Personnel at one elementary school in Sullivan County sent kids home with a flyer that advertised free dental and vision care and, among other things, birth control pills and condoms.
This flyer promoted services at a Remote Area Medical Clinic.
One side of the flyer advertised the dental and vision care.
The other side of the flyer advertised the birth control pills and the other adult products.
Sullivan County Schools Director David Cox told The Tennessee Star this week this happened because of a mistake.
But Tennessee Pastors Network President Dale Walker, who has complained, says school system officials have yet to apologize to a parent who took offense to the flyer.
“Christian families have a right to teach their seven-year-olds when they want to teach them about these issues, not having to be forced by the school in second grade,” Walker said.
“They’re basically trying to teach them how to fornicate in second grade. This is absurd. They are the ones who did it. We just addressed it and exposed it.”
Walker went on to say Christians have a different worldview about sexual relations, and they have the right to speak out if “schools try to sexualize their seven-year-old children.”
Cox, however, said school officials were only trying to promote the free clinic.
“The (Tennessee Pastors Network) position certainly is an interesting story, but it’s simply not correct. An email came out that had the flyers attached electronically, so there was a discussion at the school. Would this be good information for all of the parents to have? When it was copied, the one side that had the information about the birth control was included and so it really was intended to just be the information about the free clinic. What it amounted to was a miscommunication about what was to be copied and sent to them,” Cox said.
“The Tennessee Pastors Network has not talked to us. I think they had their minds made up before they came here (for a press conference). It just simply amounts to an attack on public education.”
When asked for more details, Cox quoted Walker and other members of the group as saying “children go to Godless public schools.”
Walker, however, said Cox is incorrect.
“We’re not attacking public education,” Walker said.
“We’re attacking the fact that they put parents in a very uncomfortable position like the parent up there that got a flyer for a seven-year-old talking about condoms and birth control pills. This is what brought us to the situation of where we went and spoke at their meeting. He can sling all kinds of these accusations out there but they have to apologize to this parent.”
Cox said long-time members of the community, including people of faith, support the school system in this matter.
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