Hold school administration responsible for Bedford survey

To the Editor:

I was impressed with the turnout of nearly a dozen parents at the recent April 21 school board meeting.

All who spoke voiced serious opposition to the invasive, sexually explicit surveys given to children without notification or consent. Many parents noted that children were required to take this so-called voluntary survey. As impressed as I was with parents, I was not impressed at all with the superintendent’s attempts to justify these surveys by holding an unscheduled lovefest for the Coalition of Bedford Youth. Before parents were even allowed to speak, an extracurricular group, not part of the school, gave a presentation to justify the data they use.

CBY was unwilling to claim these surveys were capable of showing the group contributed in any meaningful way to the community, and it appeared to some that an attempt was made to give the appearance that parents who opposed the explicit contents of the survey somehow didn’t support local community organizations. Nothing could be further from the truth. None of the explicit questions are connected in any way to the data CBY uses. In fact, every bit of data the CBY displays online can be ascertained from the benign elementary school survey. Dragging CBY into this is only a distraction.

I do not question the validity of the CBY. I do, however, question the school board’s methods in supporting them and whether they know their boundaries. The superintendent’s office failed to show any justification to pry into children’s personal lives, and additionally revealed they conduct intentional gender and racial profiling by associating every survey to a gender and ethnicity. This is very disturbing. Parents have a right to be adequately notified, our children not be manipulated, and our consent be required. The authority that Ed Joyce and Tim Mayes have assumed belongs to parents, and the school board will do well to remember that.

Lurgio’s bad faith in lying to parents about the nature of this survey and requiring children to take it are both items of serious concern that should be on the minds of every parent. I have called for disciplinary action against the Lurgio school administrators who drafted and approved this systemic failure. Three principals were either malicious with intent, or completely incompetent, as was the superintendent who went out of his way to ensure parents remained uninformed.

The school board should demonstrate good faith to parents by holding them accountable and taking swift disciplinary action for their poor decisions.

JONATHAN ZDZIARSKI

Bedford