Seventh graders attending Georgetown’s Hardy Middle School were forced to participate in an explicit survey of sexual habits without their parents’ knowledge or consent, according to the Georgetown Dish.
The Metro Teen AIDS survey required 12- and 13-year-olds to choose between four “genders,” state that they could “correctly put a condom on yourself or a partner and convince a reluctant partner to use barrier protection,” and list how many people they had oral, vaginal or anal sex with so far.
The non-profit has received over $750,000 in federal research funding from the Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in addition to its contracts with D.C. Public Schools.
But parents told The Dish that a letter informing them they could “opt-out” was distributed during the same class the survey was conducted, and they only saw it after the “sex test” had already been administered to their children. If so, this is a clear violation of informed consent regulations that were adopted after the infamous Tuskegee Experiment, in which federal researchers deliberately withheld penicillin from African American men who were promised treatment for syphilis.
“Our main objection is that parents should have been notified about a survey involving sex, which is a very personal, emotional and moral issue with deep spiritual implications,z’ Emmett McGroaty, director of the Washington-based Innocence Project, told The Examiner. “Our view is don’t marginalize parents. Let them see all the material beforehand. There should be complete transparency, complete disclosure, and an ‘opt-in’ provision that requires a signed permission slip from parents before a child is allowed to participate.”
That DCPS doesn’t already do all of that says volumes.
The group cites results of a recent Zogby poll that found 73.6 percent of Americans strongly agree that “parents have the constitutional right to make decisions for their children without government interference unless there is proof of abuse or neglect.”