"Sex in the City" in a Word Search at My 2Nd Grader Reading Intervention Class

Updated on February 11, 2014
M.J. asks from Tempe, AZ
29 answers

My daughter told me just yesterday that during reading intervention in her Friday class she seen the word "Sex" then eventually "in the City" so she whispered into her teacher's ear and told her that a bad word was there because they are too young (Remember she is a child!) so the teacher got black markers for the students to mark it off on their papers.
First of all why are they doing word searches on adult TV shows in reading intervention? And why is she not checking what she is giving the children? My daughter said she was unaware.

What do you moms think? I feel upset. What is your opinion?

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So What Happened?

Hello mommies! So I loved some of the feedback I received and others well I'd love to hate. For the mommies that it didn't sit well with: it just confirmed a lot for me so thank you! It's funny how some of the comments I received were mommies assuming themselves that maybe my daughter knows about Sex in the City. How silly! My daughter is advanced and can read chapters books at a time. So in a nutshell she's pretty sharp enough to figure that out all by herself. (Yes somewhere in the world there are children who are advanced readers!)My girl doesn't make stuff up. I feel also it's funny that a few silly moms think I am engraining in her mind that sex is bad. She is a child and she knows that I am not pushing for her to know about the ins and outs of sex. Sorry it is not my first priority right now for her. But no need to explain myself further. I am her mom and I will always do what is best for her. The most important point is my daughter is there to learn and that is what I expect.
SO I spoke with the teacher....yes I said spoke to( for the couple of mommies that assumed I may "go off"). She was very mature and she apologized for not reviewing and did the word search at the spur of the moment but admitted it was not a good idea to do them in class. In the end we talked about how we could both improve the education of my children. She was wonderful to talk to. Sadly my daughter is not being challenged but we are hoping to change that. And that my friend is what we call adult conversations!
Thanks moms!

Featured Answers



answers from Raleigh on

First of all, I don't think sex is a bad word. Actually, it's another word for gender.
Having said that, I don't think that "Sex in the City" is appropriate in general for 2nd graders. I hope it was an honest mistake of some sort. :/

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Was it in a game? If it was on a page, who was it created by? You said "word" but then you gave an entire title. It is entirely possible that the teacher made a mistake (don't we all?) and missed an inappropriate TV title in a game that someone else created. She had the kids black out the word and they moved on. I would let it ride unless you have other reasons to be concerned.

ETA: I would also want to see the paper and evaluate if the overall content was inappropriate or what. I remember tittering over seeing words in word searches that nobody intended (random letter generation for the win) but then just moving on past it. IMO, before blasting the teacher, get more information.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Sorry--sounds like the teacher needed a tone filling activity, saw "TV Show Word Search," printed it and passed it out.
Teachers bleed, too, if they get cut, doncha know?
Color this: Major Overreaction!

5 moms found this helpful

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answers from Minneapolis on

Um..."sex" is a word. Among other things, it means "gender," as in - you're a girl, that's your sex. He's a boy, that's his sex. Like when you fill out a form, the choice is male or female. Please don't panic over your daughter seeing a word.

19 moms found this helpful


answers from Billings on

I am a teacher and I spend HOURS every week combing through materials for my classroom. Between internet resources, online learning, print, books, newspapers (and on and on) I look at tons of content. Sometimes I miss stuff, I am human and sometimes I am still working at 10 o'clock at night! I would only be concerned if this was happening everyday. It is ok to be upset but sometimes it is best to let it go if it doesn't happen all the time.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

As other's have said it's just a word. Why does your daughter think it's a bad word? In my experience bad words are slang words meant to convey sexual meaning without using the correct words and swear words. I suggest that when we make correct words bad we are setting up our child up for thinking that what the words stand for is also bad. Sex is not bad. Inappropriate sexual activity may be bad. There is a difference. I urge you to teach concepts rather than making words bad. At this age sex is gender.

Have you seen the paper? I don't understand the context you described. Any time you are concerned about what a teacher is saying or doing go directly to the teacher. You may find that the situation was not harmful and what your daughter described is only part of the story or even that she misunderstood. To me this incident indicates that you may need to give your child a better understanding between words we don't use and bad words. You can believe use if this word in a work sheet at this age is inappropriate without turning the word into a bad word.

Inappropriate takes moral judgement out of the picture and makes the situation less threatening, less emotional and easier to deal with.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Your daughter " seen" the word? Actually if this is for real.. Your daughter SAW a word. Did you see this or are you just taking your child's word for it?

Sex is not a dirty word and I hope you've not ingrained that in her beliefs. I would think, as a mom, you would communicate with her so she does not feel like sex is something dirty. She's old enough to know what sex is and if you aren't communicating about it... She'll find someone who will. She needs a healthy understanding.. Not that it is shameful or dirty or you'll be setting her up for an unhealthy adulthood.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

How does your daughter know about "Sex in the city?"

Word searches are letters mixed around actual words on the list.

Was the word "SEX" a word for them to find, Or did it just happen that some of the letters spelled out SEX?

Were the words "IN" on the list to find, or did they just happen to be mixed letters? The word "THE" on the list

You get the idea..
IF you are really concerned that this school, this teacher are pushing a "Sex in the City" Course, you should go up there and see about this "Word Search".

You remember the rule. "You believe 50% of what your child tells you goes on at school, and the Teachers will believe 50% of what the child says goes on at home".. EX.. "Sex in the City?"

Our child did not know about that show until she was a teen. and even then she thought and still thinks those women were lame.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

I agree that it's inappropriate content for a homework assignment. In my opinion, it wouldn't matter if it were in my high schooler's homework, it would still be inappropriate for a school teacher to use.

There's plenty of excellent curriculum available to teachers. They needn't get it from the TV Guide.

ETA: To all the "Sex isn't a bad word" moms: No, it isn't....but do you want to define it for your 6 year old, who will likely repeat the word and its definition in front of the grandmother and her 3 year old grandchild at Walmart?

It's not a bad word, but it's not a concept I want my child's teacher including in curriculum in 1st grade.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Have you seen the actual word search? Was sex in the city on there in that order or just those words and she is familiar from hearing them at home? Make sure before you go off on the teacher. Sometimes only half the story comes home.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Do you run to turn off the TV when the word "sex" is mentioned or when a commercial for the tv shows comes on? It's a word - an appropriate word. My GD also has issues with the word and I keep trying to explain to her that it's another way of saying "gender." She's fine with it in that context, but as a verb, no so much! LOL!

I think you need to have your daughter look it up in the dictionary and both of you need to get over it.

And they are doing that in reading intervention because it helps with sight words. The teacher probably knew it was there, but did not think that anyone would have a problem with it 'cause it's not cursing or dirty.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I can see using word searches on TV shows in reading intervention. Most kids, especially those who don't like to read, like to watch TV. Using a word search about TV is a way to get the non readers interested. This probably wasn't the best word search since it included a title that certainly wouldn't interest a second grader. While the show "Sex in the City" isn't appropriate for children to watch, reading the title isn't going to hurt them. Most second graders will not know what "Sex in the City" is, but they do know that sex means "boy or girl". So, it was a mistake on the teachers part, which she fixed. I wouldn't be upset at all.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

sex is a bad word???
i'd be kinda bummed that they're using crappy tv shows in word searches for a reading intervention class. but i totally don't get the 'bad word'.
:/ khairete

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

Meh. I'm in the camp that it is just a word... Second grade is pretty young, but I imagine by then most kids have at least heard the word, and most have at least a basic idea of the meaning. In my house, it is not a dirty word. We talk openly about it and related topics. I feel like making a word taboo gives the word itself more power than it should have.

Especially when it was not even a stand alone word... It was a part of a movie title. While that particular show is likely out of the age range of the students it was assigned to, as long as they aren't watching the shows in class I wouldn't care that the word search is about t.v. shows.

I would be a bit concerned about the teacher not knowing what she was giving the students, and maybe *slightly* annoyed about this particular content... but it honestly wouldn't bother me too much. I imagine after this incident the teacher will try to be more aware. If it happens again, I would have a talk with the teacher about age-appropriate material, but not make a huge deal about it.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Yes, I would be upset. My children's teachers will not let them even go to a website unless it is reviewed and approved. I would talk to the principal just to ensure that handouts are being reviewed. I wouldn't be concerned about WHAT it said as much as the fact that it was obviously not reviewed prior to being handed out.
ETA: my 10 year old once snuck a book to school that was a sex in the city type romance (she was in first grade). The principal was outraged and photocopied pages from the book for her file. She was suspended. I honestly think she saw a pink cover and grabbed it (smuggled it), but she knew it was an adult book. The principal made a huge deal out of it as if I have a house full of smut. I did not object to the suspension because she knew it was not school appropriate-and she was 6!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

You have an absolute right to be upset. I have to wonder a bit about the parents on here who wouldn't be....
I would be making a phone call to the school to ensure that conversations you as parents aren't having yet don't get brought up at school without your knowledge or consent. Funny; I've never had to wonder what kind of education mine are getting at their school, and they CERTAINLY aren't hearing about sex from their teachers (or anyone else for that matter) in 2nd grade. How are parents okay with this, or tempted to pass it off as normal? It's not.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Did you see this for yourself? Were the words all together, in caps? I suggest you calm down and talk to the teacher before assuming anything.
And for what it's worth it's saw not seen.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

Ask the teacher. Ask the principal. Listen to what they say. How they respond will tell you what you need to know.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Using TV shows in a reading program is a good way to engage kids. This way it is enjoyable to them and willing to try hard. Trying to figure out how Sex In The City came about. Word searches are just letters to make up words. Obviously your daughter knows the word sex. I would not lose sleep over this one.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Good job momma….and good open communication with your daughter, she was open with you and that's the best part of your post.

I have to say it's funny how she new the word "sex" and associated it with something *adult*. That just shows you how our society is filled with sexualization, and not the kind that is "male" and "female".

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Tell the teacher what you hear your daughter saw. Let her know that http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/WordSearchSetup... is a safe site to make her own word searches.

Personally, I never use word searches or scrambles in my classroom. For end of unit review, I make my own crossword puzzles because I want complete control over the content.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

"Sex" is not a "bad" word. By second grade, my daughter knew exactly what sex was. "Sex in the City" wasn't on when she was that age, but there were other programs with plot lines that featured folks getting their swerve on, and it just wasn't a big deal to me for her to see it.

ETA: If your daughter is an advanced reader, why is she in a reading intervention program? Aren't those for remediation of kids who are behind?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I would not appreciate my child's Intervention Class using a word search unless it was with a substitute teacher, after finishing an exam earlier than the others, or during a class party. Word Searches are busy work.

Yes, I'm an educator.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I am a grandma, I feel that the teachers should start doing their homework. My daughter has her daughter third grade teacher correcting her if she doesn't int. the page right in the center of the block.
she puts a red circle around it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

A little annoyed that is was in a book they are being taught from, but if kids are on netflix or at a movie and a preview comes on they will see/hear worse.

Your daughter knows enough to think 'sex' is a bad word. There is a well know TV show call "Sex AND the City" and I am assuming you are referring to this show. This show is totally inappropriate and should not be watched. It does not mean the kids will not see it when flipping through or reading what shows are on different channels.

I would imagine the teacher got a list of TV shows. It is actually a useful way to help the kids read (I agree that many of the kids watch TV and some are still on the cable type of TV as opposed to streaming in what they want to watch).

edit: should not be watched by children. I used to watch it and was shocked, yet amused.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

That is completely unacceptable. I would be on the phone with the teacher and principle right away if I knew something with inapproriate words and/or pictures was given to my children.

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answers from Miami on

Added: I just gotta say that I am flabbergasted that your daughter is getting BLAMED, saying that she is LOOKING for bad words to show how smart she is... absolutely outrageous. YOU are the one telling us she is reading chapter books and is smart. SHE is not the one who told anyone she is smart. She also quietly told the teacher that the word "sex" was in the crossword. Another child might have yelled it out in class and made a big laughfest over it and embarrassed the teacher. You have a WONDEFUL little girl there. Anyone who would have punished a child for doing this is a crappy adult. Just crappy.

I'm glad that you and the teacher communicated well. Hopefully she will never do this again.

I think it's because the teacher was too lazy to find a PROPER book to do the word search from. Shame on her.

Send her an email telling her that you really expect for her to use appropriate material in teaching the kids. Keep it short and to the point. I would have been LIVID if one of my kids' teachers would have done this.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Well you know when you fill out a form and they ask for sex you are suppose to indicate if you are male or female - not whether you have it or approve of it or want it.
Vocabulary - it's a beautiful thing!

'Sex in the City' was on a word search of a school material?
Not good - and not good of the teacher who didn't review the materials before she handed them out.
At least she took steps to correct it once she knew about it so I don't think you need to be too upset about it this time.
It sort of makes me wonder about the quality of instruction your daughter is getting from this reading intervention.
Try reading more books with your child - at least one per day - at bedtime or anytime you have to wait for anything.
If she's into chapter books then you can read one chapter a day with her.
Play games with it - you read odd pages then she reads even pages - make it fun.
Also get books about anything that she's interested in - use your public library.
With our son we found books about fire trucks, dragons, dinosaurs, sharks, etc.
He was much more willing to try reading when the reading was about things that captured his imagination.
They might have to cover certain things at school but you can do what ever you want at home and you can greatly augment your daughter's learning process.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

"Sex" may not be a bad word, but it's not an appropriate word for second graders to have in a school puzzle. I work in an elementary school and I am not one to go and tattle usually, but this is something that I'd let the principal know about, because someone is assigning inappropriate materials to the children. My 2nd graders do word searches about Pilgrims and Indians, or symbos of the U.S.

1 mom found this helpful
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