Parents push to recall Oregon school board after reports of ‘disgusting’ sexual games, explicit book
Parents in Oregon are calling to replace a local school board following reports of a sexually explicit book in the curriculum and at least two instances where a teacher organized activities discussing sexual acts.
Fox News Digital previously reported how health class students who missed coursework at Churchill High School in Eugene, Oregon, were asked via Canvas, an online learning management system, to complete a 10-point assignment titled “Fantasy Story.”
“For those students who were absent, you will write a short story of a paragraph or two. This story is a sexual fantasy that will have NO penetration of any kind or oral sex (no way of passing an STI).”
The assignment from teacher Kirk Miller also asked students to choose three items, such as candles, massage oil, feathers and flavored syrup, to use in the story.
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A screenshot of the health class assignment at Churchill High School posted to Twitter and Facebook. (Twitter/Screenshot)
But parent Justin McCall said his older daughter, who is in the 10th grade at Churchill High School, revealed the assignment had also been conducted in class and that the teacher had asked students to pick the sexual items written on a piece of paper out of a hat that he passed around.
Further scrutiny of the “Health 2 Human Sexuality” class found that students were also allegedly given an assignment called “With Whom Would You Do it.” The project involved a virtual spinning wheel labeled with sexual categories. Students were allegedly instructed to respond when the wheel stopped and write the initials of the person they would engage in the sex act with.
“My daughter told me it was literally up on the board and it mentioned you know who are you going to have anal penetration with, oral sex, licking of the ear, kissing and vaginal sex,” McCall said, calling the assignment “disgusting and wrong.”
A Title VI and IX coordinator attempted to speak with McCall’s daughter about the incidents but was directed to the family’s legal counsel.
The Eugene 4J School District did not return Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
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The “With Whom Would You Do It?” assignment graded on Canvas. (Screenshot/Beth Ball)
The above allegations, as well as a flurry of other complaints from parents, have prompted calls for new leadership on the Eugene School Board, which is holding elections in May. In the event leadership stays the same, a group of parents is in the process of knocking on doors and setting up tables outside the district schools to gather signatures for a recall.
Beth Ball, a 4J alumni who met her husband at Churchill High School in the 1990s, intentionally enrolled her children in the 4J school district following her positive educational experience. Her issues began when her child entered sixth grade at the Arts & Technology Academy in Eugene.
At home, Ball noticed a form that said she could opt her child out of health class if she disagreed with the contents of the syllabus or curriculum. However, after correspondence with the teacher, Ball was told the syllabus and curriculum had not yet been created and waited at the school for two days to get a meeting with the principal.
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The Eugene 4J School District in Oregon has put Kirk Miller on administrative leave following an investigation into assignments given to students. (4J School District )
The principal informed her they could not access the syllabus and curriculum, but her child needed to be enrolled in health class to graduate. Given the lack of information, Ball instructed her child to wait in the office daily during health class. Her child received a “no pass” in the class, but because of COVID-19 school closures, the “no-pass” became a non-issue.
Once her child entered the ninth grade at Churchill, the same school Ball attended, he was assigned a novel called “I’ll Give You the Sun.”
“The first five pages of it the book talks about how [the main character] is getting beat up and he’s turned on by it. He gets a boner,” Ball said. “For me, that’s completely unacceptable because it’s saying that if you’re getting abused or picked on, it’s normal and in fact you should like it.”
A review of the book by Fox News Digital found the scene described by Ball and takes place early in the book when the main character wrestles with another student.
After contacting the school to ask why the book was placed in the curriculum, she was simply told that it got great reviews and spurred conversation on complex topics. She then pulled her child out of Churchill and began homeschooling him.
“And then this sexual essay hit, and I wasn’t surprised in the least,” Ball said.
Following the backlash, school principal Missy Cole said, “the district has begun the process of reviewing and selecting a new health curriculum to replace the OWL content that will be completed by the end of the school year.”
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An excerpt from the book “I’ll Give You The Sun” by Jandy Nelson. (Screenshot/Dial Books)
According to the board, the changes to the curriculum were not related to complaints from parents and had already been on the docket for the 2023 school year.
During a March 16 school board meeting, citing “failures in our practices,” Eugene School District Superintendent Andy Dey said they had identified “shortcomings” in their curriculum and recommended that the sexual fantasy’s lesson not be administered again.
Dey also said the rumors of “spinning wheels” with “salacious acts” had not been substantiated or reflected in the materials the teachers used. However, Dey did confirm an “online virtual randomizer wheel” that did not have sexual acts on it.
He also said that the sexual fantasy’s assignment was given out due to “inadequate oversight” and that future lessons will follow the curriculum verbatim and refrain from using supplemental materials, as was done in this case.
In a statement to the New York Post, OWL program manager Melanie Davis said the district was following an “unauthorized” and “out-of-context” facilitated group activity currently out of print.
The United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist Association claimed the material was not part of the comprehensive OWL curriculum it helped to develop.
Emails provided to Fox News Digital showed that McCornack Elementary asked McCall to sign paperwork agreeing to only correspond with the school over email and only through his wife and noted McCall was trespassed off the property “due to hostile behavior towards other McCornack parents, students, and staff that created fear.”
McCall was allowed to speak at the March 16 board meeting despite his ban from the elementary school. Following his public comments at the meeting and his move to recall the board, McCall was banned from all 4J district property. The district said they contact McCall no later than April 20 about his formal complaints and trespass appeal.
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Justin McCall speaks in front of the Eugene 4J School Board about sexual assignments given to his daughter on March 16, 2023. (YouTube screenshot/Eugene 4J School District)
At the meeting, McCall claimed the school was lying about the spinning wheel assignment and suggested the teacher had not yet been fired because he is also the football coach and the team was doing well.
“If you do not remove him, I’m giving you my word today that tomorrow morning I will go down to the County Clerk’s office and I will file for the removal of every single one of you,” he said as the room erupted in cheers.
Miller has been placed on administrative leave.
Dr. Michael Bratland, a local dentist and conservative running for school board in the May elections, said that he wants a comprehensive review of the situation but stopped short of supporting the termination of the teacher or board members. He also credited Superintendent Dey for his leadership and handling of the situation but was more critical of the current board.
“The school board’s the top and they need to take responsibility and when I was at that school board meeting last week, I didn’t really hear anybody take accountability,” he said.
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Nikolas Lanum is an associate editor for Fox News Digital.
I have been writing professionally for over 20 years and have a deep understanding of the psychological and emotional elements that affect people. I’m an experienced ghostwriter and editor, as well as an award-winning author of five novels.