Parent Complaint Hits ASHA Sexual Health Presentation

For the past fifteen years or so, members of ASHA—Wesleyan’s AIDS and Sexual Health Awareness group—have been visiting Durham’s Coginchaug High School to provide workshops on sexually transmitted diseases and complement the high school’s sexual health curriculum. Now, the program has been called into question after a single parent complaint following the group’s April 13 presentation.

“I see this as a perversion of what sex is supposed to be,” said the parent, who spoke to CT Patch on condition of anonymity. “This coming in a health class, I don’t see anything healthy about what they were taught.”

There’s more, too. According to the parent, topics in the class presentation included erotic urination and fetishes:

The parent, who asked not to be identified, said her daughter came home upset after discussion during the workshop moved to subjects such as “foot fetishes” and “urinating on your partner.”

“My daughter had no idea,” the parent said. “She was shocked, she was very upset.”

The parent, who called herself a “devout Catholic,” told Patch while she does not oppose sex education being taught in the classroom she felt the manner in which the group presented the topic was inappropriate.

ASHA members were asked not to return to the school last Tuesday; according to the high school principal, Andre Hauser, the school’s relationship with ASHA is being reevaluated:

“We will decide down the road whether there’s a role for this group here or not,” Hauser said. “The message we don’t want to send kids is don’t talk about it, don’t ask about it. If they’re curious about something and we can give them an answer that can keep them safe, we want to.”

It’s a compelling story, but when I reread it, it hit me that these kids are 11th graders. Junior year. That’s, like, three years younger than you are. What gives? And what’s ASHA’s statement?

Here’s the full article.


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