PG-13 (for Parental Guidance)

When my son came to his new school, we heard that the 6th (now 7th) grade class parents group we thus had joined was the most organized, dedicated such group around. I don’t really have experience with any of the other parent groups, of course, but this bunch is remarkably spirited, enjoyable, interesting to spend time with.

Tonight at our regular group meeting, about 30 parents attended, although my favorite attendee — call him Ishmael — was missing. (A lot of fathers and mothers alternate from month to month — one stays at home with the kid[s] while the other comes to the school.)

It turns out Ishmael was there in spirit, however. Near the end of our two-hour meeting, the class teacher reported on a recent series of human sexuality classes that she and two other teachers have been presenting to the 7th grade. Typically, like all her reports, it was well thought-out, moving, considerate, full of information, with a touch of humor — much like the class itself sounds, in fact, a miracle in this day and age in America when most mentions of sex in the classroom bring forth a chorus of parental screeching, uproars, and raving about moral decay.

There was one problem, though, Ishmael’s wife told the group. Their 13-year-old son had come home saddened because somehow, in an odd tangent, the information had leaked out (to coin a phrase) during one class that a family favorite, Pee Wee Herman, had been arrested for illicit behavior in a Florida adult theater.

“Pee Wee did a bad thing, Dad,” Ishmael’s son said, whereupon the father, his wife reported, philosophically told him, “Masturbating in a porno theater? Seems to me that’s kind of like praying in church.”

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