Last Friday, 400 seniors at Norwin Senior High School in Irwin, Pa., thought they were attending a routine presentation on the importance of donating blood, offered by the community's Central Blood Bank.
Instead, when Assistant Principal Tim Kotch cued up the PowerPoint slides provided by an employee of Central Blood Bank, the giant screen was filled with gay porn. It gives new meaning to the term "flash drive," doesn't it?
Reports say it took somewhere between 15 and 30 seconds for the images to register in the minds of the large audience, and then for the assistant principal to pull the plug on the graphic photographs. Astonishingly, the guy from the blood bank actually took the microphone and gave his talk about donating blood, which students say they'll now never forget.
But parents are justifiably upset, and the Central Blood Bank understands this. Officials there suspended the employee and sent a letter of apology to parents.
The school district also is upset, communicating its concern in a letter to parents as well. Offering its "sincerest apologies" for the incident, administrators said, "We find this incident inexcusable and are taking every measure we can to ensure that the investigation is carried out with the utmost fidelity."
While the folks in western Pennsylvania grapple with the damaging effects of inadvertent exposure to pornography, parents in Helena, Mont., continue their fight to protect their children from the deliberate exploitation of an aggressive "comprehensive" sexuality-education program still in development.
The proposed program made headlines this past spring because it intends to teach children as young as kindergartners some very specific — arguably graphic — information about human sexuality. This week, revisions to the plan are being presented, with a goal of adoption in the coming month.
So far, the Helena public school system has released only the "critical competencies" that will inform the creation of the actual curriculum. "Competencies" are the educational outcomes that educators expect kids to achieve when the teaching is complete.
For example, kindergartners will be able to "appreciate the uniqueness of the individual and the way in which people are the same and different" and "recognize that people express love differently to their parents, families and friends." Seems innocuous enough, until you realize that they're going to explicitly teach information that many parents either don't yet want their 5-year-olds to learn, or want to teach at home in the context of their moral and religious beliefs.