By Scott Tibbs, April 9, 2005
----Original Message Follows----
From: Scott Tibbs <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Subject: That MCCSC "sex survey"
Date: Sat, 9 Apr 2005 21:16:20 -0700 (PDT)
To the MCCSC School Board:
I had the opportunity to review the "sex survey" sent by MCCSC to students ranging from 10-13 years old after a friend e-mailed me a copy. While I did not think the content of the survey was horribly offensive in and of itself, I think MCCSC overstepped its' boundaries with the survey. I also think the material in the survey was not age-appropriate.
I am not fooling myself. I know that kids know more about sex than their parents (or aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.) want to admit. However, I do not believe that MCCSC should be presenting these kinds of questions to pre-teens without explicit parental permission. Assuming that parental permission is granted unless a parent specifically opts out is a weak excuse for slipping this by parents.
One student told the Herald-Times that most kids don't take such surveys seriously. While it's been a few years since I was in that age range, I tend to agree with her. If kids don't take these surveys seriously, the odds of getting an accurate representation of "teen" sexual behavior from this survey are slim. More than likely, teens (or in this case, pre-teens) taking the survey will inflate their answers for the fun of it. The "alarming" statistics on teen sex are probably a result of inflated answers.
It is not the job of the government school system to be administering these "surveys" to 10-13 year olds. That is a parental responsibility. The government school system should focus on core matters of education, such as math, English, history and social studies. Matters that involve widely divergent values should be left to the parents. If MCCSC is going to delve into such values-based areas, the only responsible thing to do is to have a specific opt-in for area parents. A parent made an excellent point that if this were administered in a workplace to adults, it would qualify as sexual harassment.
This sex survey raises a greater overall concern regarding MCCSC. It appears that the MCCSC School Board does not respect taxpayers and parents. Just last year, MCCSC was determined to keep local citizens out of a public meeting on teen sex. I am concerned that you have blown off the concerns expressed last year after that incident.
Five years ago, a former School Board member publicly urged local members of the Legislature to give them more authority to police parents who home-school their children. Perhaps you should look at your own secretive behavior before you seek greater regulatory authority over parents taking a hands-on approach to making sure their child gets a good education.
My mother never needed to worry about my school sending me a sex survey. There is a reason for this: I attended Grace Baptist Academy in Angola, Indiana. The more MCCSC pushes a liberal social agenda down parents' throats through their children, the more parents will make similar decisions.