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Sex ed book too sexy for 9th graders in Fremont

Should ninth graders be allowed to read about sex games?
One parent's sex ed is another parent's porn

Despite an extensive vetting process, parents in Fremont, Calif., have successfully petitioned to have the sex education book "Your Health Today" removed from classrooms, at least temporarily. The book had been approved for ninth graders by the school board in June.

More than 2,200 people signed a petition complaining that the book "exposes youth to sexual games, sexual fantasies, sexual bondage with handcuffs, ropes, and blindfolds, sexual toys and vibrator devices, and additional instruction that is extremely inappropriate for 13 and 14 year-old youth."

Slate reports that the book does cover those areas -- "in the most boring prose imaginable." The book describes sex games, such as bondage and discipline, as activities "in which restriction of movement (e.g. using handcuffs or ropes) or sensory deprivation (using blindfolds or masks) is employed for sexual enjoyment."

That passage is immediately followed by, "Most sex games are safe and harmless, but partners need to openly discuss and agree beforehand on what they are comfortable doing."

To some, that sounds like reasonable information to put in front of young people before they begin exploring their sexuality. But some Fremont parents disagreed.

One parent, Asfia Ahmed, complained, "There's a section that tells you how to talk to your prospective partners about your sexual history," the San Jose Mercury-News reports. "How does that relate to a 14-year-old kid? I don't see it at all."

School board President Lara Calvert-York says that surveys of the district students have shown that many are sexually active by ninth grade. "Ninth grade is the last time when we have an opportunity to help educate our students on how to be physically and emotionally safe," she told the San Jose Mercury-News.

Michele Hartmangruber, a campus supervisor in the district, made the same point during the school board meeting in June. "I want to let everyone know, if you think sex isn't happening with your freshmen, you need to take your blinders off," she said in public comment before the board's June vote. "It's happening, and it's happening in the corners, in the bathrooms, in the cars, in the parks and even on the 50-yard line in front of everyone," she said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. "You have to educate at the ninth-grade level."

Some pages parents have objected to include a diagram of a uterus and fallopian tubes, a photograph of a modestly clothed Lady Gaga, and a photograph of a group of unused condoms.

Like passing notes in class; I'm @paperhaus on Twitter

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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