The Birds and the Bees - Feedback Friday

My friend Craig from the Constant Complainer shared a story about a "Sex Test" that was administered to students at Hardy Middle School (part of the D.C. public school system) this week that had parents in an uproar. I googled the controversy and found this news report from NBC Washington and another story HERE on MSNBC.

Okay, here is the scoop...

Students as young as 12 years old were about to begin a Health Class Sex Education Program by Metro TeenAIDS organization. To determine their baseline knowledge, the students were given a survey of questions to answer. Including some of the following questions:

What is your sex? (options were Male, Female, and Trans gender)

How sure are you that you...

Can name all four body fluids that can transmit HIV.

Know the difference between oral, vaginal, and anal sex

Would recognize the signs or symptoms of an STD.

Can correctly put a condom on yourself or your partner.

Can clearly say “no” if you do not want to have sex.

Can convince a reluctant partner to use barrier protection (i.e. condoms, dental dams) during sex.
For the complete survey CLICK HERE.

Parents were sent an "opt out" form for the program, but it was accidentally sent home the same day as the survey was administered.

Some further information about the students of D.C. Public Schools according to the Washington Post...

"Nearly seven percent of all D.C. teens were diagnosed with chlamydia in 2008. Further, D.C. teens account for half of all chlamydia and gonorrhea cases in D.C. And more than three percent of District residents older than 12 are living with HIV or AIDS."

Adam Tenner from Metro TeenAIDS defends his position:

Thoughts, Comments, Questions about this "Sex Test" administered to the students of Hardy Middle School?

Is this test appropriate for this population?

Would this test be appropriate for all children of this age?

Should the parents have been given an opportunity to opt-out of this program given the statistics regarding HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, and sexual activity of this region ?


  1. I know I go the opposite way than most of your readers probably will.. but ehre goes.

    I don't think the questions go far enough. Why in the world does "sex education" always just include the "shock and awe" of what goes on? Why doesn't it ever emphasize the emotional and the spiritual as well as the physical? Yes - like EVERYTHING we do there are risks that are even potentially life threatening but dear lord... why is this the only part we tell our kids?

    I think I'm just ready for open honest communication from adults to teens and children about sex.

  2. I´m totally with Sarah.

    My girls are six and eight years old, and we never made a secret about how their little brothers came into this world. Physical love is something beautiful, and treating it like a shameful secret won´t prevent children from wanting to find out more about it - and I rather want them to find more about it through conversations with me and school than through trial and error.

    However, those questions were a little rough, and they surely didn´t give the image of physical love as something beautiful. I also think it would have been nicer if they had informed the parents earlier. Sigh.

  3. This is typical of public school's disregard for the rights of parents. Jennifer I am with you on this.
    12 year olds should not be encouraged to express "physical love".

  4. After picking my jaw up off the floor... I understand both sides but I am in the corner of, "What were they thinking?". I am all for open communication but I think that open communication from the school to the parents should happen before you reach out and give them a survey like that. It's just offensive as a parent to think that the school can "accidentally" forget to send home the opt out forms, and subject your kids to this. It's our job as parents to teach our children- it's just upsetting to know they can do that.

  5. I don't really know how accurate the results of this test could be. As a student, I'd be worried about how 'confidential' the answers are; and I hate to say it, but there is no such thing as 'no judgment'. If a child knows too much or too little, they are going to open themselves up to bullying. I don't know if having schools teach my kids about sex is such a good idea considering the state of education today.

    That being said, our church offers the Our Whole Lives program that teaches about body awareness, sexuality, relationships, and self-esteem. I am so thankful for the program because it has made talking to our sons so much easier.

  6. If those statistics are accurate, then it was completely appropriate. Burying your head in the sand about what is going on doesn't change anything, and if parents aren't going to help educate their kids then someone needs to.

    That said, the permission slip thing was a major fail.

  7. Wow! I look forward to your Friday controversial issues. I might not always comment, but I like to think about what you post.

  8. I think that the parents should have been given an adequate chance to opt out, but other than that I totally agree with this concept considering the circumstances. Would it be appropriate for a small, suburban town with different statistics? No. But I think these facts speak pretty highly for the need to address an obvious problem in the area.

  9. I agree with Holly. The parents should have been given the form ahead of time, but I have no issue with the information presented to the students. I remember being 12 and 13 (even though it was SO long ago!), and I knew kids having sex. I know it seems really young, but pretending it doesn't happen doesn't make it so. Looking at those statistics, I'd say it was pretty important information for those kids.


Tell me what you think!

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