The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 9, 2014

Student Voice: It's a health-related class


For The Daily Item

— I am a junior at Shikellamy and took this class (Health II) earlier this year. My teacher was Mrs. Sones (who was previously Mrs. Miller) and I was in class when the “out of bounds” lesson was being taught. Based on the story published by the paper, one would believe that Mrs. Sones had little control of the discussion, and allowed offensive language to be used freely.

This was simply not the case, and people that take issue with the lesson most likely don’t understand the reasoning behind such a lesson, or the rules (yes, rules) set out to ensure that students don’t get out of hand. The reason this activity was included was to get the language out of the students’ systems in order to encourage the use of proper terminology rather than vulgar slang. This was, after all, a health-related class. The human reproductive system is, in fact, health related.

Furthermore I question why this is being made an issue when the test scores, student behavior and total lack of discipline at Shikellamy are not. Not a day goes by at Shik that I don’t hear vulgar or explicit langauge in the halls by my own classmates. I sincerely hope that the parents who have taken issue with Mrs. Sones and her lesson don’t walk the halls at Shik because the words and phrases used by students of any grade are much worse than the slang terms discussed in Health II.

I would also like to question why Mrs. Sones is being blamed for being “out of bounds” when in fact this lesson was being taught for years. In freshman health (or Health I) we had this same lesson. I can recall a similar lesson in middle school as well. None of these three separate but similar lessons offended me or, to my knowledge, my classmates. I would be very disappointed if Mrs. Sones takes the fall for a lesson that has not only been going on for years, but also is a reasonable lesson when thought is applied.

Jacob T. Hite,

Shikellamy High School