A public-school district in Colorado is apologizing to parents after a high school teacher included explicit, sexual language in his music literature class.
According to Fox News, high school teacher Ryan Ayala caused problems at Steamboat Springs High School when he introduced students to a censored poem and told the class to literally fill in the blanks with the original graphic descriptions.
The explicit poem, “Howl,” was written in 1955 by homosexual poet Allen Ginsburg.
The literary work is sprinkled with sexually explicit passages that were removed in the schoolbook because of their content.
The news story said parent Brett Cason learned about the lesson from his daughter, Skylar, who is 16, and he contacted First Liberty Institute to demand answers from school officials.
A classroom discussion about the poem, Skylar said, included discussing the poem’s symbolism about a man’s anatomy.
A second classroom assignment, Fox News reported, included discussing a song about sexting.
First Liberty attorney Roger Byron tells OneNewsNow teachers should be more understanding of their students, and more respectful about parental rights, when the material is obviously controversial.
“Teachers and administrators in any class,” he says, “have a responsibility to work with parents to make sure their instruction respects the values, the religious freedoms, and the rights of conscience of their students.”
According to the Fox News story, Superintendent Brad Meeks admitted that parents were not given advance notice of the assignment that was “considered controversial by some for its use of expletives and portrayals and descriptions of sexual matters.”
But the lack of notification was an “oversight,” the statement also said, and the school district regrets if “members of our community were offended.”