Onalaska parents say sex ed is too racy for 5th graders

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on June 11, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 11 at 5:30 PM

ONALASKA, Wash. - You can tell Onalaska is old fashioned just by looking.

"We're in the country, we're small town, we like it that way,” said parent Kadra Gilliland.
 
But something at the elementary school last week has folks in this quiet town making noise.

"What gives this woman the right to come down here and go above our authority, is the way I look at it,” said parent Curt Pannkuk.

"I was one pissed off cowboy," said parent James Gilliland.

These parents are upset about a sex education class for the fifth graders last week.

"She learned oral sex and anal sex, things 10- and 11-year-olds do not need to know,” said Kadra.

When the school's principal, who was teaching the course, was asked what oral and anal sex were, she told the students.
 
James Gilliland couldn't believe it.

"It's basically the same as raping a kids mind and taking their innocence,” he said.

"I think the principal handled it appropriately at the time; she only gave factual information, no demonstrations,” said Onalaska Superintendent Scott Fenter.

Fenter says state law requires fifth graders to learn about sexually transmitted diseases.
 
Parents can review the curriculum, which does mention oral and anal sex, and can have their child excused.
 
But Fenter does not think the lesson goes too far.

"Because in 6th grade they start becoming sexually aware and you've got to teach them ahead of time,” he said.

"There are some questions you just don't answer or you answer them politically correctly; she was not politically correct,” said parent Jean Pannkuk.

School ends Friday, but these parents won't let their kids go back unless the curriculum is changed.

"Might as well give the kids a Kama Sutra book and teach 'em the same thing,” said James Gilliland.

Since 1988, state law has required some sort of sex education beginning at fifth grade. A state spokesperson says the curriculum has only generated limited complaints since then.

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