The controversy over the sex terms vocabulary exercise used for 10th graders at Joel Barlow High School in Redding made the front page of the Easton Community Gazette on May 20, 2023.
Not only that, but the teacher who administered the assignment, Kristen Gallo, issued a statement to parents to provide more details, and to defend Comprehensive Sex Education, including the usage of that graphic vocabulary list with students as young as 15 years old.
In the statement Gallo said she believes in “creating a safe and welcoming classroom environment” and that she works hard so she can “build rapport with the students” and “gain their trust” before she starts to desensitize them to sexually-explicit vocabulary terms like anal intercourse, cunnilingus, and fellatio.
After the class reads each vocabulary term, Gallo explained how she adds additional information she feels is important and engages in small group discussions about the terms. What additional information do you think she might add to a discussion on abortion? Or about being a fetishist? What might she say about sadism and masochism? Does she use visual aids?
How does the conversation about “gender identity” go? Does she promote the notion that students can make up any gender they want? Or does she stick with the traditional “male” and “female” gender identities? Don’t you think parents ought to know?
Of course, Gallo doesn’t want her students to feel alone in this exercise, so she takes her turn reading and defining terms along with the class. Did you ever have a health teacher educate you about the finer points of giving head? Or teach you about mutual masturbation and orgies? Can you imagine a discussion like that taking place in a classroom with 15-year-old girls and boys?
Even if students opted out of this exercise, they were still exposed to the conversation and the discussion about these sexually-explicit terms.
Apparently, compelling students to read or listen to such sexually graphic definitions might actually have been a violation of the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), especially if parents were not notified about the assignment in advance or given an opportunity to opt out. If PPRA was violated, it could have potentially severe consequences that could result in the lost of federal and federally-supplemented state funds for up to 5 years.
Not just that, but the school allegedly violated Freedom of Information laws by declining to respond to one FOI request in the required four-day period, and also by allegedly slow-walking another. Both requests were related to this assignment.
No wonder Superintendent Jason McKinnon “declined to promptly respond” to questions from the press on this unfolding issue.