Counselors at one Texas high school started off the school year on the wrong foot when their official school Instagram account posted a sex toy advertisement, leaving the district with a mess on its hands.
On Sunday, the Instagram account for the counselors at Emerson High School in McKinney, Texas, reposted an ad for the Empress 2 clitoral vacuum stimulator, according to Chalkboard Review. Though the graphic itself does not name the product, all of the text featured on it relates to masturbation.
“toys can help you overcome sexual anxiety”
“there’s no shame in the self love game!”
“you won’t know what you like best until you try it!”
It even claims that regular masturbation is necessary for a person’s “mental and physical health.” The texts encouraging women to masturbate all encircle a cartoon image of a young woman engaging in some form of “self love.”
It is unclear when the issue with the image was first discovered, but Frisco Independent School District officials quickly tried to minimize the damage by claiming that the Emerson counselors’ account had been hacked. They were forced to retract that claim after it was proven to be untrue.
“Over the past several days, District and campus administrators determined that a staff member reposted the content from another account believing it to be content about self care without actually reading the text of the post,” Frisco ISD Government Affairs posted on Facebook. “Later, when the staff member realized their mistake, they removed the post and posted that the account had been hacked. When District and campus administrators learned that was not true, the entire account was disabled.”
“We sincerely apologize for resharing the inaccurate post,” the post continues. “We were attempting to respond quickly with what we believed to be true information. In the future, we will verify such posts from other District accounts prior to resharing them.”
By Monday, state Rep. Jared Patterson — whose children attend an elementary school in the district and who represents a portion of the district in the state legislature — expressed his concern over the inappropriate content.
“Is promoting sex toys an appropriate function of the public school system?” Patterson posted on Facebook. “The district claimed the account was hacked, then deleted the tweet saying as much. Apparently, it wasn’t hacked or it wasn’t proven yet to be hacked. Either way, this is yet another example of inappropriate content.”
“There is undoubtably a pervasive problem throughout the district with sexually explicit content being shared with our children,” Patterson later wrote in reply to one commenter. “This content is exceptionally concerning, as is the fact that most of the board pays mere lip service to this issue. Clearly, district personnel who knowingly share this content with children, whether in books, on the library door, or on district social media need to be fired and public statements about the RESULTS of the policy maker’s feelings on the topic need to be made.”
Back in June, the district came under fire after a librarian from Reedy High School, also in FISD, published a controversial column in American Libraries arguing for including “books, stories, resources, and information about gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation” in school libraries. The web page for the column is no longer available, but can still be accessed through Wayback Machine. The author of the column, Nancy Jo Lambert, who describes herself as “an openly queer bisexual woman” who has “white, cisgender” privilege, is still employed at the school.
The month before, district superintendent Mike Waldrip penned a letter to parents to assure them that no district library contained inappropriate material.
“Our Board, leadership team, and librarians have consistently expressed that we are unequivocally committed to ensuring our libraries do not contain sexually inappropriate materials,” the letter states.
“I want to be clear that from the time the [inappropriate content] issue first entered the public discourse, our library staff has taken it very seriously,” Waldrip added.