Tags: Nosy | Pupil | Surveys | Rile | Parents

Nosy Pupil Surveys Rile Parents

Friday, 10 November 2000 12:00 AM

The kinds of questions being put to their children that shock them are:

• "Have you ever considered killing yourself?"

• "Have you ever had oral sex?"

• "When you have sex, how often do you use birth control?" (Not even if, but when.)

• Are you heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual or not sure?"

An 11-year-old boy who didn't understand the meaning of bisexual asked his teacher for guidance. "It means you like both boys and girls," the teacher replied.

So the student indicated on the questionnaire that he was bisexual and later proclaimed that to his stunned mother.

Those are the kinds of survey questions and reactions that the Christian Science Monitor discovered many schools across the country are asking of students – as many as 1 million students so far.

The newspaper went on to report that:

Increasingly, parents are rebelling against in-school surveys they say are intrusive, inappropriate and even encouraging of immoral behavior through suggestive questions.

Proponents of the surveys argue that they assist communities to know what kids are thinking and how to help them.

But a growing legion of parents isn't buying that.

Critics allege that school officials love the surveys because they are a surefire means for them to apply for, and receive, federal grants.

"The easiest, laziest way to [get federal money] is, you put a survey out to 2,000 kids, get your results, [and] send it to Washington," said one upset parent.

Another thing that concerns parents is a growing sense that they are being denied their right, and responsibility, to decide who quizzes their youngsters about what, and then to decide whether to prohibit their children from taking part in those surveys.

There is on the books a federal law, the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, that is intended to provide such safeguards for students and parents in any school survey involving federal funds

The 1994 law requires "prior written consent of the parent" before a survey can be administered.

But many parents say the eager-for-funds school officials are skipping that and getting away with it.

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The kinds of questions being put to their children that shock them are: • Have you ever considered killing yourself? • Have you ever had oral sex? • When you have sex, how often do you use birth control? (Not even if, but when.) • Are you heterosexual, gay,...
Nosy,Pupil,Surveys,Rile,Parents
346
2000-00-10
Friday, 10 November 2000 12:00 AM
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