Mom and daughter support sexual education program in spite of uproar

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SHAWNEE, Kan. -- The controversy over sexual education material at Hocker Grove Middle School continues. On Wednesday, one mom and her Hocker Grove daughter are speaking out in support of the program.

A huge response from viewers about this story followed since we first reported it on Tuesday night, and it's all about the terms on a classroom poster.

“It’s just a poster, eye-popping, but it's better they show us now than later on,” eighth grade student Lyssa Watland said.

Watland goes to Hocker Grove Middle school and was in sex ed. class when the teacher put the poster up to teach students ways people express their sexual feelings. It is causing an uproar among some because it contains graphic sex acts that may be deemed inappropriate.

“There are kids honestly that are my age who are sexually active and they don`t know the consequences,” Lyssa said.

Her mom, Jennifer,said she agrees with her daughter.

'I’m for it, I’m for the sex education course,” Lyssa’s mom, Jennifer, said.

When asked by FOX 4’s Shannon O’Brien if she agrees with the terminology on the poster going as far as it does, she said it’s something of a gray area.

“You know, it’s hard to say yes and it’s hard to say no, but it happens,” Jennifer said.

She said she got a notice from the school about the sex ed. class and signed off on the permission slip so her daughter could attend. But it did not include the graphic nature of some of the teaching materials.

“That is alarming, I`m not going to lie, absolutely alarming,” Jennifer said.

Shawnee Mission Superintendent Dr. Jim Hinson said he felt the language was too racy.

“I find that language offensive, I really do and so when we’re teaching human sexuality, again, there’s a balance. What’s appropriate at what age level? What’s not appropriate? It`s a really difficult decision,” Dr. Hinson said.

Dr. Hinson explained that the school system teaches abstinence. He has pulled the material until a panel of educators decides whether the material is appropriate.

“Society has changed a lot. Kids have access to a lot of information they didn't have access to previously,” he said.

Jennifer said that the material on the poster pales in comparison to what she’s seen on social media.

“I’ve read through my daughter’s Facebook, seen her news feed and her friends on there. The things they’ve posted, you’d be astounded,” she said.

Lyssa said that with or without the poster, her classmates already know about the content the poster presented.

“You can say all you want, that your children don’t know these things, but they’ve been knowing these things since maybe, the age of 10,” she said.

Dr. Hinson says the school board nor himself approved the poster, it was instituted last year by the curriculum department. He is trying to figure out what the reasoning behind creating it was, but the people who worked in the curriculum department no longer work there, so he is starting from scratch.

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