Overall Review for Grade 8:

Opt-Out Recommended

Review Comments:

  • The possible physical and emotional consequences of sexual intimacy are thoroughly explained.
  • Contrary to the definition provided in Lesson 1, the definition of abstinence in Lesson 2 is not in compliance with state law (§ 22.1-207.1A) and the Virginia SOLs (8.7). It reads: “not to be sexually active until marriage or in a committed relationship.”
  • In-depth lesson on contraception including permanent surgical sterilization as a form of birth control within a marriage. 
  • A short animated video clip (Couplet video “Disrespect”) portrays a boyfriend having a “booty pic” of his girlfriend on his cellphone. The concept of disrespect is portrayed by the boyfriend showing the picture to his male friends without his girlfriend’s permission. It does not take into account the legal and ethical problems of a teenager having such a photo in the first place.
  • Two video clips (Couplet videos “Control” and “Guilt”) depict same-sex dating relationships.
  • Each Couplets video ends by encouraging the viewer to go to the website joinonelove.org that teaches about healthy relationships but also about sexual pleasure, transgenderism, and same-sex relationships. Article titled “Beyond Netflix and Chill…” states: “And to be clear, there’s definitely nothing wrong with hooking up!” Other articles include “9 Ways to Support Your Transitioning Partner,” “Let’s Talk About Sex! 5 Ways to Enhance Your Sex Life,” “Same-Sex Couples: How to Strengthen Your Relationship,” and “My Partner is Questioning Their Sexuality.”
  • No mention of abstinence was made on the Myths & Facts page and Safe Dating page of the workbook.
  • The Sex Trafficking lesson covers concepts such as sextortion and sexting, the characteristics of healthy vs unhealthy relationships, and the teen power & control wheel. The teacher reads a story about an 8th grader who is a victim of sexual pressure and then rape by an older teen, including rape by multiple men in exchange for money on a regular basis. The story uses the word “sex” to describe the activity, but the victim is underage and coerced, and the perpetrators are adults.
  • In the “Take Charge: Resisting Sexual Pressure” DVD, there was some really good information and feedback from teens about real-life scenarios and relationships, and it discusses the detrimental effects of alcohol. The program recommends bringing a buddy to parties as an accountability & safety partner. About 21 minutes into the video, however, Deborah Haffner from SIECUS talks about how teens should begin the discussion about sex (with their dating partner): “You say, ‘I want to talk about how far to go.'” When turning down sexual intercourse, she recommends, “You can say, ‘You know, this is what I feel for now. You can try again. Come back and we’ll talk about it later.’ And then offer something. There aren’t too many boys or girls who, if you say ‘it’d be really great to just have a really hot make-out session.’ are going to turn you down.” Later in the video, the narrator, a teen girl, says, “How far do you wanna go? You know, you can be sexual without having intercourse.” Another teen girl says, “There are so many options besides sex that are safer and pleasure you just as much.” The video implies that teens can maintain virginity while still engaging in sexual activity. In fact, there seems to be a big emphasis on virginity, but it doesn’t seem to present much information or encouragement for those teens who are no longer virgins but want to be abstinent again. The narrator goes on to say, “There are lots of ways to express your sexuality. There are a million great, sexy things you can do between kissing and ‘the big one.'” Teens are encouraged to explore these things in order to be “better lovers.” A teen girl says, “Be creative. Do stuff. There’s so much you can do with the human body. It’s amazing!”

Curriculum Reviewed:

  • SOLs
  • Lesson 1 PowerPoint Presentation
  • Lesson 2 PowerPoint Presentation
  • Lesson 3 PowerPoint Presentation
  • 8th Grade FLE Student Workbook
  • Videos: “Amazing act of sportsmanship gets Mitchell Marcus his basket,” “Distorting Beauty,” “Dove Evolution,” “Girls’ Commitment vs. Guys’ Commitment,” “Kids on LOVE!” and JoinOneLove.org‘s “Couplets.”
  • Just Ask Prevention Project: Middle School EPI Curriculum – Trafficking, Exploitation, and Healthy Relationships, Grade 8 [Draft]
  • “Take Charge: Resisting Sexual Pressure” DVD 

Note:  The following was listed as part of the curriculum but was not reviewed due to time constraints.  Content of these materials may render a change in the color assessment.  Parents are encouraged to request that Loudoun County Public Schools make available these materials for review.

  • “Before You Hook Up: Dating Rights & Responsibilities” DVD
  • “Open Arms? Open Eyes! Power, Control and Abuse in Teen Relationships” DVD
  • “Sex Education: Dating of a Teenage Mother” DVD – description on the back says that the video “endorses abstinence as a way to avoid the distress of teen pregnancy.”