8th Graders Learn How To Masturbate In School

Cum
CHICAGO – The board of Thornton Elementary School District 154 decided Tuesday night that a teacher accused of handing out sexually explicit material to 8th graders in a health class would go on paid administrative leave immediately and his contract would not be renewed for the next school year.
“It’s been a very difficult process, a difficult decision for the school board,” said the board’s attorney, John Izzo, in announcing the decision at a meeting attended by about 125 parents and friends of the teacher, Scott Groff.
Izzo said the board believed Groff was a good teacher and a good person who is “entitled to a second chance to serve another community.” But Izzo added that Groff had lost his credibility with pupils.
The decision came after the board had largely met in closed session for about three hours while listening privately to comments from parents and Groff supporters at Wolcott School in Thornton. Groff, who had been teaching for two years, did not attend Tuesday’s meeting.
Some said Groff should be fired or suspended, while others believe the teacher simply made a mistake.
Lynette Gricus-Swets said, “I was shocked at first when I read the package, but people should just let it go. He’s 27 years old. This mistake should not end his career.”
But David Pinedo, whose son was in the class and had to read aloud a passage about masturbation, said what Groff did was out of line.
“I think he should be suspended without pay and go before a review board. He knew what he was passing on,” Pinedo said.
Board members went into executive session to discuss Groff 10 minutes after the 7 p.m. meeting started in Wolcott School in Thornton. The crowd of about 125 spilled out of the room and into the hallway as they awaited the board’s decision. Parents with children in his class were invited to speak privately with the board.
Groff distributed a sexually explicit handout to about 40 pupils last week. It explained in detail how to perform oral sex and how to masturbate and included dimensions for average penis size. It also contained colloquial expressions for various sexual positions.
According to parents, children were required to read aloud various questions ranging from “How do you French kiss?” to “Do you need to use a condom during anal sex?”
Groff told Principal Stephen Harman that he had not read the document closely before distributing it to pupils, school officials said. He has since apologized to the class and sent a letter of apology to parents, though some have called it half-hearted.
The school district announced Monday the suspension of the sex education program until all materials can be reviewed. And it has asked pupils to return the handout to the school; about half complied immediately.
Katie Kollath, 14, was in the class and believes Groff is being treated unfairly.
“He’s a good teacher and easy to relate to,” she said, adding that she didn’t find his handout that unusual. “I thought it was a normal sex lesson. I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all.”
Steve Miller, Groff’s pastor at Village Evangelical Free Church in South Holland, said the teacher feels bad about his mistake.
“Scott has the potential to be a great teacher. I would hate to see a good teacher destroyed,” Miller said.
from The Chicago Tribune

Randy Blue

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