Thursday, June 23, 2005

Can you believe this?

In Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, a concerned parent is angry over a government survey given to his 6th grade daughter without his permission. Here are some of the questions on the survey:

"How old were you when you had sexual intercourse for the first time?"

"During the past 30 days, how many times did you ride in a car or other vehicle driven by someone who had been drinking alcohol?"

"How old were you when you tried marijuana for the first time?"

His daughter also asserts that she was asked about oral sex, although that charge has not been proven.

School authorities have made it clear that they have the right to gather such information without parental consent, and have refused to release to copy of the survey to parents.

Wendy McElroy, writing for suggests that the "immediate solution is to remove your child from the public school system and homeschool, if possible" And if parents are unable to homeschool they should "aggressively demand to see every survey and government form their child is filling out".

I agree completely! I would be furious, to put it mildly, if a school overstepped it's bounds in such a manner with regards to my child. The school would probably become tired of seeing my angry face and that of my lawyers in the school offices.

Parents need to realize that public school is NOT the only viable option for their child's education. If possible, I think that homeschooling is the best choice. It can provide a superior education as well as protection from government intrusion and ideology. But for some people, such as single parents, homeschooling doesn't work. Parents need to look for resources available to them in their communities. Here in our town of approximately 33,000 people, we have two charter schools. One is a hands-on, exploratory school, while the other is academically rigorous with a behavior and dress code. I have heard great things about both of them. I am sure that other communities have the same resources, parents just need to search.

As a parent, this sort of government intrusion makes me angry! Parents need to stand up and fight to have a voice in their children's schools. Being an in-your-face, pain-in-the-rear-end is completely justified in a situation such as this one!

Also: Wendy McElroy writes opinion articles for and for her organization called The organization is not a feminist organization, but rather an source of news and opinion that advocates individual rights, personal responsibility and small government. They are also advocates of parental rights, father's rights and other social and political issues. I highly recommend you check out their website. Even if you don't agree with everything, you will definitely find thought provoking articles.