The school board has decided that "Merryweather High—Home of the Trojans" didn't send a strong abstinence message, so they have transformed us into the Blue Devils.
One of the first details Melinda reveals about her high school is that they are changing the mascot name because people are offended by the sexual connotations that go along with Trojans. The current mascot name refers to soldiers from the ancient city of Troy, but it's also the name of a condom company. The mascot name continues to change each semester, driving home the point that the administration and parents tend to busy themselves with irrelevant details that don't matter rather than real issues.
I flip ahead in the textbook. There's an interesting chapter about acid rain. Nothing about sex. We aren't scheduled to learn about that until eleventh grade.
Early in the fourth marking period, Melinda realizes the students won't be learning about sex until eleventh grade. Melinda is in ninth grade and has already been sexually assaulted, so it's ironic that students learn nothing about sex until long after they have already been exposed to it. This contradiction suggests that schools and parents should be teaching kids about sex when they are younger so they are more prepared to deal with real-life situations, to recognize assault for what it is and possess the language necessary to talk about it.
Ms. Keen decided it would be cute to review birds and bees in honor of Valentine's Day. Nothing practical, of course, no information about why hormones can make you crazy, or why your face only breaks out at the worst time...No, she really teaches us about the birds and the bees.
While Melinda obsesses over who taped a valentine's card to her locker, the science teacher presents a childish lesson on birds and bees. "Learning about the birds and bees" is a euphemism for "the talk" that parents give their children when they are ready to learn about sex. Although the kids actually need to learn practical facts about sex and how to deal with hormones, Ms. Keen teaches them about actual birds and bees, emphasizing how off-the-mark the curriculum is from the kids' actual lives.