A Tennessee school district was accused of assigning a sexually graphic textbook to fourth graders and teaching them to masturbate, but district officials say there is no truth to the rumor.
The claim was made by Victoria Jackson, a conservative stand-up comedian and independent candidate for county commissioner in Williamson County, Tennessee. According to Jackson’s blog, Williamson County schools were using the book “It’s Perfectly Normal,” as part of the official curriculum for fourth graders.
It’s easy to see why inclusion of the book in the fourth grade curriculum would be offensive to many people: The book features dozens of illustrations of naked people in sexual positions. One chapter teaches kids how to masturbate — and depicts naked cartoon characters giving visual demonstrations. Another discusses the proper technique for putting a condom on a penis using detailed pictures.
An edited version of a page from the chapter on teaching kids to masturbate — with the inappropriate images blacked out — appears as the feature image for this story.
Many conservative and Christian parents in Tennessee see Jackson’s claim as a call to arms to take back their schools from administrators trying to foist sex and masturbation upon young kids.
The only problem with this narrative? Not a word of it is true, according Superintendent Mike Looney.
“This book is not a part of the school district’s curriculum and is not in any of our school libraries,” Looney told The Daily Caller. “Students have no access to this book through Williamson County Schools.”
Candy Emerson, a candidate for the Williamson school board, is partly to blame for spreading the rumors, according to The Tennessean. Emerson has claimed that the book is part of the Common Core curriculum, and has vowed to keep Common Core and “It’s Perfectly Normal” out of Tennessee schools.
Looney said it seemed like some people were spreading the false accusation to score political points.
“These individuals appear to be maliciously maligning [the district] for personal or political gain,” he said. “False claims such as these interfere with the work of the district.”