In Beaverton, Oregon a survey was given to parents with some questions that are raising some parents’ eyebrows. The questionnaire included “optional” questions that the parent could either answer or not. Among the disturbing questions were, “How do you identify your gender?” and “How do you define your sexual orientation?”
Parent surveys are nothing new. We see at least one survey a year come home on “School Climate.” How do we feel the school is performing and some personal questions, but nothing this intrusive. School Climate surveys are used for many different things. Examples include measuring inclusiveness, equity, positive behavior and the like. Read: Nosy questions about children’s and parents personal opinions about private things that can be used as data to pigeon hole a student and their parents.
I, personally, recommend not filling them out. I don’t feel like my personal life is any of their business.
According to KOIN 6 news,
“School district officials said the survey is anonymous. “We’re not taking any information on individuals,” spokesperson Maureen Wheeler said. “What we’re trying to get at here is making sure we create the most welcome and inclusive learning environment for our students and families.”
Oh, what a relief. It’s anonymous! Pardon me as I tell them I don’t give a flying fig if it’s anonymous or not. It’s none of their business! Does this mean that if a large portion of parents fill out the survey and mark that they are gay that they will then fly the rainbow flag under the American flag? To what purpose?
How about we use some common sense and treat all kids equally, understanding that we don’t know what’s going on at home (because, frankly, the government is not our nanny!) but we pay attention to their behaviors and academic work and make sure we offer support to help them in subjects they struggle in and not give a hoot about their sexual orientation, color, religion or whatever else they want to know.
Aren’t we not supposed to let color and sexual orientation skew our treatment of people? Isn’t it supposed to be based on the content of their character and not outer or extraneous reasons? Schools take this information specifically to measure climate and then implement policies that will be skewed to change the treatment of children and parents. Pigeon holing at its finest. We don’t know who answered this question, so we will make sure everyone is treated this way. Seems to me it should already be equal treatment, regardless.
This fits in nicely with the information about attitudes, behaviors and beliefs they are going to be getting from the new Smarter Balanced and PARCC testing. Since we can’t have parents taking those tests we can have them take these surveys.
Beaverton School District says this is the first time they’ve included this kind of question on the parent survey. Met with mixed reaction we will see if it’s there next year.
Parents, be vigilant. Don’t just not fill out the question, write a note, call the school, and meet with the principal. Let them know this is not okay.