Parents at the Waldorf School of Garden City (WSGC) in Long Island are furious with the school administrators after they found out about a book available to fifth graders that graphically describes sexual acts including oral sex, anal sex, and masturbation.
WSGC, a private school that costs $32,325 per year for grades 4-7 ($39,525 for international students), is being accused of using a highly inappropriate book to teach fifth-grade students about sex.
The book in question, “It’s Perfectly Normal” by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley, is marketed as being intended for children ages 10 and up. However, the content of the book is very mature and sexually explicit which has angered parents.
The Long Island institution announced its new plan for sex education curriculum, called Our Whole Lives (OWL), in March.
“It’s Perfectly Normal” is included in this new curriculum.
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After parents read the book, they began speaking out against its inclusion in their children’s curriculum and requested a town hall at the school last month to discuss the issue.
Speaking to the New York Post, one mother said that the book made her “physically nauseous,” and said, “There’s a whole page on contraception and vaginal and anal sex and more about how it’s perfectly normal. This is clearly agenda-pushing and it’s so outrageous.”
The book includes an entire section on masturbation, accompanied by images.
“When people masturbate, they usually rub their sex organs with their hands or with something soft, like a pillow,” the book says. “Girls often rub their clitoris; boys often rub their penis.”
The book discusses how children of different genders, or the same gender, “may even look at and even touch each other’s bodies. This is a normal kind of exploring and does not necessarily have anything to do with whether someone is or will be straight, gay, lesbian, or bisexual.”
Another disturbing section discusses homosexual intercourse. It reads, “Another kind of sexual intercourse happens when the sexual parts of two people who have female bodies touch or when the sexual parts of two people who have male bodies touch.”
“This kind of touching can make the whole body feel good – feel sexy.”
Another section tells its child audience that “sex is also about the desire to be physically close to someone, as close as you can be.”
This type of book could make an adult feel uncomfortable to read – imagine how it would feel to read this content as a 10-year-old kid.
There is absolutely no reason to have this type of content available to children – especially as young as 10.
During the town hall meeting held at the school, one mother expressed her unease with this book being available to the young students, saying, “My concern is that when ideas are brought up in class repeatedly… it has a certain significance for the child and it’s now being inserted into the consciousness of the child.”
“By bringing it up in class, wow, my teacher is talking about this, I better pay attention,” the mother said.
“(Her) play has changed, (her) thoughts have changed, it’s changed who (she) was as a person, as a 10-year-old. When our children bring us something, it’s the time to introduce it, but if you’re forcing it… I don’t want my 10-year-old, her play, her thoughts to be different from who she is right now.”
“This school is the one place where they have always let children be children and they used to try to keep them away from social media and television,” another parent told the New York Post. “But now this ideology is becoming the forefront of the school’s focus. I’m all for diversity and inclusion but it takes on a whole new tone when your little kids come home lecturing you about pronouns and asking about oral sex.”
The school, however, has refused to acknowledge the highly inappropriate content in the book, and stated that it is simply “an optional, supplementary resource for parents” and that it “has never been used in the classroom.”
“All of our curriculum is thoughtfully selected, and we welcome collaboration with parents to continue delivering an inclusive and age-appropriate education for our students,” said Kelly O’Halogan, the faculty chair of WSGC. “We are a school that teaches our students to value the differences in individuals, and we recognize that there is strength and wisdom in our diversity.”