The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


February 4, 2014

Parent: Shikellamy sex-ed class went out of bounds

SUNBURY — A Shikellamy High School teacher was told by administrators to control her classroom after a sex education class went out of bounds and drew complaints from a concerned parent.

About a month ago, an 11th-grade student came home from school and told his father about a raunchy classroom discussion on sexual practices

During a health class on the human anatomy, teacher Diane Miller asked students to write down five slang terms for both male and female anatomical characteristics, the Shikellamy junior told his father.

“Some of the kids wrote down silly names, and I wasn’t really concerned with what he was telling me until he said the class had an open discussion,” said the parent, who wished to remain anonymous to protect his child. “I was in total shock.”

The boy told his father that students began giving descriptive sexual acts and the teacher allowed the open discussion to continue, he said.

“When I started asking what was said, I couldn’t even believe what I was hearing,” the parent said.

The concerned father said he was more disgusted the teacher did not stop the discussion once it turned from lessons to lewd terminology. “I mean common sense would say that a teacher should know better,” he said. “I am frustrated and disgusted that this would happen.”

The student’s father said he called high school Principal Ernie Jackson the next day. Jackson told the man he would conduct an investigation.

“I haven’t heard anything from him in three weeks now,” the parent said. “I don’t want to be one of those people who get a lawyer to pursue this but, I mean, come on, this was uncalled for and I want to keep my kid away from that sort of stuff and here he is learning it during class.”

Jackson, on Tuesday, acknowledged the incident but referred all questions to district Superintendent Pat Kelley.

Kelley, when contacted Tuesday was not aware the incident took place and asked for time to research what had happened.

In the meantime, district Director of Education Abbey Walshaw-Wertz said she was made aware of the incident by Jackson.

Kelley then returned a phone call later in the day Tuesday and said he spoke with Jackson and the teacher was told about the language of the lesson plan but that no sexual discussions took place.

“That is absolutely not part of the curriculum,” Walshaw-Wertz said Tuesday. “The teacher was told to never let this happen again.”

Walshaw-Wertz said Jackson called her about the incident but was unsure who complained to the first-year principal.

“I was not made aware of that,” she said. “If a parent made the complaint then he should have gotten back to him after he had answers to what had happened.”

School director Tom Michaels agreed with Walshaw-Wertz.

“No administrator told me about this,” he said. “From what I am learning and to the best of my knowledge this was taken care of before it made it to the board. But I will say if a parent was left waiting for an answer then I will look into it and make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”

Teacher Diane Miller did not return a phone call seeking comment or context.

n Email comments to

Text Only
  • Fatal24 Danville woman dies as logging truck crushes car in Valley Township

    DANVILLE — An 84-year-old Danville woman was killed when her car and a logging truck collided Wednesday afternoon at Routes 642 and 54 in Valley Township.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rabbi Conflict in Israel grounds Sunbury rabbi

    TEL AVIV, Israel — While the Israelis and Hamas traded rocket and missile strikes for a 16th day, Rabbi Nina Mandel is struggling to find her way back to Sunbury after the FAA on Wednesday announced that it would extend its ban on travel at Ben-Gurion International Airport for another 24 hours.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Docs: Fractures helped save rock victim's life

    DANVILLE — Sharon Budd’s condition is progressing nearly a week after a 13 1/2-hour procedure in which a team of surgeons rebuilt her facial bones and removed a damaged part of her brain, said two Geisinger Health System physicians who are part of that team

    July 24, 2014

  • Magistrate judge sides with Warrior Run

    WILLIAMSPORT — A federal magistrate judge says he agrees with a hearing officer that a Warrior Run student does not need special-education services,

    July 23, 2014

  • Inaugural Lewisburg BrewBQue Musical Festival is Saturday

    LEWISBURG — Not a beer fan? Not a problem. This Saturday’s inaugural Lewisburg BrewBQue Musical Festival, taking place from 2 to 6 p.m. on Market Street from Sixth Street to the Susquehanna River, welcomes brew lovers, barbecue fans, dancers in the street and little tykes alike with an array of events and offerings, organizers said.

    July 23, 2014

  • Decision coming on police shooting of city man

    SUNBURY — Brad Hare, the city’s former acting police chief, will learn by Friday whether he was justified in shooting a city man earlier this month, Northumberland County District Attorney Ann Targonski said Wednesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Union County bridge replacement project begins Aug. 4

    HARTLETON — A PennDOT maintenance crew in Union County will begin a bridge replacement project Aug. 4 on Pleasant Grove Road, Route 3005, in Lewis Township, between Moll Road and Wirth Road, north of Pleasant Grove.

    July 23, 2014

  • DanCrash23.jpg BREAKING NEWS: Woman killed today in Danville area collision

    [UPDATED -- 12:18 a.m., 07/24/14]

    VALLEY TWP. — An 84-year-old Danville woman was killed when her car and a logging truck crashed Wednesday afternoon at Routes 642 and 54 in Valley Township.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jay Paterno sues Penn State for 'rush to judgment'

    STATE COLLEGE - Two former Penn State assistant football coaches, including a son of the late Joe Paterno, are suing the university, alleging that it fired them prematurely after the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal surfaced.

    July 23, 2014

  • 400-pound bull on the lam

    State police and a western Pennsylvania cattle owner are looking for a 2-year-old bull that has been missing for more than a week.

    July 23, 2014

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.