Parents were not given enough information about Lurgio survey in Bedford

To the Editor:

How would you react if someone approached your seventh-grader and asked her how many times she’s had “sexual intercourse,” “gone all the way” or “made love”? Any good parent would have them arrested as a sexual predator.

Well, Ed Joyce and Tim Mayes seem to think they have a right to ask your kids these, and many other explicit questions under the guise of “research,” while lying to parents about it.

Recently, your Lurgio children were given a survey asking them everything from what they do “when you have sex” to whether or not they cut themselves, have ever used a gun or knife, are abused at home, and whether their friends were, too.

This was done with a research firm that develops individual personality profiles, scoring your child “anonymously.” In spite of federal law which, under the Hatch Amendment, requires notification and written consent, the school system sent a deceptive and misleading letter to parents conveniently leaving out the part about a sexually explicit, masochistic and intensive interrogation of every aspect of your child’s private sexual and home life.

Reading this survey myself, such an omission is undeniably intentional, as was the overstated intent to make the survey seem innocuous. Parents who did attempt to obtain a copy of the survey were sent a copy with nearly 100 controversial questions conveniently omitted.

The school system has done everything possible to prevent parents from knowing about, reviewing or auditing this survey until students began asking their parents why they are being asked about their sexual behavior and home life.

Tim Mayes, who acts as if parents are the bane of his existence, has dismissed interrogating our children, and takes virtually no responsibility for lying to you about it.

My daughter was informed she had to fill out the survey unless a parent opted her out, however, federal law requires this system be opt-in and require parental signatures to give the survey. Federal law also requires parents be notified and the survey made available.

Parents were lied to about the nature of the survey and even given false copies of it to keep them in the dark. I urge parents to state their disgust over this with both the school board and the New Hampshire Board of Education, insisting on an ethics investigation regarding this matter. Joyce and Mayes appear willing to violate our trust and their ethics to do whatever they want.