A Planned Parenthood-produced sex education video shown during an English class at Sarasota, Florida’s Pine View School lectured students about the concept of consent.
Now parents are offering a different lesson about consent to school officials, who never asked for permission to expose their kids to morally questionable material.
Seniors in an English Literature course were treated to the video “How Do You Know If Someone Wants To Have Sex With You?” on Nov. 7 as part of a presentation by a counselor from the “Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center,” which partners with the district for sex education, WVTV reports.
The video depicts several scenes with same-sex couples, as well as an inebriated teen, while offering advice about the limits of sexual activity in different circumstances.
“We are getting a flood of e-mails, phone calls and Facebooks,” Sarasota County school board member Eric Robinson told the news site. “As an adult it can be hard to watch without being uncomfortable, I can imagine how a teenager would watch. The giggles and the gasps.”
District spokeswoman Tracey Beeker told WWSB administrators learned about the video from two teachers and at least one parent. She blamed the ordeal on a SPARCC counselor who made the unilateral decision to show the video to students.
Administrators determined the Planned Parenthood video is “inappropriate based on curriculum guidelines” and stressed it was “not approved or sanctioned by the school district,” Becker said.
Pine View staff “did not follow the correct process for guest speakers,” she said, both by letting the counselor in the school early and allowing “materials that had not been approved,” WWSB reports.
District officials suspended SPARCC’s work in Sarasota schools pending a complete review, which will include reinforced guest speaker protocols and principal-endorsed curriculums.
SPARCC CEO Jessica Hays apologized for the Planned Parenthood video and stressed the group’s 15 year “positive relationship” with the district in a prepared statement.
“We sincerely apologize for the incident last Wednesday at Pine View,” she wrote. “The staff member did now follow established protocol regarding programming presented, and the organization has acted to ensure that this does not happen again.”
Pine Hill principal Stephen Covert promised the school would do better in the future, while also heaping praise on SPARCC.
“We appreciate SPARCC’s shared concerns regarding this incident,” he said. “I am thankful for their swift review of the events and apology to our students, staff, school leaders and families. Until now, SPARCC has been a trusted resource for our students and school community, however, I am disappointed that the action of one resulted in an unacceptable situation for our students.
“I want to assure our school community that we will follow district guidelines and will take extra precautions in the future to ensure only pre-approved materials are used in the classroom,” he said.