Some parents in Childress, Texas, are publicly voicing outrage at two local churches after their children were exposed to explicit sexual education materials without their consent. Church officials argue that they were simply responding to questions asked by the children.
One parent, Kayla Evans, revealed on Facebook that she was upset when she learned about the discussions and terminology her 13-year-old daughter was exposed to after being dropped off at Childress First United Methodist Church last Wednesday.
“I’m seriously at a loss for words and just completely confused what our daughter was taught at church tonight. I’m outraged,” Evans wrote.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been at church but is this really what’s being taught to youth now? I had to ask my 8 year old just to be sure he hasn’t had some kind of talk without my permission. I didn’t get this kind of sex talk. Hell I just learned some of it in my adult life, what is this world coming to? I’ve been protecting them as much as possible from freaking YouTube I had no idea I’d get this from church!!!!!!!!”
The controversy first highlighted in a report by KCBD 11, surrounded a handout that was given to students as part of a sex and relationship lesson in the youth program (for kids ages of 12 to 18) of Church of Christ in Childress.
The lesson spanned a conversation on pornography, including a list of sexual terms like “cunnilingus” and “fellatio.”
“I went back in forth on sharing but what **** said about [how] they want to reframe the definition of sex has me mind blown and concerned it’s being taught in other churches so I think other parents need to be aware!!” Evans wrote.
A representative of Childress First United Methodist Church who said he was not authorized to speak publicly, told The Christian Post Tuesday that they partnered with Church of Christ in Childress for the sex education lesson and the church was well-intended.
“We joined with another church, and it is a curriculum that they’ve developed over the last 15 years,” the representative said. “The actual specific handout that was given out was compiled from questions that youth had over the last several weeks. It was answering questions that the kids brought up.”
When asked why parents weren’t consulted before the church provided answers to the questions asked by the children, the representative said, “I can’t answer that. I don’t know.”
“The parents were not aware of the handout, but the very few calls we have received have been asking questions of clarification. The majority of people have not called this church and my understanding is they have not called the other church. They have taken to social media to air grievance without finding out what actually happened,” he said.
Mike Henderson, a representative for the United Church of Christ in Childress, did not immediately respond to calls from CP Tuesday. But he confirmed to KCBD 11 that the sex education lesson is part of a curriculum they’ve been offering to their youth program for 15 years without issue because participants are usually aware of what will be covered.
“I don’t want to throw anybody under the bus, and I don’t want to be critical or defensive at all. At the last minute, like maybe even 5:00 Wednesday afternoon, the youth minister from the other church involved called Drew Denman, our youth minister, asking if they can attend,” Henderson said.
“And he said, ‘With parental consent,’ but when someone shows up, you can’t tell them not to come in because they knew what it was about.”
He further noted that this was the first time they allowed another church to join the series weeks after they started, which may have contributed to the reaction some parents had.
“This was a seven week series, and they set the stage for all this. The person who was disappointed in this wasn’t at the first three sessions to prepare them for what was going to happen,” he said.
According to KCBD, the Church of Christ in Childress will implement changes to be more strict in getting parental authorization.