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Back to May Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 256 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS May 2007

Sex Ed Lesson Embarrasses 8th-Grade Students, Outrages Parents

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An 8th-grade sex education lesson at a school in Thornton, Illinois raised an uproar among parents. Health teacher Scott Groff downloaded a lesson and handout from the internet and used it with 40 of his students over the course of two days. While Illinois' sex ed standards cover abstinence, AIDS and human development, this lesson read more like a how-to sex manual, with detailed instructions on how to have better sex and other topics that embarrassed many students.

The teacher went through the handout with students and required them to read portions of the material aloud. "I just felt really uncomfortable talking about this in a class with boys and girls," said one female student. "I was like, 'Mr. Groff, why do we need to learn this? He just looked at me and said, 'Calm down, calm down.'"

Wolcott School principal Stephan Harman called the incident a serious mistake, and said that Groff claimed not to have read the four-page handout "thoroughly enough" before beginning the lesson. Harmon did not know why Groff continued the lesson after the graphic content became obvious.

After meeting with parents, the school board sent Groff on paid administrative leave. The board will not renew his contract. The district will also suspend its sex ed program temporarily and review the materials most teachers use.


 
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