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"How old were you when you had sexual intercourse for the first time?" "Have you ever had oral sex?" "The last time you had sexual intercourse, did you or your partner use a condom?"

No, these are not inquiries traded by adults pondering the safety of a consensual encounter. All these are questions being asked of 12-year-olds by their public school district. You read that right.


The 2021 Fairfax County Youth Survey includes these questions and others about sex, along with invasive questions regarding truancy, tobacco, alcohol, drug use, and criminal behavior. Administered by the Fairfax County School Board and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the survey aims, in their words, to "determine the effectiveness of prevention and intervention programs" and "identify changing trends and areas of need." 

Although it is supposedly anonymous, and parents have the right to opt their children out, it has understandably sparked a new controversy in a state that has become ground zero in the nationwide debate over education.

In recent months, parents have grown more and more upset by curricular content within public schools, demanding changes for the sake of their children. While their concerns include issues like critical race theory, they have also expressed outrage at sexually explicit materials in schools, easily accessible by young children.

Schools have moved beyond the initial boundaries of "sex education" to ask our children for intimate details about their lives, making it seem as if young teenagers and even children should have sex. 

For example, in the same Fairfax County earlier this year, local mother Stacy Langton drew attention at a school board meeting to books in her son’s public school library that describe, in obscene detail, "pedophilia… fellatio, sex toys, masturbation, and violent nudity." Ironically, when she began reading some quotes from the books verbatim, school board officials cut off her microphone for the sake of the "children in the audience." Apparently, public school officials only then rediscovered the need for propriety around students.

Opponents of the academic doctrine known as Critical Race Theory protest outside of the Loudoun County School Board headquarters, in Ashburn, Virginia, U.S.  June 22, 2021.  (REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

Unfortunately, the scandal of sexualized education extends nationwide, far beyond the suburbs of Northern Virginia. In September, a Texas mother found a book in her child’s middle school library depicting anal sex. In North Carolina, sixth graders studied an image featuring a sexually explicit act for an art class assignment. A Vermont elementary school disseminated a survey asking fifth graders about their sexual history and "gender identity." Indiana parents expressed outrage at library books for very young children such as Sparkle Boy, which features a cross-dressing toddler, and "Call Me Max," in which a kindergarten girl asks a teacher to refer to her by a male name.

Angry parents and community members protest after a Loudoun County School Board meeting was halted by the school board because the crowd refused to quiet down, in Ashburn, Virginia, U.S.  June 22, 2021.  (REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

But the incursion of sex into public schools began long ago. As early as 1912, the National Education Association called for teacher training programs in sexuality education. In 1955, the American Medical Association, in conjunction with the NEA, published five pamphlets for schools, commonly called "the sex education series." Since then, more and more extreme ideologies have infiltrated K-12 education through school policies and curricula.

Starting as early as preschool and kindergarten, kids are being exposed to "the Gender Unicorn," a purple cartoon image featuring hearts and rainbows resembling the PBS dinosaur Barney. Rather than teaching letters and numbers, however, this unicorn directs children to self-select their gender identity and sexual preference.

Shockingly, American tax dollars fund this radical sex education content. In 2009, the Obama administration transferred hundreds of millions from the Community-based Abstinence Education Program to new sex education initiatives—the first time federal taxpayer monies went towards such programs. State and local taxes also subsidize content that, rather than teaching necessary academic subjects, actively promotes identity confusion and normalizes sexual activity for children.

Meanwhile, teachers’ unions and public officials want to cut parents out of their children’s moral education. Besides having their voices silenced at school board meetings and being banned from their own children’s school libraries, parents must also contend with policies that prohibit school officials from notifying parents if, for example, their child begins identifying as the opposite sex. 

To make matters worse, the Biden administration would weaponize federal law enforcement against parents, with Attorney General Merrick Garland’s now-infamous memo directing the FBI to investigate "threats" against school boards in an effort to chill dissent.


For generations, society considered parents the primary educators of their children—particularly regarding topics as highly sensitive and personal as sex. But now, the left asserts that parents should outsource teaching kids about sex to complete strangers—so-called "experts" in sexual matters—as if it weren’t creepy at all to charge random adults with initiating children into these intimate topics.

In fact, if we’ve learned anything from this awful experiment, it’s that many of these "experts" should probably not be allowed within 500 feet of a school, never mind put in charge of a classroom.


To be clear, educating kids on sexual matters is a sensitive responsibility that should be left to parents alone. Unfortunately, however, we've become desensitized to the idea of this happening in schools, and now we see the predictable results. 

Schools have moved beyond the initial boundaries of "sex education" to ask our children for intimate details about their lives, making it seem as if young teenagers and even children should have sex. 

This awful exercise has gone on long enough. Now that parents have awoken to these consequences, we must ramp up the fight to remove sex from schools—and demand our leaders do the same.

Mary Vought is executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund.