I get that there are certain things kids have to do in school, like take tests and not interrupt the teacher and wear ugly uniforms during gym class. That’s standard stuff. However, requiring them to complete sex surveys? Um, that’s so not OK.
And yet, a middle school in Massachusetts did just that regardless. Without parental knowledge or consent, the school administered a “required” survey with questions about sexual partners and oral sex.
A complaint has since been filed with the U.S. Dept of Education against the Fitchburg School Committee about the so-called Youth Risk Behavior Study given to students at Memorial Middle School.
Other subject matters in the survey included suicide and drug use.
One of the questions? “Have you ever had oral sex?”
Now, I’m not going to say that no seventh grader knows what oral sex is, but I’m going to say that there are plenty of seventh graders who actually and really don’t know what it is (even if they’ve heard the term). Is this how they should have found out?
Another question asked students what “method they used to prevent pregnancy during their last sexual encounter.” The answer options included birth control pills, condoms and “withdraw.”
The school said they take no responsibility for what was included in the survey because they were required to administer it in order to fulfill a federal grant requirement, which they say was somehow tied to the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC denied any involvement in the survey.
The school’s principal also argued that parents were sent a “passive consent” opt-out form. Parents questioned for a story by Fox News, however, say they never received the form.
Can I just say that some schools turn down money when something doesn’t feel quite right. This might have been a good time to consider the same. Just maybe.
Would you care if your seventh grader took a graphic sex survey?
Image: Creative Commons
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