Administrators at an Oklahoma public high school foolishly invited a Christian sex-ed lecturer to speak to the senior class, and now they’re getting the inevitable backlash because that talk was a disaster.
On Wednesday, Shelly Donahue spoke at Jenks High School, and the reason we know about what she said is because a senior, Brooklyn Wilson, posted about it on Facebook. She was appalled that her school would invite such an uninformed, irresponsible person to present on such an important topic.
… As usual, this sex ed class was based around the idea of abstinence (both a CLEARLY unrealistic and ineffective approach to teaching safe sex). However, on top of the usual disappointed, today a line was crossed. A direct quote from the presentation “Do you know why girls are so desperate and always text guys first? Two words: Daddy. left.” I am DISGUSTED. How dare our school allow a statement so demeaning to girls and so belittling of broken families to be presented to a class of such impressionable and already insecure seniors . “Daddy” leaving is a life changing and heartbreaking situation, but to stereotype and undermine girls by calling them “desperate” for having the confidence to text a guy first is SO OUT OF LINE. Parents, I would be furious if I sent my child to school and this is the way they are treated, with shame, guilt, and embarrassment being used as a way to try and prevent sex.
… It is heartbreaking the hate I was shown today by the adults who are supposed to be our leaders and protectors, and I cannot let it go unnoticed.
Wilson didn’t just post that on Facebook. She spoke with an assistant principal at the school to voice her concerns. That post, however, is what may have put more pressure on the school. It was shared hundreds of times and the District eventually promised never to invite Donahue back:
The intent of the assembly was to fulfill a state requirement to share information with students about HIV and AIDS, said Rob Loeber, a spokesman for the school district.
High school administrators spoke to Donahue about the content of her presentation before the assembly, Loeber said, but, “unfortunately, some of the content and the tone of the presentation did not meet the expectations of JHS administrators.”
“She gave assurances to our administrators that her presentation would be secular, not religious. Regrettably, she did not adhere to those standards,” Loeber said. “Some of her comments strayed outside the realm of sex education or AIDS education. Those statements certainly would not be echoed or endorsed by Jenks Public Schools. Because of those misrepresentations, Ms. Donahue will not be asked to return.”
To put that another way, Donahue never presented evidence-based sex education to students. She used the opportunity to spread misleading stereotypes and tell students all about how sex before marriage was evil evil evil.
You have to wonder why any administrator would dare to trust Christian sex educators at this point, even if they claim to offer a secular presentation. How many schools have been burned by that lie before? They have ulterior motives. They’re not interested in facts.
It also wasn’t a secret that Donahue was completely unqualified to give this talk.
If you go to her website, to the page where she outlines her talks, it does say she can deliver a “Biblically-based or a secular age-appropriate presentation” for high school and middle school students… but right under that is a long list of what’s included in that talk.
Who’s having the best sex in America — singles, marrieds, divorcees or cohabitators? Why?
Have great intimacy someday…. in your marriage!
PIESS: Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Social & Spiritual aspects of sexuality.
How are we wired? Guys’ brains tend to be like waffles and girls tend to be like spaghetti.
Sex is what you do in marriage — Sexuality is who you are right now.
Boys tend to be wired sexually like microwaves and girls tend to be like crock pots.
How animals and people are motivated differently for sex.
The 5 basic needs of human beings? Is sex a basic need? Is love a basic need?
Media messages — pornography’s effects on your future.
Who says it’s OK to have sex before marriage? Media. Why?
Who wants you to wait? Parents! Why?
Why do people have sex?
What it intimacy?
Bonding — love’s super glue and how it affects your future marriage.
Shake the etch a sketch — start over! Forgiveness, renewed virginity and second chances.
Write your love letter to your future spouse.
Have the BEST sex… by waiting until marriage
It’s the typical evangelical set of lies: Sex before marriage is always wrong, sex between people who aren’t married is objectively worse than when Jesus joins you in the bedroom, porn is always damaging, virginity is something that can (and should) be renewed if it’s “lost” before marriage, etc.
And in case you’re wondering about the analogies — I sure was — boys are like waffles because they can compartmentalize things like sex, and girls are like spaghetti because it all gets mushed together. Therefore, the thinking goes, girls are more traumatized when they have sex before marriage because it affects everything. Boys can detach from it.
Also, boys are like microwaves because they heat up quickly! Girls need to be turned on early, like a crock pot, and they take much longer to achieve their goal. So boys have no self-control while girls are never just plain horny.
You see? It’s useful information because all boys and girls are always identical, don’t you know…
Brooklyn Wilson helpfully posted a picture of one of those slides, too:
There’s simply no excuse for the administrators here. Donahue never hid her ignorance from the public. They saw her website, full of myths and inaccuracies and stereotypes, and invited her anyway.
What the hell were they thinking? How did they not know?!
The administrators didn’t just waste students’ time. They paid for a speaker who perpetuated false, harmful information about sex at a time in these students’ lives when evidence-based information is exactly what they need to hear.
The statements by Rob Loeber suggest that Donahue lied to them. That she misrepresented her intentions. That the talk she gave was different from the talk she said she would give.
That’s just not true. I can’t believe I’m defending her here, but Donahue made very clear what she was going to talk about ahead of time. Christians gonna Christian.
The reality is that the administrators, having all this information at their disposal, invited Donahue despite all the glaring red flags.
Who’s taking responsibility for this? Where’s the apology from the District? What steps are they taking to prevent this from ever happening again?
I’ve filed an open records request with the District to see if we can pinpoint who invited her and why. There’s no shortage of excellent speakers on this subject, yet the school invited someone patently unqualified. People in the community, included the students, deserve to know why.