New Jersey

Eighth Grade Homework Assignment Asks About One-Night-Stands and Herpes

A mother of a South Jersey student is angry after her eighth grader was given a homework assignment for his language arts class asking him about drinking, a one-night stand and herpes.

Photo of 8th Grade Assignment Sparking Controversy in South Jersey

Amy Loper, a Cumberland County mother told NBC10 her 13-year-old son, an eighth grader at Myron L. Powell Elementary School in Cedarville, New Jersey, received a homework assignment with the following prompt:

"You had a really rotten day, but lucky for you your best friend is having an awesome party later. You go to the party and start drinking. You have a little too much to drink and start talking to this girl/guy you’ve never seen before. You head upstairs to get better acquainted despite several friends telling you that you don’t even know this person. You end up having sex with this person. The next day you really can’t remember everything that happened and rely on your best friend to fill you in. A week later you find out that you contracted herpes from your one night stand and that this is a disease you will have all your life and never know when an outbreak will occur."

The assignment was to identify the student's reactive response to the given situation.

"I was just shocked," Loper told NBC10.

According to the parent, the superintendent said the assignment is part of the core curriculum and goes along with a book the students were given titled "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens."

The book is marketed as a "handbook to self-esteem and success" for teens.

In an email obtained by NBC10, the superintendent also told the mother her son could opt out of sex education.

"But that’s not the point," Loper said in response to the email. "My issue is with it outside of health class."

Loper told NBC10 she thinks the assignment should have been more "age appropriate" and should have "had moral values to it."

Myron L. Powell Elementary School, which serves grades kindergarten to 8th, did not immediately return phone requests for comment.

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