High school scraps sexuality unit video after parents voiced concerns

The video in question features "Bill Nye the Science Guy" claiming that "what makes someone male or female isn't so clear-cut."

Buffalo High School/Facebook

A Minnesota high school will no longer use a controversial video on sexuality as part of its health education unit. The school says the decision came after parents expressed concerns.

Alpha News first contacted Buffalo High School on May 26 regarding the contentious video but did not hear back until after the story was published on May 31. This was the same day teachers informed parents about the change in resources.

The video in question features “Bill Nye the Science Guy” claiming that “what makes someone male or female isn’t so clear-cut.” Nye also suggests that a person’s gender identity is fluid and “it doesn’t always match the sex they were assigned at birth.”

The video was intended to be a resource for 10th-grade students to learn “correct terminology” during their healthy relationships unit, which began June 1.

According to a spokesperson, the video was selected by faculty.

“After the message containing the video link was sent to parents, the school heard from some concerned parents, which prompted the teacher and administration to consider alternative ways to deliver instruction. In the end it was decided that the context and terminology necessary for the classroom discussion would be provided through direct instruction from the teacher,” the spokesperson said.

Teachers sent a similar message to parents, saying they appreciate “that education is a partnership between school and home.”

Email to Buffalo High School 10th grade families.

The spokesperson explained that Minnesota high school students must receive instruction in health education at least once. School districts are required to “identify standards, benchmarks, curriculum and assessments in health education.”

Students who opted out of the unit were given lengthy assignments due Wednesday, June 8. According to an email to parents, students will need to write a 350-word paper on “healthy relationships” and research 20 “letters” total on “reproductive systems, STDs, and birth control/contraceptives.” Students will also take a test at the end of the unit. It is unclear what “letters” means.

Buffalo High School 10th grade alternative assignments for Human Sexuality Unit.

Parents who preferred that their students not participate in the curriculum had until June 1 to notify the teacher.


Pafoua Yang

Pafoua Yang is a reporter for Alpha News. She has worked as an on-air reporter for stations across the Twin Cities.