Support Teacher’s Use of Anatomically Correct Terms During Sex Education

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Target: Idaho’s Professional Standards Commission and the Dietrich School Board

Goal: To drop the investigation of a high school teacher who provided accurate inclusive sexual health education to students in biology class.

A high school biology teacher in Idaho is currently being investigated by the state’s Professional Standards Commission after parents complained about his teaching methods on human reproduction in a sophomore science class, including using the term “vagina” and discussing the biological aspects of the female orgasm. Parents also accused teacher Tim McDaniel of teaching students about contraceptive options as well as showing a video that depicted a genital herpes infection. McDaniel, who has been at Dietrich High School for over 17 years, allows students to opt out of the class if they are uncomfortable with the subject matter.Regarding his teaching methods, McDaniel has stated, “I teach straight out of the textbook, I don’t include anything that the textbook doesn’t mention.”

Mr. McDaniel should be applauded for his efforts to properly inform young people about sexual health, not punished for using anatomically correct terms and providing accurate information on sex and reproduction, especially during a time when such information is being dangerously withheld from students. In fact, students at Dietrich may not have had learned anything about sex education at school had it not been from Tim McDaniel. The health teacher at the school was “uncomfortable” with teaching the reproductive system, so McDaniel agreed to cover the material.

Studies have shown just how crucial it is for young people to be receive accurate sexual education that includes factual information on STIs, contraception, and teen pregnancy. Abstinence-only education clearly does not work; it actually increases rates of teen pregnancy and the likelihood of contracting an STI. By providing Dietrich students with sexual health information, Mr. McDaniel is simply doing his job. To deny students sex education would, in fact, be doing them a disservice. Sign the petition below to tell Idaho’s Professional Standards Commission and the Dietrich School Board that Tim McDaniel deserves to be commended for upholding his commitment to education and that the investigation must be dropped.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear members of the Professional Standards Commission and the Dietrich School Board,

The current investigation of Dietrich High School’s biology teacher Tim McDaniel is unfounded. Several parents of students at Dietrich complained about his teaching methods on human reproduction in a sophomore science class, a class which is not mandatory in the case that a student is uncomfortable with the subject matter. Mr. Dietrich is under attack for doing nothing more than simply fulfilling his duties as a teacher, that is, by providing his students with accurate and inclusive information on a subject that has very real consequences outside the classroom.

The parents have complained about Mr. McDaniel using the term “vagina,” discussing the biological aspects of the female orgasm, educating students about contraceptive options, as well as showing a video that depicted a genital herpes infection. Regarding the teaching methods, Mr. McDaniel has stated, “I teach straight out of the textbook, I don’t include anything that the textbook doesn’t mention.” One might question why sexual health was being discussed in biology class instead of health class at Dietrich. The health teacher at the school was “uncomfortable” with teaching the reproductive system, so McDaniel agreed to cover the material.

Mr. McDaniel should be applauded for his efforts to properly inform young people about sexual health, not punished for using anatomically correct terms and providing accurate information on sex and reproduction, especially during a time when such information is being dangerously withheld from students. Studies have shown just how crucial it is for young people to be receive accurate sexual health education that includes factual information. Abstinence-only education clearly does not work; it actually increases rates of teen pregnancy and the likelihood of contracting an STI. By providing Dietrich students with this vital information, Mr. McDaniel is not only doing his job, but he is also protecting these students against the risks associated with sexual behavior. We are joining in the support rallied by his students and demand that this investigation be dropped.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Qvinnans Kropp via Wikimedia Commons

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3 Comments

  1. Sylvia Wulf says:

    The so-called “health teacher” should be fired for incompetence and the teacher who stepped up to the plate should get a raise and praise, not be condemned! What kind of morons run this school – and what are the parents thinking? Do they want to use ‘tallywhacker’ for penis too? Idiots!

  2. Llewelyn LaVista says:

    It seems some people have nothing better to do than find harmless things to moan about. What do parents expect teachers to do, tell kids fairy stories? Kids have genitals themselves, do they tell them not to look while they are on the toilet or in the bath or shower? Tim McDaniel was just doing his job and doing the right thing – teaching the kids truth.

  3. Victoria Andrich says:

    As an Idahoan this case against a science teacher for teaching science offends and embarrasses me. Don’t we already make it hard enough for people devoted to the teaching professions what with budget and program cuts? Do we need to make it worse by allowing a religious few (who are welcome and supported in our state to homeschool) to dictate restrictions to real science curriculum??

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