GOULDSBORO — What began as Friday science class at the Peninsula School in Prospect Harbor resulted in a sex-ed discussion that many parents felt was inappropriate for their children.
The class discussions Feb. 1 prompted numerous parents to contact the school with their concerns. The science teacher is no longer with the school.
The Peninsula School referred The American to the Regional School Unit 24 (RSU 24) Superintendent’s Office.
Asked about the matter, RSU 24 Superintendent Mike Eastman said that, “RSU 24 has a policy that we do not publicly discuss personnel matters.”
The Gouldsboro Police Department confirmed that it had received a complaint on Feb. 1 that a teacher had taught a subject in class that the parent felt was inappropriate. As no crime had been committed, the parent was referred to the school administration.
According to parents, the class was not specifically designated for health or sex education, but was a science class with students from grades 6-8. The controversial talk occurred during a question-and-answer session between the teacher and students.
“I heard about it from my daughter after school,” said Peninsula School parent Sasha Moulton, who said her daughter had been in one of the classes in which the conversations had taken place. “I was pretty shocked.”
News of the discussion spread among parents on social media throughout the weekend of Feb. 1. Many parents contacted the school to complain about what they had heard of the classes from their children. The teacher in question was suspended by the following Monday, Feb. 4.
“I wasn’t happy with the situation, but I am happy that the teacher in question is not there any more,” Moulton said. “I don’t think it was appropriate for 11- to 14-year-old kids to hear.”
According to parents, those topics included gender reassignment surgery and birth control methods, as well as other subjects that might not be considered traditional for middle school health education.
“I’m not against sex education,” Moulton said. “But this was beyond what would be directed at kids that age.”
Some parents, however, felt that the incident had generated an outsized reaction.
“I think it is something that was blown out of proportion,” said Peninsula School parent Megan Moshier.