A few days ago one of our Common Core Warriors in Kentucky shared a test that came home with her 5th grade son. It was a 5-page questionnaire with 50 questions all pertaining to health and was presented and done in Social Studies.
The first problem she zeroed in on was that it was filled with very personal questions and also inappropriate for the grade level it was administered to.
Ashley Neff, a mom in Kentucky, pays attention to what comes home with her son from school. So she began researching. She also contacted the school for more information and after receiving some answers she shared with fellow Common Core Warriors.
“How much do you agree/disagree with the following statement: It is important for me to have a support system.” Answers available – a) Really agree, b) sort of agree, c) sort of disagree, d) really disagree.
“What best describes a person addicted to a drug? Someone who…” Answers available – a) craves the drug and needs it to function, b) uses a drug one time, c) uses a drug given to them by a doctor, d) refuses to use drugs.
“Bandwagon and celebrity testimonials are ways that things you buy are…” Answers available – a) advertised, b) tested, c) delivered, d) all of the above.
“HIV can be spread by…” Answers available – a) coughing, b) sneezing, c) mosquitoes, d) mixing blood.
“A person will NOT be at risk of getting HIV by…” Answers available – a) being stuck by a used hypodermic needle, b) sharing a sewing needle with a friend to pierce your ear, c) touching someone else’s food, d) being in class with a student who is HIV positive.
“Sexual harassment is against the law.” Answers available – True or False
“I could go on and on with questions that normally are not covered until later in middle school/early high school (like specific structures in the brain – and not the easy ones), and questions that really can’t be “graded” like the first one I listed above that asks for a personal opinion. This test was given in Social Studies class today. This is clearly health-related curriculum. They don’t even HAVE science classes right now – they won’t be covering science until next term (starting after Christmas break). So why are they taking graded tests on health topics such as substance abuse, violence, and personal health knowledge in SOCIAL STUDIES class?!
So, I google the name of the copyrighted publisher – and come up with this: The Great Bodyshop.
We are supposed to have been given parent bulletins, according to this website.
We didn’t get any parent bulletins about ANYTHING health-related, other than the lovely newsletter about head lice.
And this is federally-approved, yet not CURRENT – but our state feels it’s just fine to go ahead and give 5th-graders this stuff, without parent bulletins, without prior knowledge or consent, and I find out its state-wide and not just in our district. I am FIGHTIN’ MAD, I tell y’all…Someone is going to be giving me some answers TOMORROW.”
That’s our Common Core Warrior in the Kentucky hollers, folks! Ashley continues:
“Meanwhile, I got my own answers and further research/clarification on the legal issues around this in our schools.
KENTUCKY PARENTS, please take notice – this is now STATEWIDE Kentucky Core Academic Standards.
Here is a prime example of how the states/Fed are circumventing parental rights in order to “raise” your children as they see fit. We had no notification that this would be taught; puberty and sex education will be taught alongside drug/alcohol abuse without parental consent or even prior knowledge. This flies directly in the face of existing laws in Kentucky and somehow, they’ve found a way to get around it to where it’s not illegal – because it’s been implemented as part of a grant program inside the KY Core Standards. It’s now “curriculum” and as such, is “admissible.”
[I do not want] to argue about whether children are or are not exposed to such topics at certain ages – I remember well when I was in third grade hearing about these things on the bus one afternoon and asking my parents about it when I got home. However, just because our children are exposed to conversations between peers at school about these and other things is no reason for the government to intercede and decide they’re going to start teaching these things to ALL students, regardless of developmental level, and without parental consent and knowledge. This is a direct violation of our rights, which has nothing to do with partisanship.
Whether or not my son with social development special needs (he has the social comprehension of a 4 year old at most) should be taught this stuff at his age is not for anyone else or the government to decide. It’s between myself and his father, with the input of mental/developmental health professionals that have worked with him for over three years’ time. Is it sad that some parents in our country have created the “need” for state/fed intervention in educating our kids about “Practical Living” by not raising their children for various reasons? YES. It’s horrific that there are children out there that live in homes with addictions, crime, abuse, sexual exploitation, and other things rather than love, support, and positive guidance. But that does not give the states, the feds, or anyone else the right to decide they’re going to expose any of our children to these things WITHOUT OUR PRIOR CONSENT AND KNOWLEDGE.
He was not supposed to have brought this home at all. Had he not, I’d have known nothing of this addendum to curriculum.”
Parents, we cannot overstate this issue. Sometimes kids bring home things that are supposed to be left at school, out of the purview of the parent. Sometimes it’s perfectly okay for them to bring home these things. And this is why it is so very important to be vigilant. We need to look at everything they bring home and do research if we have questions.
There are many parents of children with no disabilities that would disagree with this kind of test being administered to their child. They have made a huge mistake in ignoring an IEP and administering this to Ashley’s child.
With the way a lot of Common Core moms have been derided over their “interfering” with the government’s idea of raising their child according to their purposes, we tend to be extra tuned into these things. Ashley has every right to be extremely upset about this even without the Common Core garbage.
Knowing Ashley and her dedication to her children, her perseverance in this fight and her general spunk, I honestly do not know what I’d be more afraid of…breaking the law by ignoring that IEP, or dealing with this Kentucky mama. Between Mrs. Neff and the school district, my money’s on Ashley.