The administration of a Connecticut school district has issued an apology after parents expressed outrage over an assignment that asked students what they liked and disliked about sexual activity.
Christopher Drezek, the superintendent of Enfield Public Schools in Enfield, Connecticut, apologized to parents at a school board meeting Tuesday night after eighth graders were asked to perform an activity called “Pizza and consent”. The first page of the mission, obtained by advocacy group Parents Defending Education, explains the concept of consent, noting that “We can use pizza as a metaphor for sex!”
According to the document, “When you order pizza with your friends, everyone checks each other’s preferences, right? Some people may be vegan, others may be gluten-free. Others might like pineapple, while others prefer pepperoni. Some might not like the pizza at all. If you’re a vegetarian, but your friend is a meat lover, sharing a pizza is going to raise a lot of issues. You don’t know who you can share pizza with unless you ask!
“The same goes with sex!” the worksheet adds. “You need to check in with your partner(s) and ask for their preferences. Your partner(s) may be comfortable with one sexual activity, but not another. Maybe your partner(s) only want to be touched in a certain way, or maybe your partner(s) prefer to use a certain language. Or maybe they don’t like or want sex at all. You will never know if your wants, desires, and limitations are compatible with theirs unless you ask.
The first page of the worksheet ends by inviting students to “start a conversation”, stating that “it’s the only way sex (and pizza) can be comfortable and enjoyable for everyone”. The second page of the worksheet generated particular concern for asking students to “explore” their sexual preferences.
“Draw and color your favorite type of pizza. What is your favorite style of pizza? Your favorite toppings? What are your no-nos pizzas? Now reflect those gender preferences!”
In one example provided, a preference for cheese was used as a metaphor for kissing, while a dislike for olives was used as a metaphor for an aversion to oral sex. The worksheet included an empty circle where students had to color a pizza according to their favorite types of pizza and their favorite sexual activities. Twenty-two lines were drawn on the worksheet where students had to list their “likes” and “dislikes”.
At the February 8 school board meeting, Drezek described the “Pizza and Consent” mission as a “mistake” and “inappropriate.” He added: “I know there are some who may not believe that, I know there are some who don’t necessarily want that answer.”
“Normally I would take responsibility and I still do when…a member of our staff [makes] an inadvertent mistake,” Drezek said. “In this particular case, I didn’t even get a chance to because the person who made the mistake got ahead of myself before I even knew it had happened.”
After reiterating that “it was simply a mistake” and defending the staff member responsible for the error, Drezek assured parents that “there was no hidden agenda, there was no secret cabal to indoctrinate children into something”.
Drezek’s remarks come after parents raised concerns about the assignment at a Jan. 27 school board meeting.
“Since when… did it become acceptable for a teacher to ask a student about their sexual wants, desires and limits? asked a relative, identified as Amanda. She took issue with the district’s previous explanation that “the incorrect version of this assignment was posted in the curriculum in error and inadvertently used for classroom instruction.”
“Why didn’t the teachers who taught this duty grasp it and question it? Do they just teach the curriculum blindly, without questioning the morality of the duties required for the unit? Why didn’t our curriculum committee understand this? What is their role, if not to oversee the school curriculum and make sure these kinds of mistakes don’t end up as homework for our children?
The apology Amanda paraphrased was written by Brie Quartin, health and physical education coordinator for Enfield Public Schools, in an email to parents obtained by Parents Defending Education. “I detected the error after the program review in June, but I did not publish the planned version. I acknowledge this and apologize for the error,” she wrote.
The outrage over the distribution of the ‘Pizza & Consent’ assignment comes at a time when parents across the United States are confronting their local school boards to express their displeasure at the inclusion of sexually explicit material in curricula. schools and in school libraries. Books Gender Queer and lawn boy, available at high school libraries in Fairfax County, Va., and other school districts, have been of particular concern to parents.
As Fairfax County parent Stacy Langton explained at a school board meeting last year, “both books depict different sex acts.” Moreover, she lamented, “both of these books include pedophilia, [and] sex between men and boys.
“A book describes a fourth grade boy performing oral sex on a grown man. The other book has detailed illustrations of a man having sex with a boy,” Langton said. She explained the content of the graphic illustrations, which include “blow jobs, sex toys, masturbation, and violent nudity.”
Although the books were removed from Fairfax County Public Schools high school libraries for a brief period, they were reinstated after an investigation. Around the same time that Langton was raising concerns about Gender Queer and lawn boy, the mayor of Hudson, Ohio appeared at a meeting of his town’s school board and called on school board members to resign for allowing the use of a book with writing prompts sexually explicit in a college-level English course offered at the district. high school.
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be contacted at: [email protected]