On Friday (Oct. 15), FOX News reported that a middle school in Washington, D.C., got itself in hot water with parents after having distributed one of today’s ubiquitous sex surveys to students. Somehow this kind of thing always comes as “news” to parents, despite the fact that such goings-on have been publicized all over the country for years. Are people in denial, or what? This particular survey, developed by Metro TeenAIDS, a group dedicated to “helping” young people fight against HIV/AIDS, was aimed at raising awareness of sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) and teaching children how to avoid them, according to FOX News. Never mind that teens and pre-teens are plenty aware of HIV, AIDS, STDs and just about any sexual gymnastic on the planet. How could they not be? Peruse any magazine aimed at young people. See the sitcoms targeted to the 11- and 15-year-old demographic. Then, there is sex education, which typically starts nowadays in first grade.
As for intimate questionnaires, these started in the early 1980s with a few demographic questions. Getting only sporadic opposition from parents, the authors added queries concerning socio-economic status (SES) studies. Again, officials dodged negative publicity, so test creators started inserting a few opinion-type questions at random into bona fide academic tests at selected schools.
That’s when things became a little dicey. Several brouhahas ensued once parents got wind of the questions from their kids. In West Alexander, Pennsylvania, for example, a group of parents started researching the source of such nosiness and discovered, to their dismay, that the questions were coming through contractors simultaneously creating tests under the auspices of both federal and state governments, which in turn got passed along to local education agencies. The universal reaction from the children was that “no one could possibly study for a test like that.” Letters back and forth between federal and state legislators and local school officials read like a “blame game” on steroids.