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Photo Credit: Ashley Smith, Magic Valley Times-News

High school science teacher Tim McDaniel of Dietrich, Idaho is likely to be asked to sign a letter of reprimand for teaching his students about the human reproductive system, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases and more specifically, for uttering one word: vagina.

A number of Dietrich parents felt that this material was inappropriate subject matter for their children, students enrolled in his 10th grade biology class. They petitioned the Idaho school board to investigate McDaniel, succeeding in their efforts and bringing national attention to this small town of Dietrich (which has a population of 332 people).

So, what’s wrong with this, you ask?

Most parents may like to think that their 16-year old is waiting for marriage to engage in sexual activity; but for most youth today, that is about as likely to be true as this story about Paul Ryan getting kicked out of church on Easter Sunday (if only, Daily Currant, if only). Most kids will start experimenting with sex during high school, if not earlier. How are they supposed to take the proper precautions to avoid STDs and pregnancy if they aren’t taught the most fundamental truths about human reproduction?

Our nation’s hyper-sensitivity about “morality” in schools is a joke when you take into account what kids are exposed to every single day in the media. The absolutely pointless abstinence-only education policies that many schools have adopted are a joke. And investigating a science teacher who took on teaching sex ed because the school’s health teacher was too uncomfortable to do so sounds more like an April Fool’s Day joke than reality to me.

Students aren’t even required to attend these lessons if they don’t want to. Says McDaniel, “I give every student the option not to attend this class when I teach on the reproductive system if they don’t feel comfortable with the material.”

Luckily, not everyone out there is on the insane train. Thousands of people have joined a Facebook page calledSave the Science Teacher and school officials say that McDaniel’s dismissal is highly doubtful. Instead, there is talk of sending him an official letter of reprimand. McDaniel has already refused to sign such a letter, and at least some of the Dietrich parents have pledged to support him in this. “I’ve done nothing wrong,” he states. I definitely agree.