Parent Attends Sex Ed Class, Documents the Lies

A professor of bioethics decided to sit on the abstinence section of a sex education class her son is required to go to in a public school and live tweeted it. Some of the lies and moral puritanism in the class are nothing short of appalling. To start:

“You’ll find a good girl. If you find one that says ‘no,’ that’s the one you want.” HE ACTUALLY JUST SAID THAT.

And of course, condoms always fail:

Now the woman is up. “Sometimes condoms fail.”…

She’s now telling story of condom box in which EVERY SINGLE CONDOM HAD A HOLE…

“We are going to roll this dice 8 times. Every time your number comes up, in pretend your condom failed and you get a paper baby.” JESUS!!!…

Paper babies are being handed out to EVERYONE. They have ALL HAD CONDOM FAILURE AND THE WHOLE CLASS IS PREGNANT.

All of this happened at East Lansing High School here in Michigan, a school I know very well. It’s one of the best school districts in the state, full of the children of MSU professors. The principal is now making lame excuses:

East Lansing High School Principal Coby Fletcher issued a statement today saying that the district includes abstinence education but it’s not abstinence-only education as many were led to believe based on the tweets.

“Abstinence-based instruction teaches that abstinence is the only way to be completely safe, but the curriculum also reviews contraception choices. This parent attended on a day where abstinence was being taught,” he said in the statement…

Fletcher called Dreger’s actions disappointing in his statement.

“…I support the appropriate expression of a plurality of viewpoints; however, I am very concerned by the utter lack of civility I see conveyed in the tweets and the behavior the tweeter admits to exhibiting in the classroom. This is not representative of the conduct we expect to see adults model for our students.”

Yeah, that’s the problem. It’s not that your school is flat out lying to kids, it’s that a parent used naughty words when tweeting about it.

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

    Parent Attends Sex Ed Class…

    And the teacher says, “You’re late.”

  • cptdoom

    The parent wrote a longer piece about the experience, and how she is raising a skeptical son, in yesterday’s Stranger – the Seattle paper that Dan Savage works for:

    http://www.thestranger.com/features/feature/2015/04/15/22062331/i-sat-in-on-my-sons-sex-ed-class-and-i-was-shocked-by-what-i-heard

  • Chiroptera

    But if something supports the moral code that I believe in and insist that other people follow, is it really a lie?

  • D. C. Sessions

    I am very concerned by the utter lack of civility I see conveyed in the tweets and the behavior the tweeter admits to exhibiting in the classroom.

    Are we reading the same account? In the classroom she bit her tongue, kept quiet, and didn’t call attention to herself. Just what “behavior in the classroom” was she supposed to “exhibit?” (Yeah, Modus, I know. Never mind.)

  • gshelley

    She mentions that once it finished, she might have got a bit carried away and swore a lot

    I think I’m now in trouble for saying fuck 10 times in front of some students. And yelling about how awful it was.

  • John Pieret

    The principal from her son’s high school has called to officially inform her she will now be subject to special monitoring at her son’s school, allegedly for saying “fuck” in front of “children” after class ended.

    Are the people who are (allegedly) teaching sex education going to be specially monitored for telling lies in front of children, which is far worse than using a word that each and every one of them already knows?

  • laurentweppe

    So, basically, the US school system treats sex ed like anti-drugs ads: tells bald faced lies to the kids, kids realize that school lies to them, therefore become much more likely to treat as bullshit actual sensible advice…

  • caseloweraz

    According to Judy Putnam, writing in the Lansing State Journal, Alice Dreger is alleged to have sworn (used profanity or vulgarity) at the end of her visit to her son’s classroom. Nowhere have I seen it spelled out exactly what she is supposed to have said.

    There are mentions that words she put into her tweets were offensive. So what? She sat at the back of the classroom. No one had the opportunity to look over her shoulder at what she was typing.

    Putnam writes that East Lansing High School Principal Coby Fletcher has banned Mrs. Dreger from the campus “except for her freshman son’s events.” I’m not sure what this means. The son’s classes? His participation in sporting events, plays, and the like?

    I’m sorry to say it, but Putnam doesn’t strike me as the brightest commentator. It looks to me like these claims are just like someone on a blog accusing their interlocuter of ad hominems when there were none.

  • lofgren

    She’s contaminated the entire ninth grade. They all seem to be saying “fuck” all the time now. Somehow they even started saying it all the time like three or four years before they ever met her. Obviously she is a slut with time travel powers.

  • caseloweraz

    John Pieret: Are the people who are (allegedly) teaching sex education going to be specially monitored for telling lies in front of children, which is far worse than using a word that each and every one of them already knows?

    So that was the word she used. Holy frack! It’s like the principal doesn’t ever listen to how his students are talking every day.

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

    …however, I am very concerned by the utter lack of civility I see conveyed in the tweets and the behavior the tweeter admits to exhibiting in the classroom.

    This isn’t about the dishonesty of abstinence education, it’s about ethics in abstinence-education journalism.

  • John Horstman

    @Raging Bee #11: Hehe, it’s never, ever going to get old.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    using a word that each and every one of them already knows?

    No less a word that is highly appropriate for a sex ed class.

  • Hoosier X

    This isn’t about the dishonesty of abstinence education, it’s about ethics in abstinence-education journalism.

    Hee hee

  • Chiroptera

    Do the failure rates of contraceptive and prophylactic methods include when people use them incorrectly? ‘Cause if they do, then I’d suspect that “abstinence” has a pretty high failure rate.

  • TGAP Dad

    This is actually my local high school. Two of my kids have graduated from ELHS, and a third is a junior there. I was outraged then, as I am outraged now. Fortunately, Ms. Dreger has the local influence and academic chops to get this addressed. Maybe this will shame the administration to fix it, and maybe it won’t. Either way, I applaud Ms. Dreger for bringing the harsh glare of the spotlight on it.

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

    Chiroptera “Do the failure rates of contraceptive and prophylactic methods include when people use them incorrectly? ‘Cause if they do, then I’d suspect that “abstinence” has a pretty high failure rate.”

    Wrong. A condom misused is still a condom, but abstinence misused is no longer abstinence.

  • Nomad

    I went to a school district that was definitely not part of the axis of abstinence. But I had a teacher who was. So while we didn’t use an abstinence only curriculum, our teacher started off the sex sed unit (it was part of a larger comprehensive health class) by stating that his religion (Christianity, of course) informed him that you’re not supposed to have sex before marriage, but that he was going to be telling us we shouldn’t have sex before marriage for completely different reasons. And then he went on to lie shamelessly about birth control failure rates.

    I still remember some details. Like that he assigned us the task of making posters that argued why we shouldn’t have sex before marriage. I can’t get over that. I rebelled in my own minor way. I made a poster arguing for the use of risk reducing measures when having sex.

    This is one of those “I wish I knew then what I knew now” moments. I wish it had occurred to me to ask him what gay people were supposed to do, since this was before a single state had gay marriage.

  • Nomad

    Oh, and Modusoperandi:

    Wrong. A condom misused is still a condom, but abstinence misused is no longer abstinence.

    Not using a condom consistently is considered a condom “misused” for the purposes of many quoted failure rates. Is it “still a condom” if it’s left sitting on the sidetable and isn’t used at all?

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

    Nomad “Is it ‘still a condom’ if it’s left sitting on the sidetable and isn’t used at all?”

    Now you’re just being ridiculous! Didn’t you pay attention in sex-ed? You’re supposed to put them on a banana first.

  • Nomad

    I kind of wish we’d had that. I feel like I missed out on an adolescent rite of passage. Nah, the main message we got about condoms was that they fail a lot. Actually teaching us anything about how to properly use them might have had the unwanted effect of lowering their failure rate, and our teacher wouldn’t have wanted that.

  • chilidog99

    Maybe the should have watched the movie “Grease”

    Then handed out Saran Wrap to the kids.

  • Pteryxx

    Nomad:

    Not using a condom consistently is considered a condom “misused” for the purposes of many quoted failure rates. Is it “still a condom” if it’s left sitting on the sidetable and isn’t used at all?

    Yes, because failure rates are calculated per year of use of that method, not per instance of use. So when a sexually active person reports that their protective method of choice is condoms, forgetting the condom counts as part of the “typical” failure rate (versus the “perfect” or ideal failure rate).

    Chiroptera #15: Libby Anne (who is awesome) wrote about the failure rate of abstinence: (here)

    Citing Heather at Scarleteen:

    A study by Janet Elise Rosenbaum, PhD, AM (Patient Teenagers? A Comparison of the Sexual Behavior of Virginity Pledgers and Matched Nonpledgers, PEDIATRICS Vol. 123 No. 1 January 2009)found that teens who pledge to abstain from sex have just as much sex as those who don’t, and that those who pledge not to have sex until marriage don’t wait longer to have sex than those who don’t make that pledge. Pledgers did not differ in lifetime sexual partners and age of first sex. Fewer pledgers than matched nonpledgers also used birth control and condoms in the past year and birth control at last sex. She also found that five years after the pledge, 82% of pledgers denied having ever pledged at all. Central to the information we’re looking for, on typical use in a year, “pledgers reported an average of 1.09 past-year vaginal sex partners, 0.11 fewer than nonpledgers.” In other words, on average, those who report using abstinence are not using abstinence perfectly each year.

    […]

    My theory is that the typical use rate for abstinence is the average of the typical use rate for using no method at all, and the typical use rate for periodic abstinence, which lands us at a rate of 42.5-50%. I may be overly generous in that estimate, but I don’t think so. If you think I am, and want to play it as safe as possible, then you’ll want to consider it to be the 10-20% figure, instead. (I’d also be really interested in reading your own comments on this, and seeing your own theories.)

    Libby Anne:

    In order to have an exact number, let’s average 42.5% and 50%. This leaves us with 46.3% as the typical use rate for abstinence. This is a very very bad typical use rate. In fact, it’s a worse typical use failure rate than any other method of birth control out there. The typical use rate for the pill is 91%, and for the condom is 82%. The Mirena IUD and the implant have the same typical use rate as their perfect use rate—99.8% and 99.95%—because they are not subject to user error. Given that people who say they will be abstinent typically don’t, and that abstinence-only sex education does not prevent people from having premarital sex (at best it delays first intercourse a short period, but also makes people more likely to engage in risky sex when they do have intercourse), abstinence’s typical use rate puts it at the very bottom when it comes to effectiveness as a method of birth control.

  • gog

    In four years with my girlfriend and who-the-fuck-knows how many condoms, I can only confirm but one actual failure. On top of that, I’m pretty sure I was careless when applying it, so it was user error. So what the fuck is this teacher talking about with every condom in the box having a hole? What size box, anyway? There are only two ways that could happen: the manufacturer has extremely shitty quality control, or somebody is tampering with the condoms between factory and end use. Shit, maybe it’s the fuckin’ abstinence-only teacher going to all the pharmacies and grocery stores and gas stations and stabbing all of the boxes with needles!

    What a crock of shit.

  • Phillip Hallam-Baker

    gog @24,

    Not the only way it can happen. Easy enough for a bullet to go through the whole lot after ricocheting off a passing armadillo.

    At my Church of England public school in the UK we were told that every condom made by the London rubber company was tested electronically. Basically they have a vat of water with some sort of salt in it to make it conductive and check the resistance is sufficiently high.

    But then again they were maybe less worried about sex than getting some parent’s daughter pregnant.

  • carlie

    If they really think condoms have that high of a failure rate, how do they think condom companies stay in business?! The free hand of the market would have driven them all bankrupt long ago.

  • colnago80

    Well, I don’t know about preggers but, according to Abbie Smith who is an AIDS researcher, condoms, when properly used, are 95% effective in preventing the spread of AIDS.