SMSD sex ed. program materials are still up for debate

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SHAWNEE MISSION, Kan. -- A decision has not been made as to whether a controversial sexual education program will continue to be used in the Shawnee Mission School District.

The district superintendent says an internal review committee is still determining whether the materials are age appropriate. They could reach a decision in roughly 30 days. Then the item would appear on an agenda.

A poster is what parents are taking issue with. It is supposed to show how people express their sexual feelings. Dad Mark Ellis says some of the words on the poster are too racy for his 13-year-old daughter's eyes.

Ever since she showed him that picture of the poster in mid-January, he has been fighting to get that supplemental sex ed. program that it's a part of removed. He said he was blindsided when he first saw the picture of the poster.

"This year we did not receive a slip. Nobody knew what the material was," Ellis said.

Superintendent Dr. Jim Hinson said the materials in question were accessible to all parents.

"Generally the parents we've heard from did not access the portal that was already available to them and they thought it was a surprise, but it was information that was already provided to them," Dr. Hinson said.

Hinson said out of 4,000 students, only 14 parents decided to opt-out of the program after seeing the content.

This item was not on the agenda Monday night, but Ellis said he was told that he would get a decision on Monday. Again, a committee is still reviewing those materials and a decision could come in roughly 30 days. After that it will appear on an agenda.



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