San Francisco parents upset after young students questioned about sex

Thursday, February 19, 2015
SF Catholic school pamphlet about sexuality upsets parents
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Parents at a Catholic elementary school in San Francisco say new priests handed out pamphlets to students asking questions about adultery, masturbation, and abortion.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Controversy is brewing at a Catholic elementary school in San Francisco's Richmond District after young students were given pamphlets asking questions about sexual topics. Shocked parents say they're not upset with the campus. Instead, they say the problem is next door at the church. New priests were reportedly the ones who handed out the controversial pamphlets.

Why would anyone talk to second-graders about adultery, masturbation, and abortion? That's what parents at Star of the Sea Catholic School in San Francisco want to know.

"It was a little surprising and concerning," said parent Stella Bialous.

Parents say the kids were given a pamphlet to prepare them for confession, and it instructed them to ask themselves questions like: Did I practice impure acts on myself or masturbate?

"It talked about some pretty serious things, that pamphlet," said parent Meghan Parent. "So yeah, obviously we want to protest our kids as much as possible."

But parents aren't upset with the administrators. In fact, they are rallying behind them.

"It has nothing to do with our administration, with our teachers or our staff," Parent said. "They are top of the line, our principal is the greatest around."

Instead, some parents are blaming the new priests of the church, who they say walked onto campus and handed out the literature.

"This came from the priest who has been newly installed at the parish and he really doesn't know the school very well at all," Parent said.

Parents are now working to form a group that will help facilitate communications between the priest and the school. They hope future lessons about sin will be tailor-made for young children.

"There are very good resources from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that are age appropriate," Bialous said. "And they make it more like, you know -- did you fight with your brother or did you disobey your parents."

She tells us this is the fourth priest the church has had since she's had kids at the school. She says there's always an adjustment period.

ABC7 News has reached out to the diocese and priests at Star of the Sea, but since their offices are closed because of Ash Wednesday, they have not been able to comment.