A sex education class in McBride last week has one mother upset about the content of the course and how the information is presented.
Sharon Reichert said she supports the concept of sexual education, but believes teachers and speakers should focus on the nuts and bolts of preventing disease, rather than give tips on how teenagers can improve their sex lives.
Reichert said her daughter's class was told that using plastic food wrap could be used as an alternative to a proper dental dam when performing oral sex on a woman and that students should use chocolate syrup and whipping cream to further their enjoyment of the sex act.
"Education sure, but it shouldn't glorify how you should pleasure your partner, that comes later in life," Reichert said, adding that some students in the class were as young as 12.
School District 57 superintendent Brian Pepper said privacy reasons prevent him from addressing the specific instance, but said teachers and other health professionals often juggle difficult questions from students during sex ed classes.
"As someone who has taught this material, I know students will ask all kinds of questions," he said.
Pepper said it's appropriate for educators to answer all the questions that come up to the best of their abilities. He also said it's important for parents to try to find out the context of how certain pieces of information are brought up in class. He suggested parents should call the teacher or principal to discuss their concerns.
Reichert said she did speak with Derrick Shaw, the principal of McBride Secondary School, but wasn't satisfied with the response.
Although plastic food wrap isn't marketed as a prophylactic, Positive Living North education manager Sandra Sasaki said that there's nothing wrong with using it in certain circumstances, however she said there are better alternatives.
"Ideally you'd go out and get a dental dam, but people don't always do that," Sasaki said. "You can cut a condom or you can cut a female condom, and a female condom is made of polyurethane and Saran Wrap is polyurethane."
Sasaki emphasized that plastic food wrap can only be safely used for certain types of oral sex and not for any other types of sexual contact.
"My thinking is if they're going to perform oral sex on an anus or a vagina, some barrier is better than no barrier," she said. "Oral sex on a man, use a male condom."
Pepper did confirm that the class was being led by a guest lecturer, whom he described as the executive director of a community group. He said he would have no issue having that same presenter go to other schools in the district.
"This person has been in schools for some time and I suspect she will continue to be involved," he said.