Do you know what the schools are asking your kids?
by Donna Douma

I have a very strong and open relationship with my children, but even I missed what exactly is going on in our schools with regard to surveys.

I don’t believe that parents have been adequately informed about surveys our children are being asked to answer. I am concerned about where our children’s personal response information goes and who sees it. I question whether school boards and administrators are truly informed about what the Federal Government believes is appropriate to ask children as young as 11 when a particular program receives Federal Grant money. If board members and administrators are fully informed, am I to draw the conclusion they think that secrecy about the survey and its contents is a good thing?

I received a school-issued letter informing me that a Family Life unit would be part of my 8th grader’s health class. The letter details what subjects will be covered: physical development of sexual characteristics and how they affect emotional and social growth; decision making; and the causes, symptoms, treatment, prevention and transmission of STD’s. What the letter does not tell me is my children will be asked to complete a survey and what kind of information is being sought.

The students are told that the survey is confidential, and yet they are required to put the first initial of their first name and their birth date on the form. In the 6th grade my daughter was not mature enough to understand what made a survey confidential or not. As an 8th grader she put two and two together.

The survey seeks students’ intimate sexual information – specifically, whether students are sexually active and if they have engaged in oral sex.+ Now whether it is legal for the Federal Government to ask such questions of young children without specific parental consent is beside the point. Our children already operate in a world where their every move is on camera. ”Surveys” of this type, particularly when administered at a very young age, plant the seeds of government entitlement to knowledge about the most intimate details of your life— that nothing is personal or private.

Survey issuers and administrators should be aware that many kids are so sick of being used as research subjects, that they take enjoyment in filling out such surveys with erroneous information, therefore negating the validity of the survey.

Significant financial decisions often then are based on these faulty findings.

Parents must be made aware of every survey given to our children and the exact nature of the questions being asked before that survey is administered.+ And, teachers should be required to state very clearly that childrens’ participation in such surveys is completely voluntary.

Do you know what the schools are asking your kids?


  1. And that is just one more reason why parents are willing to pay for a private school when they have already paid for public school through taxes.

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