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Sentinel parents have issues with questionnaire handed out in health class

Sentinel parents have issues with a questionnaire handed out in a health class. PHOTO NBC MONTANA{p}{/p}
Sentinel parents have issues with a questionnaire handed out in a health class. PHOTO NBC MONTANA

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Parents asked us to get to the bottom of a questionnaire handed out to students by a teacher.

We’re told it happened in a freshman health class at Sentinel High School. The paper contains questions regarding students' sexual orientation.

According to a Sentinel High School parent, her freshman student felt uncomfortable about the questionnaire handed out at the end of class.

Some questions from the handout include:

  • 99 percent of reported rapists are heterosexual. Why are straights so sexually aggressive?
  • The majority of child molesters are heterosexuals. Do you consider it safe to expose children to heterosexual teachers, scout leaders, and coaches?
  • When did you choose your sexual orientation?

In all, there are 15 questions on the questionnaire.

One person spoke out at Tuesday’s MCPS board meeting about presenting these kinds of questions to 14-year-olds.

“Who assumes the dominant role and who assumes the passive role in a straight relationship,” Missoula resident Katie Kutz said. “The fact that is being talked about to 14 and 15-year-olds just absolutely blows my mind.”

The parent we spoke to wishes to stay anonymous but says her student felt uncomfortable with the questions and questioned if they are a bad person because they are straight.

The parent also told us it wasn't just the questionnaire that was upsetting but the context and timing. She says it was handed out at the end of class with no discussion.

She says she waited a day to inform MCPS of her concerns to give the teacher a chance to discuss the questionnaire, but that never happened.

MCPS says the questionnaire was not a part of the approved curriculum and says remedial actions have been taken to keep it from happening again.

This is their full statement:

“MCPS was recently made aware of a handout that was given to students in a high school health class. The handout was intended as a demonstration exercise to show how certain questions can be seen as offensive. Students were not expected to provide written answers. The questions on the handout were intended for discussion purposes only and are not part of our approved curriculum.

“When the handout was brought to the District’s attention, there was an immediate investigation and the handout was removed. MCPS has a "challenged materials" procedure that anyone can access. Generally, the challenged materials procedure is used when there is a challenge of curriculum material used in our classrooms. However, the handout in this particular incident was not part of the curriculum and should not have been used, as it is not part of our approved instructional materials for this unit.

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“The District has taken appropriate remedial action to prevent this from happening again.”

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