• Redding, CT, High School Pressures Students to Define Explicit Sex Terms During 10th Grade Wellness Class

    Screenshot, Joel Barlow High School

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    Joel Barlow High School in Redding, CT, shared a detailed vocabulary list with high school students during 10th Grade Wellness Education this week.

    The “Human Sexuality Terms” handout included nine pages of terms used to describe different kinds of sex acts, sexual preferences, anatomical and colloquial names of sex and reproductive organs, names of STDs and so forth.  The assignment included a subset of the definitions found on the “Sex Terms” list complied by the very progressive website Sex, Etc., which is part of Rutgers University “Answer sex ed, honestly” program.

    Students were purportedly asked to read the definitions of the terms aloud during class.  

    While they were allowed to say “pass” and avoid reading a definition if asked, students instead felt intense peer pressure to respond — if they didn’t respond, some students feared they might be mocked for “not being able to handle it” or for being too prudish.

    Of course, not all 10th graders feel comfortable defining “anal intercourse” or “cunnilingus” or “fellatio” in front of a class of 15-year-old and 16-year-old boys and girls.

    What is the real purpose of pressuring students into talking about explicit sex terms with their peers?  Is the presence of this kind of exercise somehow related to the growing number of sexually-explicit books that have been found in school libraries as of late?  Are you concerned that children are being over sexualized with assignments like this? 

    If after reading this, you are scratching your head and wondering what’s going on in schools, then you absolutely cannot miss the American Conversations panel discussion What Are Your Children Learning? in Greenwich on May 21st at 4pm!  

    The panel will be moderated by Christine Dolan, and features a powerful line-up of speakers who will be talking about how social emotional learning (SEL); diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); and critical race theory have made their way into the classroom, and have, among other things, created an environment that permits this sort of content under the guise of “equity" or “being inclusive”.

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    James Goodfellow

    Revolting garbage! Child abuse in public schools in the State of CT.

    Amy Williams

    Disgusting and Immoral. What is next? It just keeps getting worse!

    Griffin Speck

    As one of these 10th grade students who attends Joel Barlow, there was zero peer pressure to read these terms, many people in fact chose not to read the terms. This article is spreading false information and also just purely stupid. No one cares about this. Kids need sex ed. If you cant accept that go cry about it.

    Beatrice Boateng

    As a current 11th grader at Joel Barlow High School, I and many students could agree that this article is completely false. Our teachers care deeply about our comfortability and our understanding of certain things. Joel Barlow High School is in the top 20's of high schools in Connecticut and the fact that people are complaining about the basics of sex anatomy and the understanding of the protection needed during sexual acts is honestly laughable. As high school students it is obvious that we are now experiencing things in a sexual manner, and I strongly believe that parents would want their kids to protect themselves and prevent any sort of sexual diseases, and protect themselves from sexual harassment.
    1 thing about our sex ed class at Barlow is that we do not have to share the definition of these sexual term, one of the first things out teacher would tell us is that we do not have to read the definition and that we could say "skip" or "pass" if we did not want to read the definition due to us students feeling uncomfortable in any way. Sex ed at Barlow helped me and many of my friends and also made all of us feel respected, so therefore this article is completely false.


    You guys realize these 15-16 year old have done most of the stuff on this list...more or less already know the definitions...


    I honestly think that this was important to go over since at that age kids are becoming sexually active at 16 and need to learn these terms. Our teacher only had us read these out loud for we wouldn’t act immaturely when going over them throughout the unit, and it was fully optional. If we didn’t want to read the term we could skip and/or leave the room. Our teacher made us feel incredibly comfortable and valued during this unit and made sure we could do this unit at our own pace. Yeah, a lot of people probably already understand most of the terms and/or are DOING most of them, it’s still crucial to children’s safety to learn about sex-ed. This class answered sexual questions that most 15-16 year olds would be afraid to ask themselves out of fear. If they were ill informed, a lot of children would be literally pregnant at 16 or infected with life altering STIs.

    This article is completely false, as this packet has been shared for multiple classes before “this week” and raised zero issues with children or parents. There was zero peer pressure in my class, as a lot of people used the skip, pass, and leaving class option. We all learned as a class and did not put anyone down for their uncomfortable position nor term. Our teacher was incredibly supportive of each and everyone of us, making sure that if there was even any “peer pressure,” the student would be sent out or spoken to firmly. This article sounds incredibly childish as the brown adults who wrote this are probably scared of the terms “anal intercourse,” “cunnilingus,” and “fellatio” themself, which is shocking as 16 year old children aren’t even bothered. No children are being “over-sexualized” due to learning about sex, and honestly is an alarming thought for adults to be connecting that to an important section of children’s education. And, not once have I personally read a “sexually explicit” book from my school’s library nor class-assigned book. If you think Catcher in the Rye was “sexually explicit” then you probably should be taking this 10th grade class.

    This article is extremely blown out of proportion and is spreading false news to parents and people outside of Easton and Redding. This article was seemingly only written to advertise their “panel discussion What Are Your Children Learning?” The writers of this article should get off the internet and retake high school level sex-ed classes, because they’re acting more immature than 15 year old children.


    Next article by these people is probably going to be called something like “Our children being brainwashed? BREAKING: Comments on a recent article show the TRUTH about Redding schools”


    it is a critical aspect of comprehensive health education that can help young people make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health. Without access to accurate information, young people may engage in risky behaviors that can lead to unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and other negative consequences.

    Furthermore, sex education can also promote healthy relationships and communication skills, as well as help students understand consent and boundaries. This is especially important in the age of social media, where many young people may struggle with navigating romantic relationships and sexual encounters.

    In addition, sex education can help reduce stigma and discrimination against marginalized groups, such as LGBTQ+ individuals. By teaching students about different sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions, we can foster a more inclusive and accepting school environment.

    Some people may argue that sex education is the responsibility of parents, but not all parents have the knowledge or comfort level to have these conversations with their children. By providing sex education in schools, we can ensure that all students have access to accurate and reliable information, regardless of their family background.

    Overall, sex education is an essential part of a comprehensive education and can provide young people with the tools they need to make informed decisions about their health and relationships.

    Steph Russo

    This article is full of falsifications and fear-mongering. Barlow's students are lucky to be receiving truthful and quality sexual health education so they can leave the school and make educated, mature decisions as adults. Some of the commenters calling these lessons "immoral" or "child abuse" need to get a grip. These things SHOULD be talked about within the safe, guiding environment of a school. Students SHOULD have knowledge about anatomy and sexuality. Many students have said that the implications this article exudes are simply untrue, that they felt no pressure or extreme discomfort during these lessons. An article like this continues to tarnish the reputations of educators and infantilize high schoolers, who we all know are already generally knowledgable about many aspects of the lesson. In the words of Taylor Swift: you need to calm down.

    Kristian Pavel


    Kristian Pavel

    Ooh spooky fellatio so scary

    Timothy Hart

    My name is Timothy Hart, and I disapprove this message.

    Donald Trump

    Absolutely disgusting. I can’t believe the woke liberal Joe Biden Chinese communist mob would teach OUR kids about awful things that promote the child molesting transgender drag queens. We cannot allow our kids have access to information about the world or else they will learn about things like ‘human rights’ and the ‘LGBTQABCDEFG+’. This is a huge disappoint America. We must fight for fascism- I mean freedom.

    Sage Oliver

    Hi, Barlow 10th grader here.

    These packets are not a new thing. My sister, who is a senior received this packet as a sophomore as well. I remember flipping through it because I was curious, and I found that I knew many of the words in it, even as an 8th grader. Sex is also not a new thing. As high schoolers, we're going to do it. Some high schools do an "abstinence only" system, in which they only tell kids not to have sex and don't do much more. Barlow recognizes that students in high school have sex, and should know what can and will happen if we do.
    The point of these packets is not to "sexualize" us. It is not to "pressure" us into reading definitions that we don't want to. If, in the event that nobody wants to read a definition of a term, the teacher will read it themselves. I personally have Ms. Fallo as a teacher for this class, and she is an amazing teacher. She knows and understands that some things are uncomfortable to talk about and works hard to make sure that nobody feels that way. No students complain about these packets. If anything, it has made us as students more comfortable with the idea of sex. The packet was not handed out with the intention of all of the students who read it to immediately have sex with reckless abandon. There is no ill intent from the teachers who hand this packet out.
    Furthermore, our teachers are making it a point to have people who make inappropriate jokes and comments leave. The only thing that is making us uncomfortable in class are the people who make annoying comments, which is why they get kicked out.
    To the parents "offended" by this packet, instead of being offended by everything we learn, maybe learn how it actually is helping us. According to the National Institutes of Health, more comprehensive sex ed class reduced teen pregnancy rates by 3%. If you truly believe that handing this out is "pornograpy" then maybe take a look at a dictionary, because that's another place where these terms lie.


    I find it telling that this article consists almost entirely of assertions by a third party about the nature of a classroom environment without citing or including the opinions of any person within the classroom. As a Sophomore who goes to Barlow, I can assure you that in my personal experience, and those of the people who I’ve discussed this article with, no one felt “peer pressure” to read terms and many people did in fact past. For myself and for others, this was a valuable and educational experience and hardly “child abuse” as some other comments have implied.

    Anonymous Person

    I am a student of Barlow and my 10th grade wellness teacher NEVER. EVER. pressured anyone to read anything they didn’t want to in fact she emphasizes that it is OKAY to be uncomfortable and opt out of reading these terms. This article is absolute bs. The 10th grade sex ed curriculum teaches kids how to have safe sex. Teens by this time are already doing half of the acts that are on this list anyways.
    It has been proven in places where sex ed is present in the school curriculum those areas have lower rates of teen pregnancy and STDs.
    Take this post down.

    Georgia Juhre

    As someone who recently had wellness 10 at Joel Barlow and survived, I personally think that there are much more pressing issues for adults to be worried about than the horrors of a high school health class.

    Joe Biden

    Hello this your president Joseph Biden. I personally find this to be ShdjdnxnnznznxkLaosokalallapalakbdbslsksnnaokakjajjjjjjjjjjjjejsjjskskaksnbssn🫣🫣🤥🥶😑😡😑😑😬😬
    Oh sorry about that. I accidentally fell asleep on my computer. Anyways vote for Biden-Harris for 2024!

    The Donald

    FAKE NEWS!!!



    Friendly Freshman

    While I agree that some of these terms are inappropriate in a high school setting, this article is clickbait, biased, and not factual. Its sole purpose is as an advertisement for a panel discussion. As others in the comment section point out, there was no peer pressure to read these terms. It is a sad reflection on our democracy that people feel the need to generate outrage through to advance their political agendas through falsehoods and deception.

    Friendly Freshman

    Note for the previous comment: word “through” should be removed to make it grammatically correct


    I ain’t reading allat 💯

    Владимир Путин

    Конечно! Америка позволяет этим слабым прогрессистам захватить свои школы! Такого в России никогда бы не случилось, поистине отвратительно!

    Taylor Swift

    Guys this is not cool. Let’s just Shake It Off. I don’t want any Bad Blood between us. You Need To Calm Down and find a Blank Space to express your feelings. Tay Tay out ✌️


    Suppose people don't want their kids to learn about sexual intercourse in school, then prep for questions at home. Kids might come to you with questions. It's fine if you push it off once or twice, but at some point, they might think to search it up rather than wait until you're ready. There is a whole world out there that can answer questions but scar them for life.
    As someone recently in wellness 10 and read these terms aloud, I can say (along with many others) that I was not peer pressured to read these terms aloud. The teacher said we could pass and skip if we felt uncomfortable reading these terms aloud. Joel Barlow is dedicated to its students; they care for the community of kids that come in daily to learn. If someone is having a bad day or needs help, teachers or staff are always there to lend a helping hand.


    This article triggered my flight or fight response😟

    T swizzle

    Hey queens buy some tickets to my eras tour!!!!! Fourty four songs that will make you scream!! As the real verified T swizzle I disapprove this message anyway thanks swifties and you know this is why we can’t have Nice things! That was my song okay by queens Taylor swift out


    As Neil Young sang, "Rock and roll can never die." Similarly, the need for comprehensive sex education can never die. It's not about promoting promiscuity or anything like that - it's about empowering young people with knowledge and helping them make informed decisions.

    And let's not forget about Joni Mitchell, who famously sang, "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?" We don't want to take the availability of sex education for granted - we need to fight to make sure it's accessible for all young people, no matter where they live or what their background is.

    In short, we need to listen to the voices of the past to inform our present and future. So let's channel the wisdom of the boomers and prioritize sex education for the sake of our health and well-being.

    JBHS grad

    This same (or very similar) vocab list has been used in Wellness 10 at JBHS since the 1990s.


    Sex Ed is important and it is really regressive for YOU to be sexualizing this material being given to students in a boring packet of terms. It is this kind of attitude that leads to feelings of shame around sexuality that kids internalize and then express in poor decision making. Enjoy your alt right talk about how great heterosexuality is for kids to be indoctrinated into- but only subtly without medical terms. Why don’t you worry about something g real like all the people getting shot in schools because of lax gun laws.


    Sex Ed is important and it is really regressive for YOU to be sexualizing this material being given to students in a boring packet of terms. It is this kind of attitude that leads to feelings of shame around sexuality that kids internalize and then express in poor decision making. Enjoy your alt right talk about how great heterosexuality is for kids to be indoctrinated into- but only subtly without medical terms. Why don’t you worry about something g real like all the people getting shot in schools because of lax gun laws.

    The student responses to this stupid article give me hope for the future/ their responses are much more well written than this buzzfeed style hack job. Go Barlow students!

    Kayla Alterio

    We all had to read these terms it’s apart of the curriculum. We all knew what these things were… I graduated in 2019 and my brothers also had to do this and they graduated in the 2000’s and this was never a problem... Even so… it’s all important to learn about. This is incredibly dumb that this even an argument. Kids need sex ed and people just want to make nothing into something because they have nothing better to do. Grow up.

    Joel Barlow

    Had to do this when I was there a few years ago. Not sure what the big deal is. At the end of the day, it’s just the human body. I’d be willing to bet money that some kid told their parents about this and it was the parents who were uncomfortable. Same reason you’ve got all these people crying about ‘woke culture’ in schools. People need to grow up and relax a bit.

    I feel old now

    Oh, grow up. I feel very lucky to have been taught this exact curriculum at Barlow 15 years ago. It’s completely age-appropriate for 15-16 year-olds to learn about the things that they are already experiencing or will soon experience. Having the opportunity to learn about this stuff from trusted adults just prevents from kids getting distorted info from the internet. @Barlow, thanks for making sex simultaneously less scary AND less exciting, and for empowering me to say “yes” when I wanted to and “no” when I didn’t!

    Mom of 2

    I sent my kids to a class like this when they were young teens. Outside of school. To my shock and amazement, they both (son, daughter) consulted me about sex before doing it, and both started several years later than their peers. And, to my embarrassment but relief, continue to confide in me when health or ethical issues (eg boyfriend is watching porn, what do I do?) come up. Coincidence? Maybe. But maybe not. Secrecy promotes risky behavior. Education promotes well thought-out decisions.


    This list is perfectly acceptable for the age group. This is healthy and helpful. Don’t mystify human sexuality, educate about it: if the schools don’t, then online porn sites will. Let the kids learn.


    Not sure if this article is still relevant, but it’s crazy how none of us knew what skibidi toilet and fully conscious baby was during this time.

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