NAPLES, Fla. -- School officials fired a high school teacher who gave ninth-graders a demonstration on condoms -- using props including mood lighting, music and a banana.
The Collier County School Board gave no specific reason for firing Colin Nicholas on Thursday, asserting it had the right to dismiss an employee without cause if the worker was still within a 97-day probationary period. The decision cannot be appealed.
Nicholas, who also had two of his students pretend to be sex therapists to answer other students' questions, was not present at Thursday's board meeting because his wife was in labour.
But he has maintained he was never told condoms weren't allowed in classrooms.
I know they don't like condoms and would rather teach abstinence ... But i think this is a little nutty. Should this teacher have been fired? What would you do in his position? What would you do in the school boards position (having a teacher teach something that is against the rules)?
*shrug* could have been $$$ issues. if the school was getting money for abstinence-only education, then the teacher's actions may jeopardize their allocation of funding. given that schools are poor enough already, then spending money on a teacher who is going to cause them to lose more money is just a losing deal for the district.
where are bill and melinda gates' deep pockets when ya really need them?
------------------ According to the experts, I am some species of badass.
Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000
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Was he fired just for the condom or because it was done with "mood lighting" and music? What about that students as sex therapists thing? If he was anything like some of my favorite teachers, he was probably just trying to keep it interesting.
I think having realistic models would be useful, having both cut and uncut versions to practice on. I don't see anything wrong with that.
I'm just going to say it: this doesn't seem too bright. Maybe the guy had good intentions, but if he doesn't put a little common sense into his good intentions, they'll get him nowhere.
If you're going to be doing anything with condoms at a U.S. school, wait until your probationary period is up! ask the other teachers at the school what the policy is with respect to condoms! give yourself sometime to get oriented before you do anything that might be controversial!
Of course, he might have been looking for a confrontation. I don't know. If he was, then I suppose he's been successful.
------------------ "And when I'm gone, she'll never leave me. No, no she'll never, be untrue. And buddy if you do not believe me, you don't believe the sky is blue." -Joel Plaskett, Down at the Khyber
well, no, schools can certainly teach about condoms, STDs, that sort of thing. it's not that these things are verboten under federal funding. it's that they have to be presented with abstinence as the proper choice - "well, you shouldn't do it at all, but if you do, you should use a condom, but it's not 100% effective."
programs that are really abstinence-only are that way because that's what the school district favors.
------------------ Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together; sophistication demands that they submit to sex immediately without proper preliminary talk. Not courting talk - real straight talk about souls - for life is holy and every moment is precious. I heard the Denver and Rio Grande locamotive howling off in the mountains. I wanted to pursue my star further. -Kerouac
Nope, she shouldn't have been fired. I would have enjoyed that display in my sex ed class, it would have stuck how to put a condom on properly in the students' minds. Very good teaching tactics, with the mood lighting and everything.
Ah, America. I do believe the US has twice the teen pregnancy rate of any western developed country, and land of the Abs-Only Sex Ed.
And yet no one sees a connection, and fires anyone trying to help the problem.
Silly. Especially how abstinence-only basically says, "Oh, there's NO WAY your wife or husband could ever have a STD or STI, so will NEVER need to know how to protect yourself, and besides, ALL married couples want babies!"
Actually, lots of people see the connection andf the problem (should be noted though that the US preg rates have been decreasing since the 60's, with the start of comprehenisve sex ed, not ab-only, and I believe the rate in the UK is comprable, if not higher right now). It should also be noted that more importantly, the US and UK rates of teen STD and STIs are astronomical and have only been rising, not falling like teen preg. rates.
Also worth noting: the first seriously huge influx of sexually transmitted disease in the US? Brought back by husbands in the first world war, because the US -- unlike all other countries involved -- opted to push a chastity campaign rather than equip their soldiers with condoms like the other countires did. Married couples. Chastity. Disease. Reruns.
The real problem right now is that our president does not seer the connection, or does not care to. Folks may agree with him, but those folks don't choose to allocate millions of our tax dollars to these mandates, and most studies show that the majority of US parents would prefer comprehensive sex ed.
[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 02-01-2003).]
At my school, We didn't have "sex ed", yet a health class. Everything about staying healthy was put into this clas, including how to do laundry Why not learn the ropes of intercourse, and outercourse...before having it? Some people like to have rushes and just plunge in and do stuff, but with sex...you could end up with a handfull of unwanted things, STI's STD's, even a baby! Either way the scare tactics my teacher used didn't shy me away from being active since everyone has to take health in 7th grade. I don't remember stuff from last weeks Chemistry class, how will I remember that far back? However, in 7th grade I was afraid to even LIKE a boy with a cold sore on his mouth, in fear he had herpes! The class worked, very efficiently actually. In the 2 week section of sex ed. we learned all the different methods of birth control (i found it SO humurous to see the student teacher, who was about 20 and OH so fine, nervously clenching on to the small object and squeaking through a small speech about it) the risks of not using some kind of contraceptive, reasons to have/not have sex, and so many more valuable tidbits of knowledge that I try and keep in mind even now. *sigh* i wish i still had a health class. As for the penis model and the condoms...did they have a tampon and a vagina model? It seems only fair right I'll show you mind if you'll show me yours sorta thing. Hehe, I am just playing! Either way, the point is, does an actual penis model need to be present to show the proper way to put on a condom. In the 7th grade I didn't even know what a penis looked like, so I might have been traumatized. Sorry to refer to such a...minor juvenile...show, but South Park has an episode on sex ed, and the stereotypical gay teacher and mr.hat go to the kindergarden class room and not only talk about condoms, and STD's...but missionary style, dog style...so on and so on. The point was, young kids most likely won't be having, so have them learning their times tables instead of sex. I think there is a time and age for everything. I personally think the 10-11th grade would be a good time for schools to provide some kind of sex ed class. Maybe do fundraising to support the class (i.e. selling penis pasta dinners and putting on the vagina monologues...once again jk)well, maybe not fundraising but start some kind of underground sex ed class...or...you could just petition and have people donate money. So many options are out in the open...but the point is that spending money to support a class that teaches you how to stay safe...which will cost money....or not spending money on this class, and then having to pay for all the new babies that somehow randomly pop into the abstinent parents world (it must be a mary and joseph case i guess) not to mention the lack of schooling those mothers will get when having there babies...and not going to college...then working at McDonalds....so yes.....SEX ED IS GOOD (just...maybe not with penis models due to the sexual harassment bit)
Posts: 92 | Registered: Jan 2003
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quote:Originally posted by janedoe101: As for the penis model and the condoms...did they have a tampon and a vagina model? It seems only fair right
when I was 11, the school's nurse came in our class to talk about menstruation and erection and acne, and she had brought a tampon to show us. talking about it, she said : this tampon is a bit special because I have used it five years for this class . I think that was the ugliest tampon I have seen in my life. It was deformed, and at least 500 students had touched it before. I still haven't found a good reason on why she couldn't take a new tampon in each class, or at least every year.
the year after in real sex ed class we had the condom on a wooden penis demo, and I haven't turned in something terrible for seeing "such a thing" in class. (and they used a new condom, not a 5 year old one )
quote:Either way, the point is, does an actual penis model need to be present to show the proper way to put on a condom. In the 7th grade I didn't even know what a penis looked like, so I might have been traumatized.
I'm not sure what's so traumatic about finding out what a penis looks like - it's not a scary monster, after all . And we are talking about a realistic model penis - not someone pulling out their actual penis in the classroom!
[This message has been edited by logic_grrl (edited 02-02-2003).]
I see what you mean, it wouldn't have been traumatizing, but it was the 7th grade, and in my mind not the right time to be seeing a penis model, not because i didn't want to know what a penis looked like more because it was knowledge i wouldnt have used used for about 3 more years. It's fine and dandy to use penis models in my mind, but to make things equal shouldn't they have a vagina to show how to put a female condom in? Putting a condom on isn't that hard to do. Plus most condoms i have bought come with some sort of manual to show how to put it on, and always tell the risks and such. We might disagree on the penis thing a little, but we both agree sex ed is a good thing, so I don't think a teacher should be fired for it though...everyone has a different way to teach, some teachers want it to be hands on (its okie-day by me as long as the teacher doesnt whip it out *yikes*)
Posts: 92 | Registered: Jan 2003
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(just so you're thinking about it, janedoe, 7th grade may have been too early for you - and it certainly would have been too early for me, as I didn't see a Real Live Penis till years later - but it still may have been late for a lot of people.)
Actually, though, if you understand that the penis is part of the human body, not just there for your use, there's no good reason NOT to know about it early just like there's no good reason not to learn about how the heart or lungs work.
Mind you, there are, you know, women who may never have any "use" for a penis, but it's still worth understanding how it works. It's on the bodies of half the population, yanno.
Teaching Kindergarten, I'd say there were very few kids not peeking at one another's genitals in the bathroom because they were curious and did want to know what it all looked like. That doesn't have to be about sex or condom use -- it's about wanting to understand what things are and how they work in the world.
And FYI, most statts we have show that 11th grade is WAY too late for sex ed and instructions on condom use - by that time a whole lot of students will have needed that information and we'll have missed the boat. It's important to remember that when we're educating, not everything we learn needs to be immediately applicable to educate on those topics.
Many of you, for instance, will not use world history in any real application for quite some time, or say, Spanish language, but that's no reason not to get started.
well, 3rd grade was too early for me...was it too late for some people? Maybe, maybe not. This is where we question WHEN sex ed is appropriate *still thinking back to South Park episode where kindergardeners were learning about sex*
Posts: 92 | Registered: Jan 2003
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quote:Just to clarify: if he had cold sores on his mouth, he did have oral herpes (that's what cold sores are) - although it certainly couldn't have been transmitted just by liking him .
Just on a side track, that does not nessesaryly mean herpes, it could just be from extrem dryness. I get them sometimes during the winter months, and I do not have herpes.
------------------ Take my eyes take my heart I need them no more If never again they fall upon the one I so adore Excuse me please one more drink Could make it strong cause I donít need to think She broke my heart my Grace is gone One more drink and Iíll move on
Well, with other subjects we don't usually think there's anything wrong with giving people knowledge well before they need to put it into practice - in fact, that's what teachers usually try to do!
The best rule-of-thumb I ever came across about sex ed for kids was to give them just as much information as they can understand and assimilate at any given age. So there really isn't any age "before" sex ed.
Even kindergartners will spontaneously ask questions about where babies come from, for example, or what such-and-such a body part is called, and can handle a very simple explanation.
And that seems to me to be totally appropriate (remember, "South Park" is a TV comedy, not a documentary ).
Again, as a former teacher, I'd say that WAY before third grade nearly all of my students had some questions pertaining either to sex or to sexual anatomy.
I'd find it unusual to find a student who had none at all, and there are TONS of applications this comes into use for in early ages: appropriate touching, privacy issues with their parents, information on where it is and isn't appropriate for them to be masturbating or say, lifting their skirts up for the world to see, worries about their genitals being normal and okay, understanding developmental differences between their genitals and those of older siblings, etc.
It would be a good idea to have sex ed. and all health gradually expand, just like math. Basics, little bit more in depth, more depth...Sooner or later you will be wearing a shield of knowledge. But a 2 week course on sex ed seems kinda...silly? too much info in a short amount of time. Especially if it were in 2 weeks, going thru in depth stuff vaguely like 'this is a penis, this is a vagina, they mingle...it tingles...good stuff...wear a condom' wouldn't help. There are courses that we don't use that often (i.e. science...mitosis? what the heck do i need that for??)why not have health be required for 4 years in high school? Without health we would all die! without social studies we might be ignorant and make stupid decisions that people in the past have, but not die from lack of health. Either way, I am still going with the penis model is wrong in some texts...but right in others...if the teacher throuroughly went thru genetics and sex organs first...it's okay, if not..and he just whipped it out and said get a condom and wrap it up...then that is weird.
Posts: 92 | Registered: Jan 2003
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