Sex Ed Class Becomes Comedy Central

By Liana Loewus — February 13, 2009 1 min read
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In an effort to engage his high school sophomores, a veteran sex education teacher in Portland, Ore., put underwear over his pants and a condom on his head during a lesson, reports The Oregonian. Little did he know, one of his students was filming him and he’d soon become a YouTube sensation.

Norman Scott of Grant High School had intended to use humor to warn students about the dangers of STIs. However, district officials didn’t find the lesson funny at all. “What you saw in that video in no way, shape or form represents Portland Public Schools’ approved curriculum,” said district spokesman Matt Shelby. “Sex education can be a tough subject . . . but that was well beyond anything I’ve ever seen.”

In defending his teaching, Scott explained that he was portraying a fictional character named “Elmer Beaumont,” who represents the consequences of reckless sexual behavior. Scott called the lesson “very effective” and said he may try it again next year. The junior who shot the video with her camera phone was amused by his presentation. “Instead of a boring film or lecture, I think it was pretty interesting,” Esther Kim said. “It was kind of awkward, but funny.”

Other students saw the lesson differently. In the online comments on the Oregonian article, one self-described former student of Scott’s wrote, “It’s a mockery of sex ed and if any of you are parents, you should be outraged that this is being taught to your children rather than real sex ed. Teen pregnancy, STIs, and AIDS are all very real. And if students get this joke rather than the real thing, THEY ARE AT RISK.”

The principal of Grant High has received no complaints about the video and Scott is not facing sanctions.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.