A middle school in Georgia is under fire for issuing an assignment to sixth graders which centered on “sexual identity definitions”. A health teacher at Lithonia Middle School gave students a quiz that outlined 10 terms pertaining to sexual identity. Some of the identities on the assignment were lesbian, gay, and transgender. According to FOX 5 Atlanta, the quiz was meant to test a student’s ability to form links between sexual identities and orientations.
Octavia Parks was the first to wave a red flag over the assignment. When her daughter came home with the paper, Parks was quick to act.
To say the least, she deemed the material unfit for schooling at any level, let alone for such a young age group. According to Parks, her daughter was not yet old enough to be introduced to sexual orientation.
“We’re talking about a sixth grader who still watches Nickelodeon,” Parks told FOX. “I’m not ready to explain what these words are nor what they mean.”
To add an additional layer to the story, Parks recalls speaking to the school’s health teacher prior to the assignment being issued. During the conversation, the health teacher assured Parks that material revolving around sexual orientation would not be focused on during class.
Regardless of the conversation, the quiz was issued and the DeKalb County School District is currently experiencing the backlash. To underline her discontentment with the situation, Parks filled out a consent form to have her daughter be exempt from the health class.
As it turns out, other parents joined Parks in taking issue with the assignment.
“If a kid wants to know about the gender or know about the sex preference, it should come from the parents, not from the school,” said Eva McClain, mother of a student who once attended the middle school.
McClain felt that the material was outside the scope of reasonable, useful education. Additionally, she said that the assignment had no part in the course progression when her child was still a student.
Although it isn’t yet clear if the DeKalb County School District supports the quiz, a written statement from a spokesman for the district has been issued as a response to the parent’s concern: “DCSD has been made aware of this alleged event, and is working to verify its authenticity. We will investigate this event and take action, as appropriate, once that investigation is completed.”
That isn’t a big enough step in the right direction to get Parks off the case. She intends to visit the school district headquarters in person to voice her thoughts on the matter. As the fall semester comes to an end, Parks will be working to have the situation resolved.
“I will be removing her from that class, and I’m also going to take it to the board of education to see what they have to say about it, as well,” Parks said.
Whatever you might believe in regards to the value of the quiz, it’s important to acknowledge Parks’ role as skeptical parent, since this sort of feedback is what keeps the education system in check.