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Tennessee mother questions ‘one-sided’ family life education, claims it shames girls

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — The school year is ending but that’s not keeping a group of Germantown parents from speaking up over their kids’ middle school family life curriculum.

Two moms have now contacted the superintendent and school board, asking them to change the curriculum.

“I think it’s negligent to completely leave boys out of a conversation about teenage pregnancy,” Jessica Schepman said. "They're teaching abstinence only by shaming girls into abstinence, and they shouldn’t be using shame to teach anything."

Schepman is a mother of two. Her youngest just finished seventh grade at Riverdale Middle, but something her daughter told her about her family life class recently is not sitting right.

"She brought it up at the dinner table because she was upset with how it was presented,” Schepman said. "She brought up one story they were told about a 15-year-old girl who became pregnant, had a baby, ended up homeless.”

Schepman wanted to know more, so she requested the material from her daughter’s teacher, who sent her a presentation from the district.

On page 64 is a story a woman named Stacey Currie from a website called pregnancy.com.

The title, “Fifteen, pregnant and no idea,” references a girl raised by her dad. Currie describes having the baby, and then says she had three others, became homeless and was a victim of domestic violence.

At the end, the curriculum has discussion questions like “Name 2 situations in Stacey’s life that may have contributed to her being pregnant at a young age” and “Did Stacey’s behavior help her family’s financial status?”

WREG contacted the school board for a response but never heard back.

Schepman received an email from board member Amy Eoff, who agreed with Schepman’s concerns and said she would forward the presentation to the superintendent. She went on to say the state dictates the curriculum and referred her to local lawmakers.

Schepman isn’t buying it.

"The state does dictate they teach abstinence-only education, but the state does not provide the curriculum. They choose the curriculum,” she said.

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1 Comment

  • Kevin Rahe

    No problem with what the program contains. But there IS a problem with what it DOESN’T contain. One thing it doesn’t contain is an admonishment for men or boys who would engage in sex outside of marriage, as alluded to by the article. But what we really need to be teaching our children isn’t so much what they SHOULDN’T do, but what they SHOULD do. What are the responsibilities of a man and a woman both in regards to each other as well others their relationship can profoundly affect, namely those who might be conceived by their relationship. Does this program attempt to do that?

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