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1301089 tn?1290670171

Sex Survey at D.C. School Sparks Controversy

Specialmom:  This one might make your blood boil or run cold!!!

Sex Survey at D.C. School Sparks Controversy

Published October 15, 2010 | FoxNews.com

A Washington, D.C., middle school is under fire after distributing a survey to seventh-graders asking both boys and girls about their sexual orientations and whether they knew how to put on a condom, among other sex-based questions.

The survey, developed by Metro TeenAIDS, a group dedicated to helping young people fight against HIV/AIDS, was intended to raise awareness of sexually transmitted diseases and teach the children how to avoid them, MyFoxDC.com reported.

But some parents at Hardy Middle School complained that the questions crossed the line, sparking the principal to put the survey on hold, the Georgetown Dish reported.

The students were asked their genders -- whether male, female or transgender. And they were asked to identify themselves as straight, bisexual, gay or lesbian or "not sure."

Other questions included: How sure are you that you know the difference between oral, vaginal, and anal sex? Would know where to get condoms if/when you or a friend needed them? Can correctly put a condom on yourself or your partner?

The survey also asked about the student's history of sexual activity and what types of sex.

"Unfortunately, the opt-out letter to parents regarding this unit in the health class went home on the same day that the assessment was administered. As a result, there was not enough time to allow for parental response before the unit began," school officials said in a written statement.

“Raising awareness among students about HIV and AIDS is certainly an important and necessary task schools must carry out, and families have an important role to play in the planning and execution of the sex education curriculum," D.C. Mayor-elect Vincent Gray said in an e-mail to The Georgetown Dish. "I hope that the Hardy school leadership, parents, and contract providers can talk about these recent developments to ensure that no one is surprised in the future.”

Metro TeenAIDS says the survey questions are in line with D.C. standards, which outline the kind of information young people are supposed to get at certain ages, as well as national testing questions on the subject.

To parents who are concerned the survey revealed too much information for a 12-year-old, Metro TeenAIDS' executive director, Adam Tenner, told MyFoxDC.com that most of those 12-year-olds are much more experienced sexually than those parents might think.

“Our local data show that almost 23 percent of middle school students -- and this was in a 2009 survey -- said that they had already had sexual intercourse once,” he said. “We know that we have an STD epidemic that’s 16 times the national average, that our pregnancy rates are three times the national average … so what we know is that young people are sexually active and we need to work together parents, schools, all of us to make sure young people get the information and skills they need to protect themselves.”



8 Responses
377493 tn?1356505749
I actually do think that it's not a bad thing to have discussion about this sort of thing.  I know, not a popular opinion, but I think there are some really valid reasons it's important.

However, to me 7th grade (you are what, 12??) is too young.  Not that I don't think sex education shouldn't be introduced, but perhaps a bit more age appropriate.  I think it's great to open up the dialogue, but at that age I think it's important to tread carefully.

The statistic that 23% of 12 year olds are having sex is very very disturbing.  I wish all parents would talk about this at home, but sadly so many do not.  It's a tough situation...kids need to get appropriate and safe information somewhere.  Good parents have these conversations, but sadly not all are good parents (as we see all to often in other news articles).  So where do they turn?  I don't know...it's tough.  I don't like the idea of my son getting his info anywhere besides my husband and I, but at the same time, what about all those kids who are told nothing at home?  I wish I knew the right answer.
1032715 tn?1315987834
12 years old,Sorry that is my responsibility to speak to my children about sex,also why did they need to ask about sexual preferences,or whether someone is transgender.the problem here is the survey should never have been carried out unless permission forms were signed and received for every student taking part(I wouldn't have let my child take part).I understand that some children don't have things talked about but when should a government take over our parental role
377493 tn?1356505749
I hear what your saying, and in all honesty fully 100% agree that it should be parents who have these discussions. It is a topic that belongs in the home.  It's just that it isn't what is happening, so I guess I worry a great deal about those children slipping through the cracks...no education for young and unfortunately sexually active generation leads to increased teen pregnancies, increase in STDs...some of them uncurable.  It leads to gay youth committing suicide because of inner conflict and even bullying.  So it's not the children of people like you that are a concern.  You do your job as a mom and talk to them.  It's the one's that don't I worry about.  Where can they get their education?
1032715 tn?1315987834
That's why if they get signed consent forms I don't have a problem but this protocol was not followed,the survey was done without parental consent.
1301089 tn?1290670171
Frankly, if I'd found out my kids had been given this at age 12 without my consent, I'd be furious.  This is MY job, not the schools.  I'm very blunt about sex with my teens.  They aren't ignorant on this subject.
377493 tn?1356505749
But that is sort of the point Sara.  Parents like you and Narla are not the problem.  Frankly, if all parents did their job on that end we wouldn't even need to have this conversation, know what I mean?  But so many now either don't care or don't want to tell their kids about these issues, and that is where the problem lies.  I agree the school system may not be the best place, but how do we get these kids who have parents that for whatever reason don't have these conversations educated with the facts.  Otherwise they get their info from other kids and that is dangerous.  So where does the solution lie?  I don't know, but I don't think we can just say only in the home.  It's just not happening.  
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