Sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip…

My kids’ school has a disproportionately large number of pregnant teenagers and a proportionately small amount of sex ed. They get a little reproductive knowledge in science, a dash of “your changing body” from a trip to the Hult Health education center and smidgen of “sex, don’t do it” in an 8th grade health class taught by the school counselor, Ms. J.

In the last such class Ms. J. posed this moral dilemma:

“A boy and a girl are stranded together on an island. The island splits apart, leaving the girl on one side and the boy on the other, seperated by water.

A boat pulls up to the girl’s island and the captain offers her a ride to the other side if she will give him a ride on the wild side. (Okay, okay, her teacher said “in exchange for sexual intercourse.”)

The girl agrees, does the deed, and is reunited with the boyfriend. She tells him about the ‘booty bounty;’ the boy is upset, calls her a ‘slut’ and breaks up with her.”

WTF?

Of course, the kids had questions.
“How did the island seperate?”
(super-fast continental drift!)

“Why didn’t they build a raft?”
(Duh, they were too busy penning love letters in seaweed on the sea shore to one another.)

“Is the girl/boy cute?”
(No.)

“Why didn’t they call for help with their cell phones.”
(They were out of minutes and didn’t want to get grounded.)

Reagan’s question, “Why didn’t she ask the captain to give her and the boyfriend a ride to civilization?”
(Well, apparently the girl is a dumbass)

The teacher’s question to the class:
“Who do you think is the villian in this story?

Global warming?

The consensus of the students was the captain of the ship was the evildoer, as he should have “just given her a ride, without making any demands.”

The teacher told them they were wrong, the “villian” is the boyfriend, for judging the girl.

Okay, I get it, judging is bad, but isn’t soliciting a sex act also wrong?

And what kind of story encourages exchanging underage sex for a boat trip and doesn’t extoll the dangers of hitchhiking?

And I’m still pondering, what EXACTLY is the moral of that story?

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20 Responses to “Sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip…”

  1. Sarah Says:

    I wonder what size the captain’s “boat” was? I think the moral was

    “Its not the size of the boat its the motion of the ocean” : )

  2. ImaSwede Says:

    I can’t even think of anything to say to that one! Why would they even be discussing this in school?

  3. Rixie Says:

    What a stupid story/lesson. I wonder what the kids in my school would have to say if I tried to pass the off as a sex ed lesson. They’d prolly wonder why they didn’t have a threesome.

  4. Secret Server Says:

    Maybe the moral of the story is that sex ed in public schools is lacking. They can’t teach our kids accurate information about contraception, sexual orientation, or even basic anatomy, but they can use stories like this to teach a lesson? How bizarre. I am wondering though, was the captain hot?

  5. Ms. PH Says:

    Wait a minute, wait a minute. I’m confused. That’s supposed to be a sex education class? Why couldn’t the problem be . . . oh, I don’t know . . . more RELEVANT to actual situations teenagers get themselves into with sex?

    I mean, of course, back in my day, we had to make these stranded on a splitting desert island decisions ALL THE TIME, but wouldn’t it be a better idea to ask today’s kids, “What would you do if you had been dating this guy for a couple of months and you really, really liked him and he was pressuring you to have sex with him?”

    So, to recap . . . what have they learned? Soliciting sex in exchange for payment is good. Calling someone a slut and breaking up with them because they made a few questionable decisions is bad.

    You wanna know who I think the villian is? The girl. Why the hell didn’t she take matters into her own hands and swim across to the other island if she wanted to see the boy so badly? Even better . . . why didn’t she just forget the boy and make her own great life on the island? You know . . . build a hut out of palm leaves, kill and roast some wild animals, and purify drinking water while making her own clothes. She could write a great novel (on tree bark), be rescued by a band of hot pirates and make a million dollars selling her story to Hollywood. Now that’s the lesson I learned from the story.

  6. Katie Says:

    Umm…that seems very irresponsible by that teacher.

    I may be a bit of a drama llama here, but are you considering talking to her supervisors about this or maybe pulling your kid from the class? How does the VERY conservative religious folks in your town think of this? I can’t see any of them being OK with condoning sex as currency.

    IDK, Jen…in a way it’s kind of funny. But it’s far more disturbing to think that this is something being taught!

  7. steenky bee Says:

    Wait, wasn’t this an episode of LOST? Did the teacher mention anything about a hatch? I still don’t understand what’ s going on with that island. And I think that teacher has no idea what’s going on in the world.

  8. Fails, “Forgiveness” and Time « blueollie Says:

    […] This type of situation is what I don’t want happening. […]

  9. Billy Dennis Says:

    No, the moral was certainly “don’t be judgmental.” It’s very imporatant no one judge anyone.

  10. Jennifer Says:

    Sarah,
    LOL!
    Ima,
    I’ve been wondering that, too, I mean who really made up this lesson plan?
    Rixie,
    Yes, it is beyond dumb. If she wanted to talk about sex and pressure a more realistic scenario would have been preferable, something along the lines of “X and Y have been dating for a while, Y wants to have sex, X does not, what advice would you give them?”
    SS and Katie,
    I’ve debated calling the school but sex ed is pretty taboo around these parts and I fear they would take any complaint as being a justification to provide even less. Which is worse though, a bad lesson or no lesson at all? I guess I’m just glad that Reagan told me about it so we could talk about it. The funny thing is, it must have been a really memorable lesson as my boss’s daugther is in the same class and told her mom about it too. (And it was pretty much word for word what Rea had told me!)
    PH and Steenky,
    I’m with ya sistahs!
    Ollie,
    I’m actually pro-sex ed, but kinda wish they would deal more with the biology issues and dispelling myths such as “you can’t get pregnant the first time.”
    Jennifer

    Billy,
    Yes, I have a bit of a problem with the “don’t be judgmental” bit, too, as while I don’t think it’s okay to condemn someone, not all behaviour should be condoned. For example, one of the homecoming attendants this year has a baby. She wanted to bring the baby to ride in the car during the homecoming parade. I am glad the school did not allow it, because while it’s great that the girl is still is school and thriving, it would have sent the message that a baby is a cool acessory rather than a life changing event.

  11. laurel Says:

    LOL!! I thought NC was bad…but we got more sex ed than that. Though we were not allowed to be taught birth control, sex is only allowed within marriage in the south. HA HA

    I am pro sex ed. My mother taught my brother and I what we needed to know but not all parents will. I think it all should be taught. Yeah we got some sex ed in 5th grade, 8th grade, and 9th grade, but by 8th and 9th it’s really too late. Go ahead and put it out there the STDs you can get from things other than intercourse, talk about what hapens to your body when you get pregant, just teaching body parts is not enough

  12. Jennifer Says:

    Laurel,
    I agree and have continually talked about sex ed with my kids… we covered age-appropriate basics when they were younger and have sort of moved on now, to include social/moral issues. For example, we watched the movie “Juno” and then talked about the ramifications of the pregnancy for both the boy and the girl, and how she seemed to bear the brunt of social judgment, while he almost seemed to get kudos for “scoring.”
    Jennifer

  13. jadedgirl Says:

    Well…That’s the silliest sex ed lesson I have ever heard…

    I am with PH…why in the hell didn’t the girl just try and swim it?

    I remember sex ed when I was in Jr. High.
    It went something like this:

    Teacher:
    This is a picture of a penis.
    Boys are probably starting to get hair there at this age.
    Boys might also experience a flow of blood to this part of the body causing what we clinically call an erection.
    It’s normal…don’t panic.
    It’s part of the process of how babies are made.
    When you are older, of course.

    Me:
    When this blood flow happens-don’t boys shake it around until something comes out of it?

    Teacher:
    Um…(turning bright red) Perhaps that is something you should ask your parents about.

    Me:
    Isn’t this sex ed? And sex is making babies, right? So, why can’t you answer my question?

    Teacher:
    (Now a faint shade of purple) Some things are not appropriate to talk about here at school, I’m just giving you the clinical knowedge.

    Me: Well…that’s stupid!

    Teacher: Moving on…
    This is a vagina…etc…yada yada yada.

    Needless to say, I asked another “innapropriate” question and was sent to the principal. LOL

    I was…wait…I still am…pretty inquisitive.

    Anyway…AT least the sex ed is delving more into the topic of “intercourse” and not just puberty issues.
    But…there HAS to be a standard curriculum process behind the class, and I cannot fathom HOW this set of weird hypothetical questions was written for the general premise of the class.

    Strange.

    I hope Bubba just comes to me with stuff he wants to know…as uncomfortable as that will be, I’m ready.

    A quick aside:
    My son is an early bloomer…he got caught kissing a little girl in the closet at aftercare yesterday.
    LOVELY.

  14. idonotknowme Says:

    And to think, people look at us askance when we tell them we home school…

    Why ever wouldn’t we want to take advantage of the wonderful government schools I am forced to pay for?

  15. jenjw4 Says:

    IDKNM,
    Hi. I don’t think it’s odd that you homeschool. Most homeschooled children do very well and many of the stigma’s (such as lack of social interaction, not learning about the “real world”, etc) related to homeschooling are myths, with no basis in fact.
    But here comes the big “but,” I think your sarcastic statement about “wonderful government schools” is actually accurate if you were sincere. My kids’ school, despite examples like this story, really is wonderful. They are recieving a really great education. Both my kids could read at a senior in high school level in 5th grade. Both have had really caring teachers that push them to do their best.
    Furthermore the mention that you are “forced to pay for (schools)” is accurate, however, not eveyone can homeschool, and don’t you think it’s in everyone’s best interest that we have an educated populace? And we all pay for services we don’t currently use, but may someday need or wish to utilize, because these services, such as nursing homes, nature preserves, etc, make the country a better place and are for the greater good.
    Jennifer

  16. postsimian Says:

    LESSONFAIL

  17. idonotknowme Says:

    Yes, a better educated population would be better for the nation. I don’t believe government schools are the way to get there. If we are going to have government (i.e. taxes) funded education, I believe a voucher system would be much better as it would allow market competition. That competition would lead to greater personalization and higher quality than we get with the current government school model.

    A lot more people could home school if they weren’t forced to pay for government schools that they choose not to use because of their one-size-fits-all thinking. “Your birth date is X and your address is Y, well then, we know everything we need to about you” has been our experience with District 323. Any suggestion that a child might benefit from 3rd grade math while being in 1st grade handwriting was derisively dismissed.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Have you considered talking to any of the school authorities about this? If enough parents complained about it the school would have to do something.

    Just an idea.

  19. hm Says:

    .

  20. Cindy Says:

    I agree with anonymous.
    Seriously, complaining on a website won’t really help. I’m glad SOME parents are concerned, but really, just sitting at your blog won’t change things!!

    Do you have a school board or PTA? You should consider talking to some people higher up. Don’t be afraid to do what you believe is right, you never know how you might help a situation. And maybe this program is the best your admin can do… it’s a sad attempt, but it IS an attempt. Just give them the boost they need. Help, don’t spread angry blogs.

    Merely my input on the situation!
    Thanks.

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