A Connecticut school district has apologized after high school students were given an assignment that asked them to detail the kinds of sex acts they’d prefer to engage in as part of a lesson about consent that used pizza as a metaphor.
Enfield Public Schools’ superintendent Christopher Drezek apologized to parents during a school board meeting after the “Pizza & Consent” activity sparked outrage on February 8.
The Christian Post reports that parental advocacy group Parents Defending Education shared a PDF of the assignment to their website, which they say was promptly removed from the district website after parents complained.
“Pizza & Consent” informs students that “we can use pizza as a metaphor for sex!” and details how pizza topping preferences are similar to preferences for various sexual activities and that, just as a group of friends might check who wants what on their pizza before calling in an order, individuals should check on a prospective sexual partner’s preferences for sex acts they’d be comfortable engaging in.
“You have to check in with your partner(s) and ask for their preferences,” the assignment reads. “Your partner(s) might be comfortable with one sexual activity, but not another. Maybe your partner(s) only want to be touched a certain way, or maybe your partner(s) prefer to use certain language. Or maybe they don’t like or want sex at all. You’ll never know if your wants, desires, and boundaries are compatible with theirs unless you ask.”
This is followed by a blank pizza that students are informed to color in with their preferred “toppings,” which they are meant to equate to various sex acts. For example, “Cheese = Kissing” and “Olives = Giving oral,” the assignment explains.
Drezek admitted that the assignment had been “inappropriate” and a “mistake.”
“I know there are some who may not believe that, I know there are some who don’t necessarily maybe want that answer,” he added.
“Normally, I would take responsibility and I still do when … one of our staff members [makes] an inadvertent mistake,” he stated. “In this particular case, I didn’t even get a chance to because the person who made the mistake jumped ahead of it before I was even notified that it had happened.”
However, parents were not pleased with this explanation.
“Since when … has it become acceptable for a teacher to ask a student what their sexual wants, desires and boundaries are?” one parent asked, adding that she was not satisfied with the prior explanation that “the incorrect version of this assignment was posted in the curriculum by mistake and inadvertently used for instruction in the classroom.”
“Why didn’t the teachers that taught this assignment catch it and question it? Do they just teach the curriculum blindly, not questioning the morality of assignments required for the unit? Why didn’t our curriculum committee catch this?” she also noted. “What is their role, if not to oversee the curriculum and make sure that these types of mistakes don’t end up as homework for our children?”
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