Cambridge parents call out district over graphic health class materials
CAMBRIDGE, NY -- "You know you just stole the innocence of our kids! What do you have to say for that?"
Parents in Cambridge calling out district officials at a school board meeting tonight, after their children came home from health class with a packet containing graphic details about sex reassignment surgery and sexual definitions.
"Terms way above their heads," one mother said.
The health teacher involved was placed on paid administrative leave and returned today.
The school board president addressed the controversy saying the subject matter being taught was in accordance with the NYS required health curriculum.
"We do understand however that we have an obligation to ensure the materials used for each the curriculum are age appropriate to the students being taught," said board president Neil Gifford.
That's exactly where many parents take issue, arguing that much of the material was just too mature for 7th graders, and expressing disappointment that they weren't notified ahead of time or given permission slips to sign.
"I am utterly disappointed that I never received such a letter when I receive letters about PG-13 movies," a parent explained.
But one student says they were given the option to sit the lesson out.
"We we're told that we could leave the classroom any time we needed to leave the classroom. We were not told we need to take the packets, we were offered the packets."
10th grader Tyler Betit says he thinks there should be more education like this in Cambridge.
"For students like me that don't know where to go, something like this is very helpful."
Betit says parents wanting the teacher to lose her job -- is heartbreaking.
He says she's helped him deal with bullying he's faced in school since coming out as gay.
"She has been there for many students who have needed her, and when I see a packet like this come into the school grounds, it makes me very happy that their could possibly be change in the school one day."
The school board president says they will be following up on the issue, but that they aren't allowed to comment on personnel matters.
He also says the health curriculum will be more closely monitored -- and the teacher will be required to send weekly updates.