DIETRICH • Dietrich science teacher Tim McDaniel should have given parents more notification about his possible controversial lesson content, claims a small group of parents upset with McDaniel’s teaching style.
The Dietrich parents are behind the complaint brought before the Dietrich school board that also led to an investigation from the Idaho Professional Standards Commission.
The state investigation includes allegations that McDaniel taught sex education material in his science class, taught inappropriate forms of birth control, told inappropriate jokes and showed a video clip in class that showed a genital herpes infection.
“As a parent, I want to be notified in advance that this content is going to be taught in class,” said Katie Norman, one of the three parents who raised concerns at the March 12 school board meeting. Norman said she attended the meeting with Jaylyn Shaw and Melinda Robertson. Together, they raised objections to McDaniel’s science lesson content on the reproduction system. Shaw did not return phone calls from the Times-News, and Robertson’s husband said he and his wife did not want to comment.
Dietrich Superintendent Neil Hollingshead did not return phone calls from the Times-News to confirm that the parents submitted the complaint at the meeting.
Norman — who has four children in the Dietrich school system — said she wanted to be able to make the choice to have her child subjected to the lesson material that included a lesson on birth control.
McDaniel said that he teaches directly from the school-approved biology textbook. He also denied sharing student information with anyone other than a parent.
He said that the 10th grade science class includes information on birth control and sexually transmitted diseases because the school’s health teacher declines to teach the material.
“Since I started working here about 17 years ago, I agreed to teach about the reproduction system because I was comfortable with it and he wasn’t,” McDaniel said. “This is the first time someone has objected to the material.”
According to McDaniel, the science class is not for sex education. However, for next year, McDaniel said he plans on giving more parental notification.
“It’s important to teach this to kids,” he said. “Hopefully, the students are being abstinent but most of these students will be getting married a year or two after graduation and they need to know about this.”
McDaniel said he plans to submit a letter to the state commission today responding to the investigation.