Principal Has Lame Excuse for Giving Explicit Sex Survey to Middle School Kids


blackboardSome Massachusetts parents are upset after learning that their adolescent children participated in an in-class survey that asked a series of explicit questions regarding sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

Ok, not really that last one.

One of the questions was “What method of birth control do you use?” with withdrawal listed as one of the options. What twelve-year-old even knows what withdrawal means, let alone how to use it as (ineffective) birth control? Other questions on the survey probed kids on the frequency of their sexual activity, the kinds of drugs they’d experimented with, and whether or not they ever had suicidal thoughts. 

If one of the students wrote, “Well I didn’t before I was forced to fill out this embarrassing questionnaire,” in answer to the suicide question, I will buy him or her ice cream for a year. Because that’s what kids should be doing – eating ice cream, climbing trees, complaining about homework, and nervously giggling in the presence of the opposite sex. Not filling out sex surveys.

School officials say they had no choice as to whether or not to administer the survey, as it was tied to a federal grant. 

Principal Fran Thomas told Fox News Radio that students were indeed given the survey – and admits it was graphic. But Thomas said the school has nothing to do with the content and they were required to administer the survey to fulfill a grant requirement.

“I can take no responsibility for what’s on that survey,” Thomas said. “It’s not generated by the school system.”

Thomas said the survey was funded by a federal grant and administered by LUK Inc., a local social services agency -- in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control.

Baloney. The government made me do it is the lamest excuse ever. To quote moms everywhere: If the government told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it? The principal could have told the LUK Inc. no, and if the grant money was withheld, the local news team could have been alled in faster than you can say STD prevention.

As parents, we count on our schools to keep an eye out for our kids while they are there. That includes protecting them from graphic material that isn’t appropriate for their age group. It also includes looking for signs that a student may be experimenting with sex or drugs, and scheduling a meeting with the kid’s parents to determine if they’ve noticed a change in behavior as well.

Parents and teachers need to work in better harmony to create the best learning environment for our children. One that doesn’t include asking middle-schoolers how often they engage in oral sex.


Image via shonk/Flickr

education, middle school


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zandh... zandhmom2

See what happens when we blindly hand over our rights to the government...they think they have a right to be all up in our business. My 11 yr old is starting middle school this year and I would be pissed if I found out that she had to take a survey like this!

Beths... Bethsunshine

When you drop your kids at the schoolhouse door, they are no longer under your control. This kind of blatant disregard for parental authority in the government schools makes me glad that I homeschool.

lagne lagne

I totally agree with this assessment of this article. I read the article a few days ago, and was completely baffled by the principal's whiny, copout  “I can take no responsibility for what’s on that survey." Really? REALLY? YOU administered it at YOUR school, but you're not responsible for the fact that kids at YOUR school were exposed to its contents? The fact that you even have to TRY to weasel out of this mess by deflecting responsibility shows me that you knew the survey was inappropriate before you ever administered it. Idiot.

hotic... hoticedcoffee

This is a local story for us, so it's been in the news a lot.   Let me put it this way - Anthony Weiner should give the principal a call, thanking her for stripping him of Biggest Idiot status.

nonmember avatar Anelah

Honestly... you probably DON'T want to know what drugs middle-schoolers have 'experimented' with OR just how much they know about oral sex... then you'd be more outraged.

SMC11... SMC112011

When I was in high school, the middle school across the street had more pregnant girls in its program than the high school did and that was 4 years ago. I agree with Anelah, parents can stick their heads in the sand all they please, middle schoolers ARE having sex. Not all of them! But they are many.

Water... Water_geM

Don't be naïve, the survey probably isn't for shits and giggles. And is probably for gathering statistics. Yes middle scoolers are having all sorts of sex. Just like they were 7 years ago.

tntmo... tntmom1027

Ok as a sociologist who has completed several research projects it is required of the school and the orginaiztion to get written permission from the parents to allow the children to take the survey. In that it is required by the IRB or IEB(International Ethics Board) to include any potentially upsetting or contraversal material/questions, as to fully inform the participants. If this was done than the blame falls on the parents for not being vigilant. If it was NOT done then the school and the organization is going to have some answering to do and a very possible lawsuit coming.

I can believe that this was approved on the grounds that there must be a signed consent form(always required no matter the age of the participant). Children are a protected group under the IRB and this can have some very serious consequences for the organization giving the grant, including revocation of the right to conduct research. 

chnky... chnkychic76

There ate currently four middle school children pregnant in my daughters school. And this is just the ones that know they are pregnant. There are higher than ever drug use rates amongst middle schoolers. I do not condone the questionnaire but I can't say they were totally wrong either.

butte... butterflymkm

Yeah that was my question. Was a permission slip sent home? Was it anon?were the questions written or read aloud? Were the answers? All of these things factor in to the idea of wether this was acceptable or not. I agree that if slips were sent home, the parents have zero to complain about. Also did the students have the right to refuse to take it? If the questions and answers were written and if the students ha permission and gave their answers anon I see no problem with it. These stats are important for sociological reasons & they need to be gathered from somewhere.

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