Lakeville parents object to school survey about family members’ habits

The Lakeville Area School District is going to reconsider its opt-out policy on student surveys after some parents this week objected to a recent survey which included personal questions about family members.

Sun Newspapers reports that questions added by the Department of Education asked whether students lived with any family member “who drinks too much alcohol, uses illegal drugs or abuses prescription drugs and if a parent or other adult in the home regularly swears at them, insults them or puts them down.”

“To put a kid in a position like that is just awful,” resident Lisa Schneegans, who said she is a recovering alcoholic, told the school board this week.

The school committee said the survey is not asking moral questions about what is right or wrong, “it simply asks factual questions around risk behaviors and family dynamics,” the school superintendent, Lisa Snyder, told the paper.

Under current policy, any survey involving morality requires students to have written parental permission to take it.

Snyder wrote that much of the survey was updated by the Minnesota Department of Education as a direct result of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study that links childhood trauma to long-term health and social consequences.

“There are questions on the survey asking about bullying, alcohol use in the home, homelessness, violence in the home and other risk factors that may contribute to student lack of success.

“The questions help the district understand the potential needs we may have in the district,” she wrote, adding that the information is “used broadly”to understand issues some students may be facing.

In previous years, the students were required to get parental permission to take the survey. In the latest survey, they were not.

  • C

    School surveys are crucial to understand the challenges students face. They are the only way to hear how students discuss their homes. Without these surveys, schools, districts and policy makers cannot understand the students in the classroom.

  • wendywulff

    My 11th grader took the survey, and found it entertaining to make things up. I told the superintendent that they might want to reconsider the validity of the results, because it is unlikely they are accurate.

  • AVM

    “questions added by the Department of Education asked whether students lived with any family member ‘who drinks too much alcohol, uses illegal drugs or abuses prescription drugs and if a parent or other adult in the home regularly swears at them, insults them or puts them down.’ ”

    “The school committee said the survey is not asking moral questions about what is right or wrong, ‘it simply asks factual questions around risk behaviors and family dynamics,’ the school superintendent, Lisa Snyder, told the paper.”

    Right. There is NO moral content to asking about using illegal drugs or abusing prescription drugs or alcohol! Typical elitism. They think we are all idiots.