Sexual Edumacation

I got a phone call yesterday from Tuki’s school. I hate getting calls from the school, NOT because I think she’ll have done anything wrong (this IS Tuki we are talking about), but because my phone has caller ID so I know it is the school, and my thought process runs something like this:

She’s in the hospital.

Oh god, maybe they want me to volunteer for something. Nooooooooo!

In this case it turned out they were just wanting my permission for her to attend a special “health and body awareness class for girls” that they are holding for the upper school, and the fourth graders if their parents say it is okay. The schools are always so hesitant with these things, I just can’t help but find it hilarious to watch them squirm. Of course I said it was perfectly okay. I was tempted to say that it went against our family’s firmly held belief that all sex education should come from television or the internet, but I didn’t. Because I genuinely LIKE Tuki’s school.

But I totally almost did.

It did put me in mind, however, of an incident earlier this year when I was… let us say less circumspect in my amusement. Lamp’s school is much larger and more institutional than Tuki’s, so their notification of upcoming sex education classes was sent in a REALLY CAREFULLY worded email. A really hilariously carefully worded email. The sort of thing that brings out the worst snark in me. I alternate between being proud and ashamed that I sent them this response (names changed to protect the guilty):


Communique with my son’s school Re: Human Development in 7th and 8th grades

Dear Episcopal School,

At first, when reading the subject line of your recent email, Human Development for 7th and 8th grades, I thought, “Take THAT, Tennessee State Legislature!” but then it occurred to me that the idea of life beginning at Junior High was a little progressive for even the California Episcopal Church. Wesley suggested that perhaps it was referring to humans developing into something ELSE, so I got a little excited about the idea of my son being among the first of the new post-human/computer hybrids, and I was thinking that it would be good to throw in a little insect DNA to develop a kind of exoskeleton, which would not only LOOK cool, but would negate the need for helmets and other safety equipment. Plus Lamp is probably at least halfway there already on developing into a computer hybrid, so he’d be likely to get an A. But then I read the email and discovered that it was only about Sex Ed. Way to disappoint, ESOM.

I wanted to point out to you that the phrase “information on abstinence” is pretty much an oxymoron, but then I noticed that this is only part of the curriculum for 8th grade, so it doesn’t apply to Lamp who is apparently not old enough to learn about not doing anything. This is also a disappointment to me personally, as Lamp is actually something of a prodigy at not doing anything. His ability to not do anything for hours at a time is a constant source of amazement in the household, and I hope that you will remember this next year at this time when it IS applicable. Perhaps he can get extra credit.

I didn’t want you to think that I am only being critical of what I am certain is a difficult topic for the school to cover; which is as filled with pitfalls and potentially explosive situations as your average Afghani highway. So I came up with a few suggestions for topics that *I* think it would be helpful for the boys to learn:

The Teenage Body and When to Wash It: Why once a week may NOT be enough

Shaving and You: Just say NO to chin-beards

How to Act Around Girls, Women, and Even Your Mom: Basically just don’t be a douche

The Oxford Comma and Why it Should Still be Taught: Grammar as a form of birth control

I am sure the school will handle the topic of “Human Development” in a way that is measured and age appropriate, and which will be a nice complement to what he has already learned from television, books, peers and the internet. Although honestly, I’m not sure what is left for him to learn, for as far as I can tell “Family Guy” has pretty much covered all the topics and there is always Google for more in depth research. We didn’t have Google when I was young, and were forced to rummage through my friends’ parents’ sock drawers for information. I am guessing that Google is more wholesome and informative than what we found that one time in 2nd grade.

I, for one, welcome our robot overlords.



Okay, let us just say that they didn’t take it so well. Not least because I posted the letter on Facebook and apparently it had made the rounds of other parents. Other parents who apparently HAVE NO SENSE OF HUMOR.  Anyhow, the next day I had an uncomfortable call with the school headmaster, who apparently had emails from people who saw this on Facebook (not sure if that is a good thing) and wanted to make sure that any… Concerns… I might have were being… Addressed. Upside: no mention was made of child protective services. Though I might have been imagining it in the subtext. Imagine son’s file now reads, “Mother unbalanced. Ignore.”

So this time I was GOOD. No snark. None at all. Though really, after years of Family Guy I think she probably does have a pretty firm grasp of the mechanics. I mean there was that time when she was five and we watched an episode together that led to a frank discussion on the exact mechanics of paraplegic intercourse. That has GOT to count for something.


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