When a mother picked up her 12-year-old son from a Washington, DC middle school this year, the boy said he had taken a "sex test" in health education class. What's that? The 7th grader was bewildered by some of the questions. The test asked whether he was male, female or transgender; if he is straight or heterosexual, bisexual, gay, lesbian, or not sure; if he could name all four body fluids that can transmit HIV; if he knew the difference between oral, vaginal and anal sex; and if he knew where to get a condom and how to put it on himself and a partner. The survey also asked for his personal experience with sex, drugs, and alcohol.
You can imagine how shocked the mother was to hear all this risque stuff coming out of the mouth of her 12-year-old son. This questionnaire was developed by an outfit called Metro TeenAIDS, paid for by the District of Columbia public schools, plus $750,000 in federal funding. The people connected with this survey claim that its purpose is to ensure that public school students get all the information and skills they need. This is the first of a series of three surveys that the kids are asked to fill out over the course of the year to give the school more information.
Whatever happened to parents' rights? Well, school officials said they had sent home a letter and a form to allow parents to opt their children out of taking the surveys. But then the school admitted that the letter and the form were sent home with the students on the same day that the survey was administered. As a result of parents' outrage, the principal put the rest of the program on hold. Parents, if your kids are in public school, you had better find out what is going on and what questions your child is being asked.
Listen to the radio commentary here: