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Thursday, May 05, 2005
I am a parent here in Elk Grove. My child attends a local junior high. Next week there will be a presentation at that school called “Nightmare on Puberty Street”
I was one of only five parents that went to the preview night to review the course material on family life two weeks ago. At that meeting I was assured that only biology would be discussed and that there were no outside organizations coming to the school to make presentations about sexual matters. The school began its family life courses this week
Yesterday, the second day in the family life curriculum, my daughter brought home a permission slip for this program called “Nightmare on Puberty Street”.
On the permission slip, we were given two choices; we could either check the YES box or the one labeled MORE INFORMATION. There was no option on the permission form to say NO.
Because of the previous assurances from the school and the fact that the permission slip did not give parents a NO option, I immediately became suspicious.
I will share my finding with you in a moment but I wanted to add one more detail. I was told by the school activities director that this presentation, which begins at about nine AM will continue until 12:10 pm. This entire time from nine ‘til just past noon is considered first period. This caused me concern that there might be time allowed for the workshops which accompany the presentation.
This program contains values contrary to those that most Christians that I know would find objectionable and some language that is quite course.
A San Francisco Bay Area theater group reviewed that program (which they liked) and summarized it as follows:
Lasit (the director of the program) is big on creating a show with which kids will identify; he’s also not afraid to have his actors tackle taboo subjects, which is why the show now opens with a discussion of nocturnal emissions (“There’s not actually a bone in there,” a character assures the audience, “it’s just called a boner” to appreciative laughter) before the four vibrant young actors sing and dance their way through peer pressure, gay-bashing, menstruation, name-calling and suicidal tendencies—the real nightmares of pubescence
Web Link: Educational Theatre Projects Tackle Tough Social Issues
Kaiser, the healthcare provider is a big supporter of this program and gives you some sample lyrics from the program:
There’s A Name for You is the title of a song from Kaiser Permanente’s educational Theatre Program Nightmare on Puberty St. Read the lyrics and discuss the labels the characters in the play used. Think about how these labels make people feel.
CHORUS (yelling, popcorn style)
Jerry: wanna be
Natalie: all those words
Jerry: big baller
Malika: no cash
Yes, there is values clarification, self-esteem and confidential resources to see if you might be gay. If you don’t believe me check out the teacher guide with lessons.
See page 2 for Confidential Hotlines for students to use and page 24 for teacher resources.
This program is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Inner City Public School Teacher [Visitor]
I first saw “Nightmare on Puberty Street” in 2002 in Paramount Unified School District. I was mortified that my students were subjected to it. Recently in my present district I receieved a notice that it was going to be shown and I went to the principal and assistant principal to have a talk. I let them know that I didn’t approve of it, that I refused to show it to my class, and that it was “the hill I’d die on.” I described it to them and they were concerned but the show went on.
I talked to a few colleagues and they either watched the kids who didn’t have permission or forgot to send home the permission slip. The program was faxed to all sites after a promo was received from Kaiser or somewhere about it. Its showing at our school wasn’t properly considered and definately was a “point of view,” not something all inclusive or appropriate for students. One teacher who had attended the school as a student told me that the parents won’t have approved of it. I felt vindicated by his statement.