Edgewood Middle School investigating after anatomy game turns sexually explicit in health class

'You can't sexualize our kids': Mom says her daughter was bullied with racist insults after speaking out to principal

Tre Ward Image
Thursday, May 4, 2023
Middle school investigating after anatomy game turns sexually explicit
Edgewood Middle School in Highland Park, IL is investigating after a teacher allegedly used vulgar language during a sex education class.

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- Edgewood Middle School in Highland Park said it is investigating a game about anatomy that turned sexually explicit in a health class.

One parent said her child was bullied after speaking up about the classroom activity, which the school said is not part of its curriculum. That mother, Shataria Williams, said she has since taken her 13-year-old daughter out of Edgewood Middle School after she was allegedly bullied with racist insults.

"As a mom, I want to do everything in my power to protect my daughter, and knowing that I can't emotionally fix that - that hurts me," Williams said.

What was supposed to be a lesson about the human anatomy, Williams said, left her seventh-grade daughter cringing in the classroom.

"You can't sexualize our kids. We have to allow them to maintain their innocence and just be kids," Williams said.

Williams said on April 19, a physical education teacher at Edgewood Middle School was teaching a sex education lesson, using a game where he and the students shouted words that related to human reproduction.

"He said, 'I'm going to give each kid 30 seconds to say whatever you want to say,'" Williams said.

But, Williams said, the words used by the teacher and some students were not medical terms, and were vulgar.

"So, it appears to me, as a parent, that they were having a discussion about having intercourse, and that's inappropriate," Williams said.

Williams said her daughter spoke out about it to the principal. But, Williams said, in the days that followed, some students began bullying her child with racist insults.

"So, they're thinking, 'oh it's funny,' but it's not," Williams said.

This past Sunday, the district responded in a letter to parents and staff, saying, "The game aimed to help the kids get the uncomfortable energy out before discussing human reproduction made some students uncomfortable, as not all terms were appropriate and not part of our D112 curriculum or resources. It was reported to the administration, and the event was investigated. This activity is not part of the formal curriculum, is not district-sanctioned, and will not take place again."

"My daughter will forever remember this," Williams said.

But, Williams said, she fears that the damage to her daughter is already done, and is calling for transparency in the wake of the investigation.

"We are a community. These are our children. So, my question to the school is, 'what's really going on?'" Williams said.

The district said since the last letter was sent out, they've been made aware of more allegations against that same teacher. He has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the multiple investigations.