played by Mink Stole), you should probably consider excusing yourself from the conversation.

  • dingojack

    I just had to look it up –

    missus , ūs, m. mitto,

    I.a sending away, a sending, despatching.

    I. Lit.

    A. missu Caesaris ad Ambiorigem ventitare consueverat, Caes. B. G. 5, 27: “duas venisse legiones missu Caesaris,” id. ib. 6, 7: “Archippi regis missu,” Verg. A. 7, 752: quae valido venit contorta falarica missu, Enn. ap. Non. 555, 15 (Ann. v. 534 Vahl.).—

    B. A throwing, hurling, launching: “pilum, haud paulo quam hasta vehementius ictu missuque telum,” Liv. 9, 19, 7 Weissenb. ad loc.: telorum, Auct. B. Hisp. 17, 3; 31, 1.—

    II. Transf.

    A. A cast, a shot: “vix absunt nobis missus bis mille sagittae,” Lucr. 4, 408.—

    B. In the public games, a course, a round, a heat: “spectaculum multiplicatis missibus in serum produxit,” Suet. Ner. 22; id. Dom. 4: unus est missus qui ordinarius dicitur, Schol. Juv. 11, 193.—

    C. At table, a course: “novem libras carnis per tres missus ponebat,” Capitol. Pert. 12; Lampr. Heliog. 30.

    A Latin Dictionary. Founded on Andrews’ edition of Freund’s Latin dictionary. revised, enlarged, and in great part rewritten by. Charlton T. Lewis, Ph.D. and. Charles Short, LL.D. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1879.

    :) Dingo

  • abb3w

    @2, cottonnero

    From what I’ve seen, evolution is the only area where ‘teach the controversy and let the children decide’ applies. People who want to teach the ‘controversy’ about evolution are straight-up authoritarians practially everywhere else.

    They also widely tend to want to apply the principle to education regarding anthropogenic climate change. The issues regarding human cloning have also been included — for example, in Louisiana.

  • oranje

    Yes, of course, why learn important details about things like oral and anal sex in school when we could learn them on 4chan and from the very healthy attitudes to sex shown in the porn industry*? We can trust them to do it, right?

    /FWIW, I tangentially work in that industry, and while they do a lot of things right, they do a lot of things very wrong, too.

  • suttkus

    Teach the controversy only exists as a fallback strategy when they realize they can’t stop people from mentioning what they oppose at all. They didn’t want to “teach the controversy” in evolution either until after they lost all the major court cases trying to ban it.

    As for the main topic, my sex education classes never discussed sex or even mentioned it, really, and I turned out… print more posters.

  • caseloweraz

    I looked at that poster. Then I searched the Internet from end to end, from top to bottom. I never found anything — not one image — as graphically disgusting as that poster. To think this is what our teenagers are exposed to in school today!

    /sarc

    But seriously, this is the short version. I was tempted to go full Alice’s Restaurant (accent on the “rant”) about this alleged outrage. I mean… I mean!… that poster is just words in black and white. No color glossy photo. No image at all. Not even so much as a circle or an arrow.

  • http://cheapsignals.blogspot.com Gretchen

    chriswalker said:

    By 13, most of us had discovered porn (or erotic fan fiction, for the nerdy girls) and the Big Men on Campus were already getting blow jobs and fingering girls. A couple of girls I knew, who were of the low end of lower middle class and considered themselves to be quite “ghetto fabulous” (despite being white in a 90% white suburb) had already lost their virginity to their older brothers’ friends by 14.

    Yes, by 13 I had discovered porn– for guys. This was pre-internet, so it was Penthouse and Playboy, and that’s about it. I learned that because guys are interested in sex, they’re interested in porn, and that’s okay– in fact, if you want to be interesting to guys, you have an interest in looking like the women in those magazines. But you’d better not actually have sex or even want to have sex with those guys, because it’s not okay for you to be interested in that as a girl.

    Guys who want sex = normal.

    Guys who don’t want sex = freaks, and/or gay.

    Girls who don’t want sex = normal.

    Girls who do want sex = sluts, whores, slutty whores.

    It sounds like a similar sort of thing was going on at your school…you call the sexually active guys Big Men on Campus (and yes, I recognize that you’re mainly talking about how they were popularly considered), but don’t seem too impressed by the girls.

    Sex education? Yes please. Sex education with special consideration to wrongness of slut-shaming? Far superior.

  • mjmiller

    I kind of skipped ahead here, so my apologies if this has been covered. Regarding Modus’ wedding night I was thinking “that must have been exhausting to have to cover everything from cuddling to anal all in one night!” My admiration grew.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com WMDKitty — Survivor

    *clicks link*

    Really. That’s what they’re so worked up about?

    Also, yay for fan fiction, erotic or otherwise.

  • chilidog99

    If any attractive women in this school district are coming up short on pearls to clutch, let me know. I can give them their very own pearl necklace.

    I wonder if “pearl necklace” is on the poster? It should be.

  • matty1

    Are we sure the poster isn’t based on Modus’ wedding night. They just missed off “apologising to the vicar when they realise he hasn’t left yet”

  • dingojack

    Pearl Necklaces? Isn’t ‘auto-erotic strangulation’ one of the way consenting adults share intimacy?

    😉 Dingo