A Missouri high school instructed students in a health class to complete a survey asking if they understood “the difference between sex assigned at birth and gender.”

Webster Groves High School hosted a workshop in late April called “Understanding Gender and Relationships” presented by a speaker with a program run by the St. Louis-based domestic abuse treatment center Safe Connections. 

Before and after the guest speaker’s lecture, the health teacher instructed students to take the survey. 

Webster Groves High School is part of Webster Groves School District, which enrolls 4,407 students across 10 schools.

The survey asked students in the high school health class to respond with “yes,” “not sure,” or “no” to four statements, including “I can explain the difference between sex assigned at birth and gender.”

Two other statements on the survey are “I can create relationships in which others can express themselves and I can be myself” and “I understand how some gender stereotypes contribute to violence and abuse.”

The guest speaker for the health class represented Project HART, which its website describes as a “relationship violence prevention program offered at St. Louis-area schools, community centers and other places teens gather.” (HART is an acronym for Healthy Alternatives for Relationships Among Teens.)

In a fourth statement, the survey asks students whether they “can show people respect regardless of gender and how it is expressed.”

The high school gave the survey to students after Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, a Republican, ordered the Webster Groves School District to “cease and desist” teaching students about human sexuality, including gender ideology, without parental consent ahead of time, The Daily Signal reported in February.  

Missouri state law requires every public school district and public charter school to notify each student’s parent or guardian before providing any human sexuality materials or instruction to students. 

When asked if the survey taken by students in the health class violated this mandate, Webster Groves School District’s communications director, Derek Duncan, told The Daily Signal that the school system notifies families before lessons about human growth and development.

“Families are given the choice to opt out of such lessons,” Duncan said. 

Duncan did not respond directly to The Daily Signal’s question asking whether parents of the involved students got the opportunity to opt their children out of the health class lesson on gender ideology. 

The Missouri Attorney General’s Office told The Daily Signal it would look into the matter. 

The session on “Understanding Gender and Relationships” allows students to “explore harmful gender stereotypes and to understand the differences between biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and attraction/sexual orientation,” Cynthia Danley, chief executive officer for Safe Connections, told The Daily Signal in an email. 

“Key learning objectives include helping youth recognize that everyone deserves respect regardless of their gender and expression, understanding the negative impact of failing to respect gender-expansive individuals, and equipping youth with the tools to build relationships where peers can safely express themselves and be authentic,” Danley said. 

Webster Groves School District, in the suburbs of St. Louis, approved a memorandum of understanding with Safe Connections at an April 11 school board meeting. On Feb. 20, Webster Groves issued a $220 check to the organization, according to the website BoardDocs.