Florida School So Sorry It Exposed Teens To K-I-S-S-I-N-G
Do you recall the very first time you saw two people kissing? Was it before you were a high school senior? Did you, perhaps, even kiss someone yourself before then?
WELL! A Sarasota school district has apologized for showing a group of high school seniors a very "inappropriate" video that was meant to teach them about consent, but which -- scandalously enough -- depicted a bunch of k-i-s-s-i-n-g.
A school district spokesperson said that the Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC) has been conducting health education classes in the school district for five years.
On Nov. 7, a SPARCC counselor showed a video in class that was about consent. The video was produced by Planned Parenthood and included footage of several couples, including men making out with other men and women kissing other women.
The issue was raised after school board chair Bridget Ziegler, an IRL Marcia Langman from "Parks and Recreation," tweeted the four-minute video out, demanding to know why parental consent was not required prior to showing 17- and 18-year -olds all that kissing, which again, they've probably never witnessed before with their virgin eyes and certainly will not see when they go off to college next year. Unless they are still rerunning episodes of "Saved By The Bell" or, um, showing pretty much any Disney movie ever.
Warning! Mature content! LIKE KISSING!
What do parental rights matter in K-12 ed? This video was shown to students during an AP Literature class. No paren… https://t.co/Jy2UpFiae1— Bridget Ziegler (@Bridget Ziegler) 1541976679.0
Bet that kid is real popular!
The school district has released a statement that it will be investigating this thoroughly, and will not be inviting this anti-rape counselor back to the school until it figures out just what went wrong.
"Since we learned of the video, the school district has been working with SPARCC and school leadership at Pine View to determine what happened, how an unapproved video was played in class and determine a cause of action. Preliminary reports indicate the SPARCC counselor acted independently and until our investigation concludes, this counselor is not allowed to present to students in the school district."
Yes, we can't have teenagers learning about consent or finding out that kissing exists!
Because surely, that is what Bridget Ziegler is upset about, right? Kissing. in general? Is it consent that she is opposed to? Would she prefer the teenagers be taught that consent is not necessary for sexual activity? What is her deal?
I mean, I just keep thinking about all the kissing I saw as a teenager and well before then. There was so much of it! Even on "Full House," the most wholesome show in the known universe.
There was even, I am pretty sure, some amount of kissing in some of the movies they let us watch in middle school when we had a substitute teacher who didn't actually want to have to do anything. We had to watch Hoosiers once, and while I don't remember anything about it, I am told there was kissing at some point. They also showed us Pocahontas and Aladdin, and I am almost 100% sure there was kissing in those. Slutty, slutty, cartoon kissing.
Of course, there is a difference between that kissing and this kissing, and that difference appears to be the fact that some of the couples in this video are (GASP!) gay. Apparently, Bridget Ziegler is very afraid that
the children high school seniors will find out that gay couples also kiss and then ... something? I honestly don't know.
There is a lot from high school that can scar teenagers for life, and if a four-minute video in which some people are kissing is at the top of anyone's list, that person should simply count their blessings and shut the hell up forever.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse