Propel Charter School System Launches Full Investigation

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Parents of some seventh grade students at Propel Charter School’s Hazelwood site say a science teacher has crossed the line between what’s appropriate and what’s not.

“Now I gotta explain things to my child that she may or may not be ready for. But, guess what? She had to find out about it today,” said John Mitchell, one of the concerned parents.

propel school hazelwood Propel School Parents Upset Over Graphic Sex Ed Lesson In 7th Grade Science Class

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

According to the parents, as a part of a science class – that includes a section on sex education – a teacher allegedly graphically discussed oral sex.

“‘We said we didn’t know what it meant, and he told us to look it up, but not on a school computer because they would be able to track it,’” said a parent of her child. “So, a little boy looked it up on his phone, and she saw images and she was traumatized.”

“My heart is broken. And, right now, I’m angry that this type of person is around our children,” another parent said through tears.

Propel Hazelwood is a part of the overall Propel Charter School system, based on the South Side, but some of the instruction in the classrooms come from outside sources.

“We have a partnership with Adagio Health, where they come in during a science class and they teach a sexual health education course,” said Propel Charter Schools spokeswoman Sonya Toler.

The incidents were revealed in a student mediation meeting, where parents and the principal were in attendance. This was the first time the principal became aware of the allegations.

“There is no reason for that conversation in a school setting. None,” said Mitchell.

“I protect her, and then she’s at school where she’s supposed to be protected, and there’s a grown male telling a 13-year-old girl to look it up, and once you see those images you can’t erase those images,” a concerned mother said of her daughter.

Propel Schools has launched a full investigation.

“To the best of my understanding, in this situation, parents raised some new concerns today with the principal,” said Toler. “So, at this point the principal is starting an investigation to determine the truth in the allegations.”

“I would like this guy to be removed. I would like for him to lose his clearances,” another parent said.