A principal in Onalaska, Wash., was accused of “raping” her fifth-grade students. Not actually — this isn’t a case of, you know, rape-rape but rather rape as an inappropriate metaphor: “rape” by sex ed. James Gilliland, the parent of an 11-year-old girl who took C.J. Gray’s class on the birds and the bees, told Seattle’s KING 5 News: “It’s basically the same as raping a kid’s mind and taking their innocence.”
What got this father and other parents so fired up? In a recent lesson on HIV, Gray answered a student’s question about what oral sex and anal sex are. […S]he did not actually demonstrate the act; there were no photos or videos, either. It was just a matter-of-fact explanation of the basic mechanics.
This small-town story has garnered national attention — and, of course, lit up conservative sites like Glenn Beck’s the Blaze and anti-choice outlets like LifeNews.com — because the backlash isn’t just about these kids or their hyperbolic parents; it’s really about a larger culture war, as well as fundamental, bipartisan fears about kids and sex. It’s a case study on the parental terror, ignorance and sometimes willful blindness that often accompanies the fight against comprehensive sex education.
Given examples like this where abstinence-only sex ed doesn’t work, and parents seem to not want to talk fully and accurately about sex, wouldn’t people want schools to do it? On the other hand, given how badly schools do at other things…