Some 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