Parents were outraged after eighth-graders were given an assignment that used “pizza toppings” as a metaphor for sex acts.
A copy of the “Pizza & Consent” assignment given to students at John F. Kennedy Middle School that was shared online included a second page that asks students to draw their favorite type of pizza and list toppings as their preferences for sexual preferences.
The “Pizza & Consent” assignment used pizza as a metaphor for sexual consent, with such statements as, “When you order pizza with your friends, everyone checks in about each other’s preferences, right?” and “The same goes with sex; you have to check in with your partner(s) and ask for their preferences.”
After parents complained about the assignment to Brie Quartin, the school district’s health and physical education coordinator, she apologized in an email and explained that students got the wrong assignment due to a technical error.
According to Quartin’s email, the incorrect version, as opposed to the revised version of the assignment, was mistakenly posted to the Grade 8 curriculum page and was inadvertently used for instruction in the health class.
“I caught the error after our curriculum revision in June but failed to post the intended version,” she wrote.
“There was no hidden agenda, there was no secret cabal to indoctrinate kids on something. They sent the wrong document,” Enfield Superintendent of Schools Christopher Drezek said during a Board of Education meeting this month.
According to AWM:
Students were then given suggestions about how to mix and match their favorite pizza toppings to explain the sex acts they do and do not like. Students were provided an example to get their thoughts started.
“Here are some examples: Likes: Cheese = kissing, dislikes: Olives = Giving oral.”
When the students were done selecting their pizza topping metaphors, they were then asked to take the assignment to the next level because they were assigned to “draw and color your favorite type of pizza. What’s your favorite style of pizza? Your favorite toppings? What are your pizza no-nos? Now mirror these preferences in relation to sex.”
It continued, “Obviously, you might not be able to list all of your wants, desires, and boundaries, but hopefully, you’ll start feeling more comfortable about discussing them.”
But what’s the assignment without being inclusive of all people – even those eighth-graders who don’t like sex acts. The assignment offered the following “for those of y’all who don’t like pizza or sex at all, feel free to draw out another food favorite, or include non-sexual activities.”
The assignment has drawn widespread attention online and raised concerns for local parents.
“This assignment is prompting kids to become sexually active before their time. You don’t even know how to navigate platonic relationships well, so why introduce sexual relationships?” Tracey Jarvis said during the meeting.
“Sexual preferences come with sexual maturity, so now we’re to insist that our kids come to the fullness of their sexuality at age 13?” Jarvis added.
“Imagine how a 13-year-old kid would feel,” Arel said. “It’s inappropriate.”
But another speaker said parents are “delusional” if they think students are not talking about sex in middle school.
“This particular assignment was not appropriate, but it was not intended to cause harm to any child, and I think that it’s absolutely ridiculous that it has gotten this far,” Marcy Taliceo said during the meeting.