Rough Justice For High School Bondage Textbook

by Tim Cavanaugh

Bay Area parents have given given a sound thrashing to a sexual education textbook that featured information on handcuffs, sex toys, bondage, and other topics best left in the hands of an experienced dominatrix.

As National Review Online’s Molly Wharton reported last week, the Fremont Unified School District planned to introduce the textbook entitled Your Health Today, without so much as a mutually agreed-upon safe word from parents, at the beginning of the school year:

Teachers unanimously chose the explicit book in June to replace an earlier one that was ten years old. “Our high-school students today need all the tools they can have to arm themselves to make the best-informed decision,” the school district’s Board President, Lara Calvert-York, said.

Authors of the textbook told Today that the book is meant for college freshmen. They added, though, that they believe the material is appropriate for younger readers.

Parents, and even students, say the book goes too far.

“It’s a bit much for me, I’m not comfortable with my child — I mean, wow, that’s, the graphics are extreme — oh my gosh,” one parent told CBS as she was shown some of the images in the book. “They are very pornographic. The pictures are very explicit.”

Clearly a decade-old textbook would not be suitable for a modern readership, given that until 2004 babies were still made through a crude process — involving labor-intensive horticulture and ritual incantations to the sun — that differs radically from today’s sophisticated methods. But old-fashioned Fremont parents hogtied the school district with a petition demanding the book be removed. And according to the Los Angeles Times, Fremont Unified has submitted:

Supt. Jim Morris will ask school board members Wednesday to place the book, “Your Health Today,” on hold until it’s fully vetted following concerns from the community that it would expose teens to topics on sexual fantasies, sex games, as well as themes that include ropes, handcuffs, sex toys and vibrators.

The book’s publisher, McGraw-Hill, will work with school officials to modify the textbook so it meets the district’s needs and address concerns about “the appropriateness of its content for high school students,” according to a district statement.

The land of the nuts and the fruits has lately seen several instances in which parents escaped the chains of public school bureaucracies. In June a Los Angeles judge threw out teacher tenure rules, and a lawsuit is threatening compulsory dues for teacher unions. But the teachers still often end up on top: In July Los Angeles Unified School District passed a hefty minimum wage increase.

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