Elementary Schoolers Asked If They've Had a Vasectomy & Other Odd Questions

shocked kidIf I told you that a bunch of parents were up in arms over their elementary school-aged children reading about such salacious topics as masturbation, abortion, and adultery, you'd probably assume the reading material in question was a stack of stolen Playboys (or perhaps a pilfered copy of 50 Shades of Grey). You probably wouldn't think I was talking about, say, pamphlets that were actually given to the children at school ... on purpose.


That is, however, exactly what I'm talking about. “The Examination of Conscience and Catholic Doctrine" pamphlets were handed out to students at San Francisco's Star of the Sea school a couple of weeks ago, just before kids were supposed to make their confession, and included questions such as: “Did I perform impure acts by myself (masturbation) or with another (adultery, fornication and sodomy)?,” “Did I practice artificial birth control or was I or my spouse prematurely sterilized (tubal ligation or vasectomy)?” and “Have I had or advised anyone to have an abortion?"

You know, super relevant questions for kids whose ages are still in the single digits.

While (as of this writing) the school has yet to comment on what surely was an oversight -- an oversight of epic proportions, but still -- parents are, naturally, rather unhappy about the whole new world of catastrophically inappropriate terms their children have been introduced to in these pamphlets. And I don't blame them! ("Hey mom, what's sodomy?" is not a question any mother wants to hear coming from her 7-year-old's mouth.) 

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Full disclosure: I grew up going to Catholic school, and am no stranger to pamphlets of this nature -- the point is to get people to fully examine their conscience before confessing their sins, lest they unintentionally omit one or more of their many misdeeds: "Oh no! I totally forgot about my husband's vasectomy, good thing I read this pamphlet before confession!!"

But back when I was a kid, the pamphlets we got were more or less age-appropriate (if the threat of hellfire can ever be considered age-appropriate). There was no mention of tubal ligation, that's for sure. So I can't help but think this was a mistake by school administrators -- maybe they didn't check through the whole thing carefully, or maybe they mixed up the "KID PAMPHLET" box with the "ADULT PAMPHLET" box -- but that doesn't mean I wouldn't be really, really unhappy if my kid came home with something like this. Seriously?! I'll introduce my children to the concept of permanent birth control on my own time, thank you very much!!

I can't even think how I would begin to respond if this happened to me, mostly because I quite frankly DON'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT IT.  I'd like to think I would say something along the lines of "Well, that's a very good question, what do YOU think sodomy is?" in a super calm tone, but probably I'd just be like, "Um, whydoyouaskwhaaaaaa?? Let's have ice cream!" Then I'd call my kid's school and chew somebody out.

What would you do if your kid brought home a pamphlet like this?


Image via shutterstock


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