This is a recent e-mail sent to parents in Exeter, NH. Notice that the common theme in these form letters is that you are supposed to get excited that you were “chosen” to give the Government all kinds of personal information on your child and your family.
They do NOT provide a copy of the survey
They do NOT ask your permission to survey your child.
They do NOT tell you where this information will go or how it will be used.
They do NOT tell you if this information will be sold for profit.
But you are to be “excited” about all of this.
Subject: EHS and UNH Combined Project
Date: February 13, 2015 at 8:51:02 AM EST
Exeter High School is excited to announce that this semester we are partnering with the University of New Hampshire (UNH) to participate in a project that aims to promote healthy relationships among teens. This study is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and involves approximately 30 other schools in New England. We were selected to participate by researchers at UNH given our commitment to promoting healthy relationships amongst our students. As part of this project some students in the school (through Health and Physical Education classes) will participate in educational curriculum on healthy relationships and complete surveys related to peer behavior. Parents of students participating in this project will receive more information about the project with an opportunity to opt out of participation if needed. Faculty and staff will also receive resources and training related to this topic to better support our students. This is a significant opportunity for EHS and we think it will add greatly to all of the important work we are already doing to promote healthy relationships and overall safety throughout our school community.
Stay warm this weekend and help a neighbor in need.
Exeter High School
After some digging around we did manage to find a copy of the survey so parents will know what kind of information is being collected.
EHS says it’s through UNH psych department and the CDC in Atlanta. Remember we’ve posted information on the APA’s code of ethics when it comes to conducting these kinds of assessments on children. Licensed Psychologists follow a strict code of ethics to make sure the individual (in this case, the parent since the children are under 18) is fully informed and consents.
How are parents fully informed if the School Administrator does not include a copy of the survey? Administrators should do the “ethical” thing and also require parental consent.
This comes from a source who is participating in the distribution of the surveys:
Here is a detailed outline of what the survey questions ask:
-Demographic questions including gender identity, race/ethnicity, income, sexual attraction, and the age at which they first had intercourse.
-Attitude questions, specifically attitudes towards sexual assault and relationship abuse (e.g., do they think these types of behaviors are OK?, not a big deal in their school?)
-Attitudes towards being a positive bystander in situations of relationship abuse and sexual assault
-Personal experiences being a bystander in situations of relationship abuse and sexual assault
-Personal experiences with relationship abuse and sexual assault during the past year (e.g., has a dating partner physically pushed them or have they pushed a dating partner)
-Knowledge about sexual assault and relationship abuse (e.g., do they know how common it is, why it happens)
-Perceptions of other students and teachers attitudes towards teen sexual assault and relationship abuse (since we know that so much of students own attitudes and behaviors are shaped by the adults in their lives)
-Two screening questions for depression and alcohol misuse
Also, not all but some of our questions (demographics, personal experiences with relationship abuse and dating violence, depression and alcohol misuse) come from the CDC YRBS survey, which I believe Exeter High School participates in. Here is the link to that survey and you can actually download those surveys:http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/yrbs/questionnaire_rationale.htm
All of the surveys are completely anonymous meaning we have no way to link specific answers to a specific person.
Now here is the reality that the people arranging the surveys continue to ignore:
- Some parents received a notification, some did not.
- Some had no idea how bad the survey was until after they found out their kids had taken it.
- Parents didn’t have access to the actual survey to examine but a SAMPLE that didn’t contain the controversial questions on sex, drugs, etc. They also had to look at it at the school.
- Students did put their names on it even though it says not to do so.
- Students thought it was a test and thought they had to take it.
- Kids put their unique pupil identifier number on the survey.
- When parents called in anger after they found out about the survey, they requested that their child’s survey be retrieved and destroyed. School officials did that upon request proving the surveys were not anonymous.