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On Survey, 1,168 Parents Report Their Kids Encountered Sexually Explicit Content In School

students at school looking at a tablet screen together
Image CreditLexie Flickinger / Flickr / CC by 2.0, cropped

I wanted to know if the teachers introducing explicit material to children in social media viral videos are outliers. What I found was shocking.

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After showing my friend Bob the latest video from the Twitter account Libs of TikTok, I told him I had no idea what I was going to do when my daughter entered school. He turned to me and asked an obvious question. “How do you know this is happening at all the schools? Couldn’t these be just some rogue teachers?”

I tapped my pregnant belly as I stood there, thinking he was right. I had no idea if these videos were simply the most outrageous of all the teachers, or if this was pointing to a widespread problem across all school districts. As my daughter is due in December, I thought it would be helpful to know what exactly was going on in public schools, if nothing else to give myself peace of mind as I entered this new chapter of my life.

I toyed with the idea of asking the local school district to provide me an outline of the lesson plans, but then I thought, why limit my discoveries to my own school district? More importantly, why hear from the schools when I instead could hear from the parents?

I have a bachelor’s of applied health science from Bowling Green State University, for which I took public health courses. One asked me to work in a group to design a survey related to a public health issue. So, I decided to use that knowledge to design an anonymous survey for this and use my Twitter account to encourage people to take it. I put down every topic that a parent could possibly object to, even ones I didn’t object to myself, and even ones that I found so abhorrent that I assumed they were never taught in schools.

Ultimately, 1,195 people took this survey, a pretty good sample size. Of that total, 1,168 reported their children had encountered sexually explicit materials in school. That’s 98 percent of respondents reporting their kids encountered sexually explicit materials at school.

Of course, survey participants were self-selecting, so that likely affected the results. Still, 1,168 is a lot of sexually explicit encounters in schools — and these are the encounters parents know about. It’s certain there are many more that parents don’t know about.

The survey I designed asked parents whether their children had encountered sexually explicit material in school, then if yes, the child’s age, who had exposed them, and what kind of material the child had encountered. To see the full results, including a state-by-state breakdown, go here.

Not Just the Blue States at All

Before getting the results, I had a lot of assumptions, many of which the results disproved. For example, I assumed Virginia would be a big hitter due to the Loudoun County incident. I assumed New York would be a big problem.

I thought Democrat-run states would have a higher incident rate than Republican-run states because on the Libs of TikTok feed it seemed as though the blue states had much higher rates of teachers bragging about their accomplishments. That turned out to be wrong, too. Incident rates were high in red states including Arkansas, Ohio, and Texas.

I also assumed that the age range of the kids would be somewhere between 14 to 16 years old, high school students. After all, I went to public school and took sex ed in seventh and eighth grade. The class basically consisted of “Don’t do it.” When I asked a racier question, my teacher’s response was “How do you know about that? Go ask your parents!”

But times have changed, and it turns out I was wrong about everything — the age groups, the topics, the states that covered those topics, and most importantly the prevalence of these incidents in my state. Not only my state but the school district I wanted to settle in, Brecksville/Broadview Heights, was the top offender in the state of Ohio, comprising a whopping 50 of the 70 Ohio respondents saying their children encountered sexual material in school.

As the survey results came in, at first I thought I was being punked. Some gender ideologues who don’t like it when people ask questions decided to flood my account. But as the data count climbed from 10, to 20, to 30, and as I began to recognize patterns in the results, I began to realize that this was real: There was something going on in Brecksville/Broadview schools.

The most concerning results? Well, for starters, the most prominent age of exposure to “Sexually Explicit Content” was 13 years old. Thirteen. The top “people” who exposed a child were listed by survey respondents as first teachers, followed by the school nurse, and third by another student.

Transgender Conversions Hidden from Parents

When asked what topics the parents were concerned about, things got even more disturbing.

The most concerning results? I would say the reports of “sex toys,” “abortion resources,” “Burlesque/strippers/go-go dancers” in schools and the one at which my heart stopped cold: “Putting together a ‘Gender plan’ for your child without your knowledge.” In the survey’s overall nationwide results, 14 percent of parents, or 165 of them, reported this had happened to their child at school.

A gender plan is when the school “socially transitions” a child into a transgender identity. This can involve giving the child a new name, new pronouns, a change of clothes at school, and, most concerning for safety reasons, allowing the child to use the bathroom and locker room of his or her choice. These results, of course, left me with more questions than answers. Specifically, is this a school-wide policy, or rogue school staff members that administrators have no idea about?

As for the nine parents in Brecksville/Broadview Heights City Schools in Ohio who responded that they had discovered a secret gender plan for their children at school — how many more kids have been socially transitioned but the parents have no idea? Are the children being socially transitioned, or are they coming out as gay and the schools are hiding it from the parents?

As far as sex toys, strippers, and abortion services are concerned, I would like to know about the context in which these topics are being introduced. Is it students asking the school staff these questions, or is it a key part of the sex-ed curriculum? Are the strippers coming to school to talk to the kids about sex work?

Sex Ed Belongs to Parents Only

For many people the context of this information is important, but for me, one thing is clear: I no longer trust the schools and will be closely monitoring my daughter’s work once she’s in school. I alone will be teaching my daughter sex ed. I cannot and do not trust any stranger, teacher or not, to teach this to my daughter.

Sex is such an important topic that can dictate many facets of our lives. Sex is intrinsically linked to our emotional and physical health, as well as our relationships with other people. Sex is far too important of a topic to be left to the teaching of strangers, no matter how well-meaning those strangers may be.

A parent might ask himself: What is the payoff of having the school teach sex ed? To avoid uncomfortable conversations? Because “everyone in the school is doing it”? Parenting is not a popularity contest, and the overall mental and emotional health of my daughter is far more important than anything else, or what anyone else thinks of me.

I want my daughter to accept, understand, and take care of her body. I want my daughter to develop healthy relationship boundaries with other people. I want her to have the confidence to say “No” when something doesn’t feel right with her, no matter what names (bigot, -phobe, old-fashioned, etc.) someone may call her, while also being respectful of others who choose to live differently than she does.

Sex ed is a real opportunity to grow in closeness and communion with my daughter. Why would I give that opportunity to a stranger?


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