“Just the thought that a teacher would sit and ask about their sexual fantasies makes me sick,” one parent told the local Ystads Allehanda newspaper.
The comments came after a class consisting primarily of 14-year-old students from the Kastanje school in Tomelilla received a rather unusual writing assignment for their Swedish lesson.
Entitled “The First Time” (Första gången), the assignment instructed students to imagine they were talking to a close friend and write about the past sexual escapades they might divulge in confidence.
Other options included making up a story about their first sexual experience, writing about the first time they had sex or how they hoped their first time would be.
Getting high marks required writing at least a half page and with “passion,” according to the parent. The assignment made several students so uncomfortable, they told their parents about the request to write sexually themed essays.
“Can they really do this? As a parent, it doesn’t feel right and it irritates me that we’re talking about a graded assignment in a Swedish-language lesson,” said the parent, who wished to remain anonymous.
A teacher from the school expressed surprise that the assignment had upset parents, claiming that most students appreciated the exercise, which was part of a cooperative effort between the biology, sex and well being, and Swedish-language departments.
However, Maria Ahnlund told the newspaper she took the criticism “very seriously” and said she would review the assignment next year to see if there is a more “neutral” approach to the topic.
A spokesperson for teachers’ union Lärarförbundet emphasised the importance of addressing student concerns.
“Obviously, if students feel like the assignment violated their privacy, that criticism must be taken seriously,” Lärarförbundet spokesperson Claes Nyberg told The Local.
Nyberg added, however, that the union didn’t have a position on the case, explaining that too few details were known to make a proper assessment.