Parents outraged, say Texas church taught sex education without parental consent
CHILDRESS, Texas (KFDA) - Some parents in Childress are outraged after they say a church taught their children explicit sexual education without their consent.
On Wednesday night, Cory Rodecap dropped his daughter off at First United Methodist Church. When he picked her up hours later, she seemed different.
“We got back to the house and she was pretty hesitant, and she said, ‘There is something that we learned at church today, and I don’t want you to be mad at me,’” said Rodecap.
He then saw she had a paper that contained explicit sexual questions and terminology.
“They crammed in her head, I mean completely stripped my daughter of all her innocence,” said Rodecap.
Mike Henderson, a representative for the Church of Christ in Childress, says this is part of a curriculum they’ve been offering to their youth program (Ages from 12 to 18) for 15 years.
He says the lessons mainly focus on healthy relationships and marriage, with one day focusing on sex.
While he believes the curriculum has been well received over the years, this time was different.
“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. 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,” said Henderson.
Henderson also says this was the first time they allowed another church to join the program in the middle of the series.
“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,” said Henderson.
One parent, who did not want to speak on camera, says she thinks the situation has been taken out of proportion. She says a lot of the subjects that were being discussed were brought up by the children themselves. They had expressed curiosity, so the purpose was to start a discussion in a safe space.
However, other members of the community say they don’t agree with the church’s approach.
“I guess it’s fine to have a Christian input, but it still shouldn’t be done in church,” said one Childress resident.
“You’re not the child,” said another Childress resident. “You’ve got to stand up for your kids, teach them. Nobody should be able to teach your kids nothing.”
According to Henderson, the pastor who teaches the class has been doing so for around four years, and his wife is a clinical psychologist.
The Church of Christ says they will be implementing changes such as being more strict with parent authorization.
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