Elementary students accidentally given graphic sex guide
In a recent health class, a sixth- and seventh-grade students in Canada got quite an adult version of sex education.
While the booklet, the Safer Sex Guide, given to the kids offers advise on how to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs), it also talks about fetishes and sex acts (like bondage and use of sex toys) — in rather medical and, some could argue vulgar, slang terms.
On June 20, public health nurse Carmen Murphy and a trainee presented kids at Erickson Elementary School Grade in Creston, British Columbia, with the 47-page booklet to take home, the CBC News reports.
The Kootenay Lake School District, Principal Ken Wiens, Superintendent Christine Perkins, and Murphy herself issued formal apologies to parents, eight of which had filed formal complaints.
“It’s quite graphic, and I consider myself to be a fairly liberal person — and I was shocked,” Perkins told CBC News. “We have issued apologies, offered counseling to families, we’re phoning every single parent, we’ve got counseling through the summer if anybody wants it.”
Produced by CATIE (Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange), the guide is clearly states that it is “contains sexually explicit information” and “meant for mature audiences.”
However, because the booklet is illustrated with cartoons, Murphy told CBC News it appeared on first glance to be age-appropriate for the students. CBC News reports neither the school’s principal nor the teacher examined the materials.
The Creston Valley Advance reports Interior Health public health nurse Kayla Benson wrote a letter to parents confirming the materials had not been reviewed. “This is a new resource that we did not review completely before providing it … to use as a further resource for the students,” she wrote. “Upon review, it was evident that there was some explicit language and content used that may not be appropriate for this age group.”
Liz Anderson’s 12-year-old son Garrett got a copy. He ended up showing it to a student in another class.
“This book was on the side of almost sexual assault, teaching the kids this kind of crap,” Anderson told CBC News. “On my part, I think the health nurse and the principal should have went through that book before it was even allowed in the school.”
On Tuesday, parents had a chance to speak their minds on the matter.
Terina Sandre, a parent of one of the students who got the booklet, did a bit of research on her own.
“I’ve spoken to the president of CATIE, and he said that book is intended strictly for adults who have a STI or live with people who have a STI, so they can learn how to be safe,” Sandre said. “He said; that the only reason that book was sent out was because it was ordered by the public hospital. Not the school. He said, if we would have known that that book was going near any elementary school, it would have been red flagged and never sent out to that hospital.”
The district announced it will implement a strict vetting process on all third-party materials in the future.
“It’s extremely important to have age-appropriate education,” Perkins told the parents. “We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but at the same time, we don’t want to not inform kids. Of course, we don’t want our kids going out and having STDs or getting pregnant. But there’s certain ages and certain ways, methods in which to teach at different age levels, and I think that was the step that was missed here.”
Chris Pastrick is a Tribune-Review digital producer. You can contact Chris at 412-320-7898, [email protected] or via Twitter .