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Teacher placed on leave following discussion about sex at school

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) - A teacher at Riverview Gardens High School in north St. Louis County is on paid leave pending allegations that a sex talk in the classroom went too far.

School authorities have launched an investigation. Parents had not yet been informed as buses rolled in at the end of the school day on Thursday.

Letters to parents explaining the situation were in the process of being sent home, district officials said.

“There was a dialogue about views on oral sex within a classroom setting,” said Amy Schechter, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources.

“It’s first of all shocking to have to hear it and that it’s in the schools. It kind of makes you wonder who are you getting in the classroom,” said Anitra Williams, whose daughter is a freshman.

District officials confirm a male English teacher is at the center of the investigation. They confirmed his computer had been seized but added that’s a standard procedure.

It may seem normal for discussions like this to come up among high school students. But district officials said this one surfaced during a theater arts class, which includes students from freshmen to seniors, and it was certainly not part of the curriculum.

“[Such discussions] should not come up in curriculum. They should not come up in an instructional setting. They should be dealt with promptly,” Schechter said. “Students should be given an opportunity to express themselves but it should be done within policies and procedures of the district. We’re just going to make sure that’s what happened.”

“How do you know what’s actually going on? You can’t be in every class just to see what are they asking, what are they teaching,” Williams said. “This day and age, no [such discussions] shouldn’t be off-limits, but there should be a limit.”

She applauded the district for taking this seriously, acting quickly, and alerting parents. St. Louis County police are aware of district investigation but at this point there's nothing to suggest any criminal wrongdoing.