Posted: August 27, 2011
By Bob Unruh
A school district in Massachusetts that was accused of demanding children fill out secret sex surveys to gather data for social services agencies in a quest for grants has decided to back off of the practice, according to a team of legal experts.
Word on the "victory for parental rights" came today from the Rutherford Institute, which wrote officials in the Fitchburg, Mass., district expressing concern over the practice and then followed up with a formal complaint.
"This is a huge victory for parental rights," said John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute. "Parents are the ones who should decide whether they want their children to be mined for information about their personal thoughts, beliefs or practices. We take it seriously when government officials try to short-circuit that essential parent-child relationship."
Rutherford officials said the Fitchburg School Committee recently adopted a new policy that will allow students to be given intrusive surveys only after their parents have given their written consent. The change brings the school into compliance with the federal Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment by eliminating the school's previous practice of assuming the parents consented if they didn't specifically object.