Parents in a small Washington State community are infuriated after their 11-year-old children were given graphic descriptions of oral and anal sex during a sex education class led by an elementary school principal.
Fifth-graders at Onalaska Elementary School were supposed to get a lesson about HIV-AIDS, but the class discussion turned graphic when a child asked about other forms of sexual activity. The principal, who happened to be teaching the class, then told the children about oral and anal sex.
“I’m one pissed off cowboy,” parent James Gilliand told Fox News Radio. “I didn’t appreciate them teaching my daughter – who is innocent of that – at all.”
Gilliland and his wife, Kadra, were among the moms and dads in Onalaska, about 73 miles south of Tacoma, demanding answers from their local school system – and so far – they are still waiting.
“I was just shocked because I trusted my little country school,” Kadra Gilliland told Fox News Radio. “I didn’t think they were going to talk about such things. I trusted by school – that’s the bottom line and they crossed the line.”
School officials did not return calls seeking comment.
However, Superintendent Scott Fenter defended the principal’s action to local media and said that the lesson did not go too far.
“I think the principal handled it appropriately at the time; she only gave factual information, no demonstrations,” Fenter told NWCN.com. “Because in sixth grade they start becoming sexually aware and you’ve got to teach them ahead of time.”
“In reality, she stuck to the curriculum,” he told Seattle’s Q-13 Fox News. “It’s pretty difficult to talk about STDs or sexually transmitted diseases without explaining what that is, or how it’s transmitted.”
Since 1988 Washington State has required some sort of sex education starting in the fifth grade.
“Kids leaving 5th grade and moving into middle school start getting exposed to a lot more information, and we know that`s the age where many children start to become sexually active, unfortunately,” Fenter told the Fox affiliate. “And that`s a scary thought, (but) that`s the truth.”
Parent Curtis Pannkuk said if that’s the case – the curriculum needs to be changed.
“One of the other parents said it well – they raped the minds of the ten year old, eleven year old kids,” he told Fox News Radio. “Children were traumatized.”
The Pannkuk and Gilliland families said they knew something was wrong when the daughters came home from school. They were quiet and withdrawn.
“You could tell she was embarrassed,” Jean Pannkuk told Fox News Radio. “She didn’t want to have to repeat what had been said. It was really sad to see her struggle with feeling like she was responsible.”
Pannkuk and her husband sat their daughter down and asked her explain what she was taught in the class.
“You take a man’s penis and you put it in your mouth – that’s what the girls do to the boys,” their daughter told the couple. “The boys spread the girls legs apart and put their mouths down on the vaginas.”
Pannkuk said he became enraged as his 11-year-old daughter recounted what the principal had told the classroom.
“Steam was coming out my ears,” he said. “I was very, very upset. I understand that they need to teach these kids sex education – but 11-year-olds? I have a problem with that. The wife and I were very – very upset.”
Gilliland said another child explained to their parents that it “was basically like a lollipop.”
“There are a lot of pissed off parents besides this pissed-off cowboy,” he said. “I’ve been told they’re getting sexually active, younger and younger – maybe in the city – but not here in the country.”
But Supt. Fenter told Seattle’s Fox affiliate that parents were sent a notice informing them about the program – and that they had a right to review the curriculum. But he said, only three parents showed up.
Mrs. Pannkuk said she was aware of the class “but I didn’t know it was going to be that explicit.”
Gilliland said he has no problem teaching sex education – but this particular class went too far.
“It’s one thing to teach about reproduction,” he said. ‘She knows about breeding her guinea pigs, horses, dogs and so on. She knows how babies are born and how they are created, but when they go teaching them these extra acts – it’s appalling.”
Mrs. Gilliland said it’s important for parents across the nation to get involved and to pay attention.
“Be more involved in your school,” she said. “See what your kids are learning. Pay attention. Talk to your kids.”
She said many of the families are now dealing with the aftermath of the class.
“She should be bouncing on the trampoline, riding horses – doing normal kid stuff,” she said of her daughter. “We don’t need to talk about that stuff at that age.
But now they do.
“The damage is done,” Pannkuk said.
Todd is the author of “Dispatches From Bitter America – Culture War Stories from a Gun-toting, Chicken-eating, Son-of-a-Baptist.” The book is endorsed by Sarah Palin, Mark Levin and Sean Hannity. Click here to get your copy!