A New Jersey school district is facing scrutiny for a provocative eighth grade homework assignment that reads more like a chapter from “Fifty Shades of Gray.” The boys and girls at Myron L. Powell Elementary School in Cedarville were instructed to write a “reactive response” to a given situation. They wanted to know what the students would do if they went to a party, got drunk, had sex with a stranger and then contracted herpes. I was first alerted to the story by WPG, my radio affiliate in Atlantic City, N.J. The homework assignment was for a language arts class. Back when I was in school language arts was more about dangling participles, not sexually transmitted diseases. Amy Loper told me she was shocked when she discovered her son’s homework assignment. And I mean she was shocked! “It’s insane,” she said. “There is no reason whatsoever to discuss that kind of stuff with a kid. It’s not sex education class. It’s language arts.” Mrs. Loper made several telephone calls to the school and demanded some answers. It turns out – the assignment is part of the district’s (wait for it) core curriculum. The homework is part of a book the students were given titled, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.” Let’s hope underage drinking, partying and unprotected sex are not among the habits. Here’s the verbatim assignment: “You had a really rotten day, but lucky for you your best friend is having an awesome party later. You go to the party and start drinking. You have a little too much to drink and start talking to this girl/guy you’ve never seen before. You head upstairs to better acquainted despite several friends telling you that you don’t even know this person. You end up having sex with this person. The next day you really can’t remember everything that happened and rely on your best friend to fill you in. A week later you find out that you contracted herpes from your one night stand and that this is a disease you will have all your life and never known when an outbreak will occur.” Mrs. Loper called her son’s teacher to get an explanation. When she failed to get a satisfactory answer from the teacher, she contacted the superintendent. “The superintendent told me that we could opt out of the sex education class,” she said. “But that’s not the point.” And that’s because the material was not taught in sex ed. It was taught in language arts. “It’s not the school’s job to make these points to the kids,” she said. Mrs. Loper said she was blown away with the soft-core content of the assignment. “Society is in such a downward spiral and everyone is willing to go along on the ride instead of trying to bring up their kids and actually parent,” she said. I reached out to the school but no one returned my calls. Anybody miss the days of “Old Yeller”?
You really can’t make this stuff up, folks..