Gov’s Decision to Opt Out of Student Sex Survey To Cost State $2 Million

Georgia will lose nearly $2 million dollars in federal funding because Gov. Nathan Deal and other state leaders don’t want teenage students to answer survey questions about their sexual history.

The national survey is administered by the Centers for Disease Control to students in the 7th grade and up. A section asks students how many sexual partners they’ve been with and if they used protection.

Gov. Nathan Deal said he was opposed on principle.

“I don’t think the federal government should be dictating that children be asked questions that are totally age-inappropriate and it was a decision that I didn’t think was that difficult to make.”

It’s the first year in which federal funding is tied to survey participation. The lost funds would have gone to statewide HIV and STD prevention.

Allyson Gevertz, a parent of an 8th grader in DeKalb County, disagrees with the decision, especially given the state’s high rate of teen pregnancy.

“Gathering data is helpful and I think knowing what the kids at that age are doing and what their attitudes are about it can help so we can use strategies and educate them in ways that make them more responsible in their decision-making.”

The state is one of four nationally that opted out of the survey section on sexual activity.