Fairfax County Surveys Students' Sex Lives

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 2, 2003 | Go to article overview

Fairfax County Surveys Students' Sex Lives


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

In April, 1 in 5 luckless students in the 10th and 12th grades of the Fairfax County Public School system (FCPS) will be asked anonymously "The last time you had sexual intercourse, did you or your partner use a condom?" and "Did you drink alcohol or use drugs before you had sexual intercourse the last time?" and ... well, we parents can't know all the questions because FCPS - "we encourage parental involvement" - refuses to publish them on its Web site.

Alerted by The Washington Times report to this egregious student survey about drugs, depression, suicide, and sex, and with children in the target grades, I called my School Board representative to voice my objection. When she told me she fully supported the survey, I asked how she would react to the government asking her how many times she'd had sexual intercourse during the past month. She replied with the non-sequitur that I wasn't about to change her mind and she wasn't about to change mine. I refrained from commenting that I could never change something she had clearly lost.

Beginning with the School Board representative, and navigating my way through FCPS administrative offices with names like the Department of Special Services, the director of student services, and the "Safe and Drug-Free Youth Section," - what do all these administrators do? - I asked what the county expected to achieve with such powerfully suggestive questions. Responses were either "I don't know" or the following litany, apparently scripted since strangely repeated by several individuals:

Why is FCPS presenting this survey?

"To obtain data, collect information."

And what will the county do with this information?

"Develop programs," "adjust the curriculum."

Develop programs to do what? Adjust the curriculum in what manner?

"Depends upon the data."

Let's assume the data confirms what we already know - that some children are sexually active. What will the county's message be?

"I'm not going to argue with you."

This is not an argument. I'm asking where's the county's going with this? What's the message for the students?

"I've already told you what we're going to do."

To his credit, an ex-cop on the SDFYS Team expanded a bit on the script: Based on the survey results, the County would present information to the children so that they could make "informed choices." Not "the right choices," just "informed choices."

It matters not that the survey questions are excessively intrusive and titillating suggestive [FCPS: Sez you], the answers highly likely to be inaccurate and thus the "data" tainted [FCPS: The "experts" know how to screen out the comedians], and the whole process a foolish expenditure [FCPS: It's already in the budget] and an enormous waste of time [FCPS: The survey itself will deter behavior].

"How," I asked the School Board representative, "do I opt my children out of this Orwellian horror if they're selected?" She had no idea. Neither did the next five bureaucrats to which I was directed. Little or no consideration had been given to accommodating those parents who refused to acknowledge that a school system that had its hands full trying to teach reading, writing and arithmetic could instruct children on weighty moral issues in a nonjudgmental, God-free environment.

It was finally the ex-cop who unabashedly explained an opt-out process that will specifically identify and maximally embarrass opted-out children.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Fairfax County Surveys Students' Sex Lives
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.