Sex ed at Elmbrook

It looks like there’s been a complete reversal of the Elmbrook staff’s initial plans to teach your kids whatever they want. Now the school board wants the final say for lesson plans. Thanks, I’ll take a little credit for that. A little over a year ago Brookfield City News broke the story with this post:

A sensitive subject we need to discuss
By Cindy Kilkenny
Wednesday, Aug 22 2007, 10:50 PM

The Elmbrook school district sent this information sheet home with those that enrolled last week in one of the two Elmbrook middle schools. It describes the middle school Human Growth and Development Program curriculum.

On page two for the 7th grade outcomes (teacher speak for what students should know at the end of the lesson) under Life Cycles, item #3 it says:

3. Definitions/implications of sexual behavior (e.g. oral sex)

Sorry to lay it out there folks, but if our elected Elmbrook Board of Education can say it, I guess I can, too.

Seventh graders are about 12 years old. Do parents really want this particular intimate act taught in the classroom to their pre-teens? Is the Elmbrook community willing to abandon parenting completely?

I asked my 15 year old what happened in her 7th grade class. She recalled the teacher gave the one brave student who was willing to say “penis” in class a piece of candy. Does the school board really think this group is ready for more at that age? I know parents can pull their children from these classes, but it’s a pretty awkward process. And yes, there’s a formal way to protest the curriculum, but I bet parents wish they didn’t have to do so.

By the way, I may be acting overly hard on the board. At least one board member has written that he had no idea about the issue. However, I expect the board to have oversight regarding this kind of curriculum. They’ve spent hours on whether or not we should make more students “special” in the high school by increasing grade point averages with weighted grades. And, they’ve changed curriculum before in foreign language and music. I sure hope they spend some time on this important topic.

There were several discussions that followed that initial post. A committee was formed by the district to review – as required by law – and now we read that the school board has voted 5 – 2 to take control of the curriculum. Thanks to the five board members who voted yes: Wartman, Allgaier, Gehl, Marcello, and Jones. You can find their e-mail addresses here if you’d like to thank them, too.