Chilliwack parent outraged over ‘vulgar’ sex education material

WATCH: Some parents in Chilliwack are outraged their young teens recently had a lesson with material they’re describing as pornographic. Jeremy Hunka has more.

One Chilliwack parent was in complete shock when her 13-year-old son came home with materials from a sex education class, which she says can only be described as pornographic.

The materials, consisting of a deck of cards, were part of a sexual education health class at C.H.A.N.C.E Alternate School in Chilliwack and shown to about a dozen Grade 8 students on May 28.

“They were highly, highly inappropriate for his age… I was in complete shock,” says Dawn Heerkens, whose 13-year-old son received the deck of cards, which explained slang and explicit sexual terms in a “goodie bag.”

“I am absolutely disgusted with the carelessness of the school system. They shouldn’t have been there. They were [supposedly] intended for an older group but how do you accidentally mix them up for 13-year-olds.”

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PHOTO GALLERY: Examples of the sexual health education cards [warning: images include sexual language that has been blurred out]
An example of one of the cards handed out following a sexual education class at CHANCE Alternate School in Chilliwack. PDF
An example of one of the cards handed out following a sexual education class at CHANCE Alternate School in Chilliwack. PDF
An example of one of the cards handed out following a sexual education class at CHANCE Alternate School in Chilliwack. PDF

After contacting the Chilliwack School District, Heerkens found out the cards were mistakenly put in the younger students’ packages but were meant for students 18 years of age and older.

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She received a letter of apology from the school’s vice-principal Troy Gibbs, which in part says, “there was a mistake and some students received inappropriate learning resources …we regret that this has happened and we thank you for your patience and understanding.”

But Heerken says the response from school officials has been inadequate.

“I don’t think [the cards] are appropriate for any age,” Heerkens says. “I don’t think they should be handed out at all, they should be in love shops. Not students of any age. Sex education should talk about relationships, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), condoms… but not about positions and that kind of stuff, and use proper terminology too.”

His mother believes the experience has impacted her son.

“It stole his innocence. I can’t undo what he saw, what he read. It’s in his mind now. So, I think it makes him a little scared about sexuality as he gets older because he’s going to remember these cards and say that’s scary, I don’t want to do it.”

Sexual health educator Saleema Noon says “these aren’t slang words that students at age 13 or in high school in general would typically ask me in a sexual health education class. I empathize with parents who are concerned about the discussion of these terms with their kids, again without knowing any context.”

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WATCH: Sex educator Marnie Goldenberg joined Aaron McArthur on BC1 to discuss appropriate teaching tools

Global News was promised a statement from the Chilliwack School District, but as of press time there was no response.

Regardless, Heerkens says the apology is not enough and instead wants the school to send counsellors into the class to apologize and explain that this is inappropriate.

PHOTO: Letter from the school’s vice-principal

Letter from CHANCE Alternate School about the mistake. Dawn Heerkens


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~ with files from Jeremy Hunka

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