Condom demo gets teacher fired

Published: Saturday, February 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 31, 2003 at 9:59 p.m.
NAPLES - A high school teacher who used mood lighting, music and a banana to show his students how to put on a condom has been fired.
The Collier County School Board gave no specific reason for firing Colin Nicholas Thursday. It only asserted its right to dismiss an employee without cause if the employee is still within his 97-day probationary period. Nicholas cannot appeal the board's decision.
The unanimous vote by the board followed an investigation into Nicholas' condom demonstration before his ninth-grade class last fall.
"The information is so clear: he doesn't belong in the classroom," board member Pat Carroll said.
Nicholas, who also had two of his students pretend to be sex therapists to answer other students' questions on sex, was not present at the board meeting because his wife was in labor.
He has maintained he never got proper sex education training, and that he was never told condoms weren't allowed in classrooms. He has also said that his intent was to simulate situations his students might encounter, because he believes teaching safe sex benefits students.
Some parents did not take to Nicholas' approach, however, and complained to school officials when they heard accounts of the condom lesson from their children.
School superintendent Dan White, who recommended that the board fire Nicholas, said he was bothered by the teacher's methods.
"It's those kinds of demonstrations that we don't want in our schools," White said.

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