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The Berkshires

Pittsfield High principal reviews materials of sex education class

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Albany/HV: Pittsfield High principal reviews materials of sex education class
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The principal of Pittsfield High is reviewing the materials of a sex ed course after a parent complained that a flyer handed out in class was inappropriate. YNN's Madeleine Rivera has more on this story.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- "I just really think it was inappropriate some of the sayings," said Tammie Lee Radke, a parent of a Pittsfield High student.

Shown on a flyer, promoting the use of condoms.

"It sounds like they're telling the kids to go wear that and have sex. I just think they could have been better on some of those sayings," said Radke.

But, Sarah Gillooly, who's taught the sex ed class at the school for seven years, says the flyers were a light-hearted take on a serious issue.

"You can't always be a stuffed shirt, especially when you have an adult coming in teaching sex education. You want to be relatable. So, that was my intent with the flyer," said Gillooly.

Parents must sign a consent form in order for their children to take the class, which is offered for girls from grades 9-12. But now, Principal Tracey Benson will work to make things clearer for parents.

"I think for the future, what we're going to do is be very, very informative about the topics of the class just in case parents aren't aware of all the topics that are covered," said Benson.

Gillooly says this is the first complaint she's had since she began teaching the course. But, the incident shows the sensitivity of the conversation on practicing safe sex.

"I realize that's the way kids talk. But, I really don't feel some of those sayings were appropriate to give out to these kids," said Radke.

"I definitely don't think that by passing out this flyer it's saying go ahead and have sex. The statistics, I think, are 54.6 percent of high school seniors aren't doing it, which means almost half of them are. I think I would feel more of a disservice if all I said was don't do it," said Gillooly.

The sex ed class is taught year-round by Girls Inc. of the Berkshires.

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