Not Your Standard Test
October 13, 2010 by admncc
It’s not a good week to be an Administrator at Hardy Middle School in Washington, D.C. Parents there are in an uproar over students being asked to take a “sex test” last week.
According to blogger, Beth Solomon, from The Georgetown Dish, the first question on the test was, “What is your gender?” And the students could choose from “Male, Female, Transgender (M to F) or Transgender (F to M).” Wait a minute…what! But oh, the questions get so much worse.
Solomon’s post detailed the extremely graphic nature of some of the questions the 12-year-olds were asked to answer. Such as:
“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.
…Can correctly put a condom on yourself or your partner.
…Will avoid getting yourself or your partner pregnant if you have sex.
…Can convince a reluctant partner to use barrier protection (i.e. condoms, dental dams) during sex.”
During the test, apparently one confused 12-year-old “asked an instructor about some of the terms. “What is this? I don’t know what this is,” he told the facilitator. Children ventured guesses as the instructor – brought in on a DCPS (District of Columbia Public Schools) contract – started to define “anal sex” and “oral sex.””
Interestingly, this test was administered through a program sponsored by an organization called Metro TeenAIDS and was funded by the federal government – The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Parents had previously received a letter saying that students would have the opportunity to participate in “research” and answer some questions that might possibly make them feel “uncomfortable.” The letter also promised an opt-out option, in case you didn’t want your child to take the test. However, the consent forms were never sent to the parents and copies of the test weren’t made available until two days after it was administered. You can view the entire test here.
The bottom line is that the parents/guardians of the minors should have been given the consent form and a copy of the test beforehand to review. I mean…while I’m sure that some students in the classrooms had an idea of what those terms meant, I’m also sure that many of them didn’t. And I don’t believe it’s a teacher’s job (or even the government’s) to be defining and describing sex acts to our children.
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