My attitude about using materials with sexual references in the classroom is this: An appropriate reference to real life sex, not perversion, is acceptable. The teacher will have to judge the suitable level for a particular group of students. "Suitable" in this context means that students are mature enough to approach the subject. Further, it means that the issue can be discussed in a mixed group. A teacher must be able to proceed without major objections by the students and their families. The teachers' introduction of reading materials that contain sex scenes should not completely upset the academic environment. This judgement will rely more on the tone set in the classroom from the very beginning, than on the student's maturity.
However, before embarking on this, the teacher must take several steps to present a natural acceptance of the fact that people are sexual beings. Any opportunity, over the year, to let students understand that there are few, if any, big secrets should be taken. References to the sex act between men and women should be accepted, as a matter of fact and tasteful questions about sex from students in other contexts should receive swift, matter of fact responses. If the need arises, school clinic personnel should be enlisted to present appropriate information to the students, with parental permission.
The teacher using this unit must reference all administrative policies and procedures on the use of adult materials with foul language and sexual references. In order to protect one's self professionally and legally, the teacher should use several different mechanisms to let parents and families know that this approach will be taken. For instance, each syllabus must contain reference to the fact that adult materials with sexual references will be used. There should be a separate notice to parents at the beginning of the marking period when A Little Yellow Dog is to be taught. The notice should tell the parents that the book contains sexually explicit scenes and parents should be required to sign off on the use of the book. In addition, school administrators should be notified of the use of adult materials, again.
Students must understand that a mature attitude is expected. The author's use of sex will be viewed in terms of its place in the works, its literary value in the plot.