Crossing parental boundaries in Bedford

To the Editor:

This week, seventh grade students at Lurgio were given a survey titled “Search Institute, Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes & Behavior”.

This survey was optional and names were not to be included. There were about 158 questions that even my own son understood were inappropriate to ask of children.

The questions were highly personal regarding the student’s behavior and their families. A 58-question ”sample” was provided to parents ahead of time to review and approve of through written consent.

The 58 sample questions, while personal and nonacademic were rather benign inquiries. However, the students were then asked to answer about 157 questions including:

What is your gender?

Have you had sex before?

Have you ever sniffed glue?

Have you ever cut yourself?

Are your parents divorced?

Have you ever been left home alone?

What race are you?

Do you or your partner use anything for protection during sex?

These kinds of questions were left off of the sample that was provided to parents to review.

The questions made several students uncomfortable but it’s important to note that many of the kids provided false answers and treated it like a joke. What is to be gained by the school district when they ask children detailed information on their families and behavior? Why would the school district choose not to fully inform the parents on all of the questions that were going to be asked? This seems deceptive, unethical and as a parent, I’m deeply disappointed in the adults who are charged with educating our children in this district. Someone is responsible and we deserve to know who that someone is.

Who will take responsibility for any children who decide to sniff glue now that the district has taught this to children?

The respect for parental boundaries has been increasingly breached for many years now. However, it is our responsibility as parents to oversee what goes on at our local schools. I urge all Bedford parents to take the time to attend school board meetings and offer feedback that helps guide policies that focus on full transparency to help regain trust among parents.

For those who are charged with educating our children, if you cannot see the potential damage that could come from suggestive surveys, then you should not be working in this district.

At the end of the day, I suppose we should all be glad our kids weren’t asked if they had ever played the “choking game”. Or were they? We don’t really know that do we? Because, if they were, it could be the last curious thought they ever have.