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The Villages
Tuesday, January 31, 2023

What is wrong with Superintendent Rick Shirley?

To the Editor:

Superintendent Rick Shirley recently recommended that the school board approve the book “The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College” to be taught to seniors. What are these issues and why is it so vital that your teenager, whether they are college-bound or not, learn them from state-funded educators rather than a parent or another close trusted adult?
Issues you might expect a confused college freshman to run into such as budgeting, how to make new friends, how to handle credit cards, and how to tackle dorm life. But those few examples hardly reach 107. What are some of the other issues in the list of 107? What to do if a condom slips off inside of you and you need to acquire a Plan B pill (Planned Parenthood contact info listed for easy reference). That weed is a communal thing and should be shared. That you should never sleep with more than one person in a fraternity or sorority because people will surely find out. That if you decide to take drugs, just don’t die. Diversity: sexual, religious, and racial- it’s all good. That just because a girl has sex, it doesn’t mean she’s a slut. That you should never let a friend go home with someone from a bar unless they’re good-looking. Why would Superintendent Rick Shirley recommend this book for approval? Why would a teacher feel it is their place or even WANT to offer advice on these very personal and private subjects? It is my personal belief that this is just another example of the state and school system overstepping their bounds. I want you to teach my child math, science, and English. I don’t want you normalizing having too many drinks and finding yourself hooking up with a stranger to my 17-year-old and then offering up advice in the event they do find themselves in that position.
The school board is set to vote on final approval of this book on Jan. 18 at the school board meeting. I urge any parent that shares these concerns to reach out to the school board members and/or attend this meeting.

Lauren Jackson


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