A health teacher in Eugene, Oregon, sparked outrage after he allegedly asked students to write their own "sexual fantasy" story for a class assignment.
Kirk Miller, who teaches physical education and health and coaches football at Churchill High School in Eugene, reportedly asked students in his Health 2 - Human Sexuality class to write a "sexual fantasy," approximately one or two paragraphs in length, that makes no reference to "penetration of any kind or oral sex" but that does include mood-setting accoutrement, such as romantic music, candles, and massage oils. The purpose of the assignment is supposedly to demonstrate that people can "show and receive loving physical affection without having sex," according to a screenshot posted to Facebook on March 9.
"Why a teacher and coach feels entitled to the sexual fantasies of minor aged male and female students is beyond my understanding," wrote the Facebook account named Sheena AndAustin Bean. "This is completely inappropriate and sickening."
The account-holder isn't the only one disturbed by the assignment. According to Katherine Rogers, whose 16-year-old daughter attends Churchill but is not a member of Miller's class, some students felt so "mortified, awkward, and creeped out" by the assignment that they told their stories through the point of view of a cartoon character.
Nor is the "sexual fantasy" story the only inappropriate assignment that Miller has reportedly given. Rogers alleged that Miller once gave a handout with a list of various sexual activities — from kissing to oral sex — on it. Students were then asked to write the "initials of a male or female" with whom they would like to engage in each activity. Students were permitted to use the same initials more than once.
To address parents' concerns, Principal Missy Cole sent out a mass email promising to review Eugene School District 4J's current health curriculum, OWL: Our Whole Lives. The district first implemented OWL, supposedly developed by members of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ, five years ago with the hopes of providing "age-appropriate, fact-based, comprehensive human sexuality education aligned with Oregon Department of Education standards and trainings," the Register-Guard reported.
"At this time, the assignment has been removed from the class syllabus and will not be a part of students’ grades," Cole wrote in the email. "The Our Whole Lives curriculum is utilized by many districts across the state and is endorsed by the Oregon Department of Education."
Peter Rudy, a spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Education, disputed Cole's last point, claiming that OWL was not one of the materials recommended for teaching the state's health curriculum. However, he added that districts are free to use materials that are not on ODE's recommended list.
State standards require that health education be "comprehensive, inclusive, not fear- or shame-based, medically accurate, and enhance students’ understanding of sexuality as a normal and health aspect of human development," Rudy said.
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