New Jersey Eighth-grader Has an ELA Assignment on Contracting Herpes from a One Night Stand
Addendum 11-07-15: Originally I had written that the assignment below was teacher-made. However, I have received other info to the effect that the assignment was “a supplement” to the Seven Habits book. I am trying to get a clear word on where the assignment originated.
Adding to the above, hours later:
I visited a bookstore to skim The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens and two associated workbooks. The assignment referred to in the original post is not included as part of these books.
Based on other information I have received, it appears that the Seven Habits book is the nonfiction selection that corresponds to a district grade 8 ELA unit entitled, “Discover Your Life’s Purpose.” It is possible that the assignment is a district-provided supplement.
For photos of the content of Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens as pertains to the topic of sex, see images at the end of this post.
On Tuesday, November 03, 2015, an eighth grader brought the following assignment home from his language arts class at Myron L. Powell Elementary School in Cedarville, New Jersey (click on image to enlarge):
The assignment reads:
You had a really rotten day, but lucky for you, your best friend is having an awesome party later. You go to the party and start drinking. You have a little too much to drink and start talking to this girl/guy you’ve never seen before. You head upstairs to get better acquainted despite several friends telling you that you don’t even know this person. You end up having sex with this person. The next day you really can’t remember everything that happened and rely on your best friend to fill you in. A week later you find out that you contracted herpes from your one night stand and that this is a disease that you will have all your life and never know when an outbreak will occur.
Thirteen-year-olds are then asked to write a “reactive response” to the scenario, which is supposed to be connected to Sean Covey’s bestselling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens.
In an email, the school superintendent told the mother that her child could opt out of sex ed.
But the assignment was not part of a sex ed class. It was part of an English language arts class.
The school superintendent then excused the decidedly inappropriate assignment as part of the core curriculum. (Not sure if that “C” in “core” sould be capitalized or not.)
To read more and view a video interview with the child’s mother, Amy Loper, click this NBC Philadelphia link.
Addendum, 11-07, 6:20 p.m. CST:
The following pics represent the sex-related content of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens Personal Workbook. (There is a third book that I found, but it included no additional sex-related content.)
The pages below come from the book referenced in this post (red cover). The text does refer to one night stands and sexually transmitted diseases (pg. 78) (click images to enlarge):
and later in the book (pgs 229-231):
Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education (April 2014, Information Age Publishing).
She also has a second book, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools? (June 2015, TC Press).
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