Don’t Make Teachers Report Sexually Active Students to Police

Target: Paul Kyllo, School Board Chairman, Salem-Keizer district

Goal: Undo mandate requiring teachers to report to law enforcement or state officials if they learn or suspect that a student is sexually active.

An Oregon school district is requiring that if a teacher finds out or even just suspects that a student may be sexually active, they must report it to state officials or law enforcement. This is supposedly intended to protect teenagers and “doesn’t mean police are going to be knocking on the door of students,” according to a district spokesperson. However, many are rightfully concerned that this leaves students with nobody to talk with openly about sex, since, as Deborah Carnaghi of Oregon’s Department of Human Services stated, “You can’t have a conversation about safe sex without talking about sex.”

Specific examples of situations that teachers are required to report, as laid out in a district training session, include a 15-year-old confiding that she and her boyfriend are having sex and asking about birth control, or a 14-year-old revealing that he has been kicked out of the house for being in a same-sex relationship and mentioning that “he has engaged in sexual acts with his partner.” This is because, according to Oregon law, all sexual activity between minors is considered abuse because anyone under 18 is legally too young to give consent. However, Salem-Keizer is the only school district in the state with a mandate like this in place, enforcing the law to such an extreme degree. Sign below to demand that this dangerous mandate discouraging teens from confiding in a trusted teacher be overturned.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chairman Kyllo,

Salem-Keizer school district’s requirement that teachers report to law enforcement or state officials if they discover or even suspect that a student is sexually active is unhealthy and dangerous. The well-being of the 40,000 students in the district is at stake, and this mandate—exclusive to the Salem-Keizer district—does not protect those students. Instead it prevents them from being able to confide in adults that they might otherwise trust to help them.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 40% of high school students reported being sexually active in 2015, and the average age when people have sex for the first time is 17. If students fear that they will be reported to law enforcement for asking questions or seeking advice about sex, they will be cut off from the “appropriate adult-student connections” that teachers aim to establish “so that when students come to school they feel safe and cared for,” as one teacher says. And, as Deborah Carnaghi of Oregon’s Department of Human Services stated, “You can’t have a conversation about safe sex without talking about sex.” I urge you to ensure that this irresponsible mandate is overturned.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Jason McHuff

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4 Comments

  1. Kathy Khoshfahm says:

    WTF? We do live in the USA don’t we? Unbelievable…

  2. jennifer taylor says:

    This is an excellent idea.Report sexually active students to law enforcement or state officials.

  3. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    report rape not safe sex with condoms.

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