Four months after the now internationally famous “pizza sex” assignment was given to eighth graders at Kennedy Middle School in Enfield, the city’s school board has yet to figure out how it happened. Instead, the board is supposed to be stuck just contemplating How? ‘Or’ What to figure out how it happened.

The assignment asked students to use pizza topping choices as metaphors to negotiate among themselves what sex acts they would like to participate in. It was meant to be a lesson in finding consensus, as if the pizza toppings couldn’t accomplish this on their own, not serving as metaphors for sex, as if the students hadn’t already encountered pizza toppings requiring consensus building at home, and as if a system school whose student performance is as poor as Enfield’s should have time for more than basic study.

So should you ask the local or state police, state attorney, or Federal Bureau of Investigation to handle the case? Perhaps a General Assembly or a committee of Congress? How about hiring a private detective? Or, as some school board members have suggested, should the board appoint a “task force” to review Enfield’s school curriculum in general?

All this tortured contemplation is aimed at avoid get the answer the school board only claims to be looking for—to avoid asking school superintendent Christopher J. Drezak for a candid report on how the assignment got into the classroom, exactly where it came from, and what the School administrators knew about it before it descended on the students.

For example, is the “pizza sex” task from a lesson-planning service that the school system subscribes to? If so, what is this service and will the products it sends to the school system be made available to the board and the public for inspection?

How much more of this crackpot stuff got into Enfield schools, and how did it get in?

Or was the assignment designed within the school system itself and, if so, by whom?

And who exactly in school administration and outside of school administration – the creators of the “pizza sex” exercise – thinks middle school students should be responsible for disclosing and discussing their sexual desires? between them in class? Who would deprive students of so much privacy, and why?

The only information provided by the superintendent so far is that the school system had two consensus building lessons using pizza toppings and the sex lesson was sent to class due to an innocent mistake by a member of the staff.

But was the school system’s acquisition of sex-themed assignment a mistake in the first place, or was it a political decision?

It’s a much bigger question.

Obviously the director knows Something about the origin of the lesson plan, and since he is paid more than $200,000 a year, he knows or should know more than he is letting on.

But for some reason the school board won’t ask him about it in public, and two weeks ago he refused to answer simple questions in this column about where the assignment came from and how it got into the system. school. He said the school board was reviewing the matter and would respond when that review was complete – as if the requested information were not already in records held by the school administration and, by law, subject to immediate disclosure, but concealed to avoid embarrassment.

Of course, the school board may already have been privately informed of the origin of the mission and support the superintendent’s cover-up. A stranger’s complaint about the cover-up to the state’s Freedom of Information Commission might yield answers, but only after a year or two of litigation, by which time the superintendent and board of administration can hope, the matter will have been largely forgotten.

But a freedom of information complaint is not necessary to establish that Enfield schools, like many state schools across the country, including Hartford, do things they don’t want the public to know. and are therefore deficient not only in student performance, but also in basic accountability. In other words, public schools in Enfield, like many others, are really not public at all.

Chris Powell is a columnist for the Journal Inquirer.