Friends of the Family,

It used to be that schools taught only the “Three R’s”: Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. Those were the days! Unfortunately, we continue to move further and further away from that, and parents’ rights are paying the price.

The Fitchburg School Committee is facing a legal complaint from the mother of two middle school students who were required to complete a graphic sex survey without parental knowledge or consent. The Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties organization, filed the complaint with the U.S. Department of Education.

The so-called Youth Risk Behavior Study includes questions about suicide, drug use and sexual behavior, including one that ask, ‘have you ever had oral sex?’ “You’re talking about kids who probably don’t even know what oral sex is,” said John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute. “It’s adult material.” The principal of the school said the survey was not optional, and that the question on oral sex is “not a question I’d be asking.”

The content of this survey alone is disturbing, but it becomes even more egregious when parents are not told the survey would be conducted or given the chance to opt their children out of it. The school says there was a “passive consent” opt-out form sent home, but at least one parent didn’t receive it. This is the problem with “opt-out” forms and why for sensitive subjects like this, an explicit “opt-in” form should be required.

As in previous sessions, there are two bills requiring parental consent for sex education in public schools before the Legislature, HB 155 filed by Rep. Elizabeth Poirer (R- Attleboro) and HB 1934 by Rep. Brad Jones (R-North Reading). This case once again highlights the need for one of these bills to become law. They will both be heard before the Education Committee in September and MFI will be testifying in support.

For our families,

(For more information on the complaint in Fitchburg, please CLICK HERE to read and watch a report from Fox News.)