Thursday, June 16, 2011

Federally Mandated Sex Survey

I suppose you say it's about improving education, not necessarily the type improvement most parents have in mind for their school system.  It's also the kind of information a bureaucrat working with information might want for his personal files.

Once upon a time it was information considered scared, protected from governments prying eyes by the US Constitution..  Of course that was before Barack Obama made Arne Duncan Secretary of Education, Race to the top, and the idea of using standardized tests to measure everything a specific child does so it can be retained in their very own birth to death government electronic dossier.  In an artcle that appeared on Grumpy May 20, 2011 Gretchen, from the Missouri Edication Watchdog talks about the ways the Department of Education planned on circumventing the laws..

The government realizes parents might have a bit of a problem with the request for information regarding political affiliations, mental problems, sexual behavior, et

Gee, you think?  What the hell does the Department of Edication need information that for?,

The annual notification (FERPA) does not have to be made individually to parents. Instead, it can be done through any of the following: local or student newspaper, calendar, student programs guide, rules handbook, or other reasonable means.

In other words if getting parental consent becomes a problem, find a way to get around it...  Which according to FOX is just what they did in the article you're about to read..

According to Whitehead, parents were sent a “passive consent” opt-out form. However, Tessitore said she never received the form and never gave permission for her daughters to take part in the survey

So parents were not really told what's happening, and not opting out is the same as giving consent

Here's the video from AOL and the story from, Fox

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School Surveys 7th-Graders on Oral Sex

A middle school in Massachusetts is under fire for requiring children to complete a graphic sex survey -- without parental knowledge or consent -- that included questions about sexual partners and oral sex.

The Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties organization, filed a complaint with the U.S. Dept. of Education against the Fitchburg School Committee. They are representing the two middle school-aged daughters of Arlene Tessitore. 

Tessitore said her daughters, both students at Memorial Middle School, were told they had to complete a Youth Risk Behavior Study.

“Kids were actually told to sit down and take them,” said John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “The parents here are very upset.”

Whitehead said the girls were deeply disturbed by the subject matter of the study – including questions about suicide, drug use and sexual behavior.

“One of the questions is, ‘have you ever had oral sex,’” Whitehead said. “You’re talking about kids who probably don’t even know what oral sex is

Read more:


  1. Three interesting things:
    1) The parent objects to the failure to get her consent for her children. She isn't arguing against surveys, but focused on her parental rights for her children. Maybe her kids never got the consent form, maybe they did and stuffed it in their back pack and forgot about it. It should have been an "opt in", a real consent form.
    2) In this compliance-driven environment, the district said to give the survey, and apparently the principal did not find it appropriate, but had to comply. He said:
    Thomas said it wasn’t appropriate. “I think there are many things that schools are called upon to do because they think they’ve got a captive audience,” he noted.
    3) The Rutherford Institute had this to say:
    “Parents send their children to public schools to receive an education; not to become subjects of governmental data mining,” Whitehead said.

    The recently proposed regulations that would circumvent parental consent under FERPA is not off topic. All over the nation, parents are demanding more say over the school experience, as they should. I stand with the parents.

  2. As Gretchem mentioned, and clearly the DoEd knows
    The government realizes parents might have a bit of a problem with the request for information regarding political affiliations, mental problems, sexual behavior, et

    Had it been a real consent form parents would have gone nuts before hand, survey wouldn't have happened, grant money would have gone away.. Duncan would find a way to attack the school system

  3. I am not in MA or Florida.
    Nearly, if not all, every state administers such surveys in the public schools. I thought they had removed the oral sex questions. Guess not. The surveys may vary slightly, usually not much, but they are based on one from the CDC.

    As a sixth grade teacher, I had to administer these surveys every other year. Four years ago, the last year I was teaching, I asked the principal if I could be excused from administering the survey since I had strong feelings about it and was not comfortable administering it. The counselor administered it to my class. i still can not believe that principals and teachers, supposedly educated and moral people, do not stand up and shout that this is not right. I guess all they can say is.. baaa, baaa, we are sheep and will follow the lead no matter how misguided it is...

    Passive consent... it doesn't work... I bet less than five out of thirty notes for these kinds of things make it home... the majority of those notes in my class ended up on the floor, in the trash, or lost in a jumble of papers in a book bag only to possibly be discovered two months later. That is not a proper way to inform parents.

    There is money involved here somewhere... enough that school folks feel there is enough value in administering the surveys to override any moral issues involved. Would this be something a forensic accountant would investigate?

    Good for the folks in MA for taking this issue to court. This is just flat wrong and more people should take issue with this.

  4. Anonymous.. nicely writen comment..I'm part of an ancient generation, when I was in sixth and seventh grade not many of us had figured puberty thing out and virtually no one had acted on it.

    I could make a reasonable arguement the wording on the test tells kids the government assumes they're sexually active, and if the government says thinks it's alright it must be..

    If a government census taker were too start asking me questions like that, I'd shove my handy little pocket copy of the Constitution down their throat.. By allowing our kids to answer those questions we're teaching them the state can get into any aspect of their lives it wants

  5. President Clinton and his sweetie are the reason the CDC feels it has to ask about oral sex. Kids don't think it's sex. Sixth graders in some schools are giving boys oral sex. BUT I don't think it's the norm and most children should not be asked those questions. The actual schools know if they have a problem. There is no need for this test nationwide. Parents should OPT IN not out. I'm still trying to get past the "types of BC". Pulling out WTF Hopefully dads are explaining this. Oh but silly me, the kids that need this test and protection probably don't have dads around.

  6. Fishy.... If I could make the comments work like they do in the forums I'd buy you a drink for that one on... or at least post a picture of one

  7. TY Grumpy I stewed on it all day. Then I decided we are all adults here. Hope no one is offended.

  8. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed the YRBS to monitor risk ... the survey has been conducted bi-annually in high schools since 1997.

    "When Tripp discovered in January 1998 that Lewinsky had signed an affidavit in the Paula Jones case denying a relationship with Clinton.."

    Why is it republicans never check facts.....I guess it's more convenient ....not to.

  9. Parent consent is neither Republican nor Democrat. Frankly, I don't see what it has to do with Clinton either.
    Passive parent consent is not effective. Questioning middle schooler students about their sexual activities should not be part of the school day. There must be other ways to collect the data if it's needed and if their parents agree.

  10. Anonymous... Why is it ke assumptions and jump to conclusions... If yo'd read you might have noticed we weren't talking about high schoolers... the discussion was about seventh and eight graders..

    It was more about parental consent than Monika Lewinsky

    And lease tell me where the Federal Government gets the authority mandate anyone tell the government what they do in bed..

    If we were talking about the Government demanding Gays answer survey questions for the stated purpose of data harvesting,, with personally identifable information you'd be giving birth to a litter of cows.. Yeah I know cows don'tt normally have but I figure you'be upset enough to try.

  11. Sandra, I used President Clinton as a reason we have to ask our children about oral sex.


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