Setting the Record Straight


In the fall, our Knoxville educator presented a lesson -- from a curriculum approved by the Knox County school district -- at a local school. Unfortunately, the teacher did not send out the mandatory permission slip required for sexuality education in Knox County high schools.

Since then, a parent whose daughter attends the school has expressed her disapproval of Planned Parenthood as an approved resource in Knox County Schools. She has made threatening calls to the school, the school district officials, and to our education department. Now, she has a group of parents who are calling the school district in an effort to have Planned Parenthood removed from the approved list of resources for Knox County Schools. 

Along with some well known anti-Planned Parenthood activists, this group has created a brochure that is full of misinformation and blatant mistruths about the intentions of PPMET and our education services. The brochure pulls information from our former website, "teenwire," and presents it out of context. The format of the information on the website was intended to be a "blog" style in which teens submit questions and receive responses from other peer educators in language used by teens.  You can view the brochure here.

In addition to the brochure, they have started a petition claiming, among other things, that PPMET educators are not of "upright character" or in "good public standing."  

What can you do?

We need you to call the following school district employees (whom are mentioned on the brochure being circulated by our attackers) and tell them you support comprehensive sexuality education and Planned Parenthood in Knox County high schools

Dr. James P. McIntyre, Jr., Superintendent of Knox County Schools

Becky Ashe, Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Ed Hedgepeth, Director of Secondary Education

Dr. Elizabeth Alves, Executive Director of Middle Schools

Marion Quinn, Supervisor for Lifetime Wellness (9-12)

Laura Boring, Supervisor for Health Education (K-8)

School Board Members: You can find their contact information online by visiting

Please join us in supporting comprehensive, evidence-based sexuality education. Please call the school district employees mentioned on the brochure and tell them you support comprehensive sexuality education and Planned Parenthood in Knox County high schools.  Research shows us that shame-based, abstinence-only education does not work. The teens in Knox County are counting on us and counting on you -- your silence is literally bad for their health.

 Reproductive anatomy to healthy relationships. . .
Are you interested in what we teach in the classrooms? 
Click here to view our Knox County approved curriculum.

Department of Education and Training Purpose Statement

In keeping with the mission of the agency, the Education and Training Department enhances the ability of individuals to understand and embody positive, healthy sexuality, and to manage their reproductive health.

We accomplish this by:

• sharing factual information about a variety of topics;
• building comfort in learning and communicating about sexuality;
• raising awareness of sexuality issues at the individual and societal levels;
• teaching social and technical skills necessary to make and implement healthy decisions;
• supporting norms and values which encourage responsible, healthy attitudes and behaviors; and 
• advocating policies which support these efforts.

We define “sexuality” in a broad sense, encompassing the following areas:

    • • Sensuality—the need to be aware of, in touch with, and accepting of our own bodies and the bodies of others;
      • Sexual Intimacy—the ability and need to experience emotional closeness or nearness to other human beings;
      • Sexual Identity—the development of a sense of who we are sexually, including gender and sexual orientation;
      • Reproduction and Sexual Health—attitudes and behaviors related to reproduction and sexual health
      • Sexualization—the use of sexuality to influence, control, or manipulate others (and the avoidance thereof). 

What our education department is doing in East TN:

  • In January of 2008, PPMET founded FYI, For Your Information, Knoxville’s peer education program that provides comprehensive sexuality training to a selected group of teens to pass on information to their peers.
    • Since 2008, the FYI peer educators have reached over 5,000 of their peers with medically-accurate information regarding sexuality & sexual health.
    • FYI received the Spectrum Award both in 2009 and 2010 for being an outstanding LGBTQ inclusive program.
    • FYI students have collected over 1,000 petition signatures in support of comprehensive sexuality education in Knox County schools.
  • Planned Parenthood is a partner with a number of Knoxville public health providers on a teen pregnancy prevention grant that was awarded by the federal government in the fall of 2010.
  • PPMET co-founded the Engaging Boys & Men to Prevent Violence Taskforce in 2008.
  • We have expanded our professional training opportunities in Knoxville by offering community trainings annually and will be offering our Sexuality Education Training Series (SETS) in June of 2011.
  • We are now offering Teen Clinic Hours every Thursday from 4:30-6:30. This is a service that is intended to reach out to teens and give them another option for medically accurate information and safe and confidential access to sexual health care.
  • We are expanding our services by collaborating with Johnson City’s new Women’s Center and planning to offer professional training opportunities in Chattanooga by 2012.
  • We receive a rape prevention education grant to reach out to colleges and high school students via education sessions and social media to send messages about healthy relationships, consent, and sexual assault prevention.
  • We are active members of Knoxville’s Faith Coalition, KAPPI (Knoxville Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Initiative), and the World AIDS Day planning committee.
  • We continue to offer evidence-based, effective comprehensive sexuality education in schools, group homes, community organizations, and faith-based organizations.

Planned Parenthood educators believe that all people, including teens, deserve access to medically accurate, up-to-date information about their sexuality and sexual health. Furthermore, PPMET believes that all people, regardless of how they identify or who they are attracted to, deserve medically accurate, up-to-date information. We will not compromise our principles or values due to political threats and intimidation -- our clients deserve better. 

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