Cabarrus Co. cancels controversial sex survey for middle schoolers

Cabarrus Co. cancels controversial sex survey for middle schoolers

CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. — The Cabarrus County School District and the Cabarrus Health Alliance announced on Wednesday it would cancel a controversial sex survey that concerned parents brought to Channel 9's attention.

The 19-page survey asked eighth-graders about parental support, whether they've touched private parts and had vaginal sex.

The survey also asks who they have “chosen to have oral, anal or vaginal sex with."

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Parents were given a form in June of last school year, asking if they wanted their students to opt out of the survey.

"If I went as an individual, and asked a 12-year-old girl about her sexual habits, I would be arrested as a pedophile," parent John Peppers said.

Peppers said he was even planning to protest outside a local school until the Cabarrus Health Alliance and school district released a joint statement announcing they were ending the survey.

The goal of the survey was to decrease teen pregnancy rates. The Cabarrus Health Alliance was one of 22 health departments in the nation to receive a grant to do that.

Parent James Mills said he's upset the survey was canceled because of the backlash.

"Parents, wake up. Come on, we have to know what's going on, we've got to pay attention to what's going on with our kids, to stop this growing problem of teenage pregnancies," Mills said.

By ending the survey, the Cabarrus Health Alliance may lose funding for the program.

Leaders said they will figure out the best way to move forward and will work with the Department of Health, which gave out the grant.

CHA officials said the survey was discussed by the School Board in the Spring of 2017 and they decided to go ahead with the survey.

Cabarrus County Schools and Cabarrus Health Alliance statement: 

Cabarrus Health Alliance is one of 22 Office of Adolescent Health grant awardees in the nation. The goal of the project is to demonstrate how the program components lead to the decrease in teen pregnancy rates. The collection of information by way of surveys is a requirement of the grant as well as required questions regarding sexual activity.

On behalf of the Cabarrus Health Alliance, Cabarrus County Schools has been administering this required survey. Cabarrus County Schools did not develop the survey and their role was limited to administering the survey. In no way is Cabarrus County Schools responsible for the contents of the survey. That responsibility rests solely with Cabarrus Health Alliance.

Over the last few days, we have been made aware of concerns from parents regarding the survey. Cabarrus County Schools is an invaluable partner and has worked diligently to field and respond to questions and concerns. We appreciate their work and apologize for the strain this has caused on the system.

Together, Cabarrus Health Alliance and Cabarrus County Schools have made the decision to end the survey and discuss future programming with the Office of Adolescent Health. We understand that this may result in the loss of funding for this very valuable program.

Pregnancy prevention efforts and positive youth development are critical components of public health but the trust of parents and students in this community is paramount.

Together, we will pause to evaluate the best way to move forward along with the Office of Adolescent Health.

We welcome feedback and comments related to this survey at info@cabarrushealth.org.

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