Sex ed under the bleachers

Parents are reportedly fuming after a high school paper exposes illicit romps on campus.

Published March 6, 2009 10:00PM (EST)

Teens are having sex -- all over school grounds! That was the alarm sounded on the front page of Westview High School's student newspaper. From the dugout to the bathrooms, students are getting, and giving, hands-on sex education at the Portland, Ore. school, The Westview Prowl reported. Some might say the exposé only reveals Westview to be just like every other high school in the country. But, the story has reportedly caused a parental "uproar."

However, note the total number of outraged parents quoted in all the various news coverage: one. (Sounds familiar.) Maybe the controversy is real, maybe it's manufactured -- but the way it's presented is fascinating, nonetheless. Parents reportedly aren't angry at teens for having public sexual romps or at the school for poor monitoring of the dugouts and bathrooms; they're mad at the school newspaper. Mistee Wilson, the mother of a freshman girl, said: "We're trying to keep our kids from running into this and they're bringing it home from school?"

How exactly is the newspaper responsible for exposing kids to "this" when students are openly having sex at school? I guess some parents consider ignorance bliss when it comes to kids' sexuality; you need only look at abstinence-only education to judge the ineffectiveness of this la-la-la-I-can't-hear-you approach. Funnily enough, I heard word of this "uproar" from my own mother, who certainly didn't mind when I wrote about all sorts of scandalous stuff for my high school newspaper; in fact, it sparked many a good family discussion.

If parents are really concerned about what their kids are up to, why not celebrate (and defend) the chance to catch an uncensored glimpse into their teenager's world? Forget snooping around in their cellphone or Facebook page; just read the school paper.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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