A Safe Place?

     One of the reasons the C.S.O. wants us to stay on Eastern Long Island is that it’s relatively safe. That is: the crime rate here is fairly low, the public services are no worse than average, the above-average affluence means that we’ll be more reliably supplied with the necessities of life than a less affluent district, and look at all the hospitals! At my age the idea of having to pack all the books, CDs, DVDs, electronics, dogs and cats and transport them to some far-away place isn’t terribly appealing anyway, so I’ve been inclined to let her have her way…even though I’ve known for some time now that her real reason for wanting to stay here is our home’s enormous storage capacity.

     However, there have been some recent indications that things around here are changing, and not in a good way. Here’s a new one:

     Some parents say they are outraged about a survey sent to their kids from Sachem High School East that asked personal and intimate questions.
     The quiz was sent to tenth graders as part of their health class. It asked about their sexual activity and sexual preferences.
     Questions included how many sexual partners the students had, while others had to do with their gender and sexual identities.
     The survey also inquired about how students view their own weight and if they are trying to change their weight.
     One father, who wanted to hide his name to protect his child, says he was shocked when he saw the survey and told his daughter not to take it.
     “They were extremely personal, explicit questions,” the father says. “Something I don’t think any child of that age should be asked, even older kids at that point. I think it would even be uncomfortable for adults, those questions that were asked on there.”
     Others were also surprised that the quiz actually came from the school.
     The superintendent for the Sachem Central School District says the quizzes were sent out to assess at-risk behaviors, writing, “The survey is anonymous and optional and informs the district of areas, in which they can assist their students with available resources for support as needed.”
     Following the anger from parents, the survey was pulled by the district and is under review.

     As the saying goes, “WTF, over?”

     Parents in our area are considerably more protective of their kids than the national average. Of course, that does have its downside, but in this case it functioned to good effect. A secondary school such as Sachem has no business asking such questions of its students, any more than it would to inquire about their parents’ politics. The salient fact about this matter is that such inquiries are unusual here, but not elsewhere in America.

     Schools across the land – primary and secondary – have incorporated explicitly sexual propaganda into their “health” curricula. Perhaps some aspects of sex are health-related – modules on venereal diseases are certainly defensible – but for the love of God, what business is it of any “educator” which students have done or are doing what with whom?

     The giveaway here is the claim that the survey is “anonymous.” Is it really? Then what sense does this make?

     “The survey is anonymous and optional and informs the district of areas, in which they can assist their students with available resources for support as needed.”

     Who does “the district” plan to “support,” and how? Isn’t that the proper province of the parents? Adults with an actual emotional interest in the kids, who also know about their health in complete detail? At least, one would hope so.

     Of course, there are – God help us – parents who are happy to turn such chores over to the schools…as if the schools had already conquered the trivial problem of education and had endless time, resources, and expertise with which to handle complex medical-psychological matters that even adults find thorny. But that’s a subject for another time.

     Heavy sigh. I keep looking for the torches and pitchforks, but so far, no luck. If it will take more than this to provoke Americans to rise up on their hind legs, I shudder to imagine what trigger would suffice. Well, at least no one has “surveyed” us at the Fortress about our sexual conduct, though that might be just the avoidance of predictable boredom.

1 ping

  1. […] Recently I explained why I deem my district of residence relatively safe. And yes: at my age, safety is important. It’s near the top of my priorities. I’d like to be […]

Comments have been disabled.