Washington parents say they were not informed that a COVID-19-related health survey issued to their children would include age-inappropriate questions about sexuality and gender.
The survey was issued to students in grades 6-12 and while Bethel School District is now being accused of not giving parents a heads up ahead of time, it does warn students that they will be asked to answer “personal questions that may be considered sensitive or uncomfortable.”
Indeed, the students were.
KTTH reports that the survey was anonymous, voluntary, and does mostly include “uncontroversial” inquiries into the students’ current fitness level, the amount of time they spend online, and the state of their mental health.
However, it also includes questions about gender identity and sexuality that, at best, would be considered far too sensitive and mature for children as young as 11 and the majority of students within the middle and high school age range.
Students were asked to list their sex/gender at birth, “even if you are not that gender today.”
Options for how to list the children’s current gender were “male, female, transgender, questioning/not sure of my gender identity, or something else that fits better.”
One distressed father of a 12-year-old girl who unwittingly took the shocking survey spoke with local conservative radio host Jason Rantz on KTTH, although he declined to give his name.
“I do my best to protect my daughter’s innocence at this age,” the father said. “I don’t allow her to watch rated R movies that have sexual content in them. We don’t allow certain magazines and monitor her internet usage. It’s infuriating when the school pushes back against my value system.”
He explained that as long as he is still raising his daughter, he is the one who ought to decide what she is taught.
“My daughter will make her choices about life when she matures. I want her to use our values as a guide, not to be manipulated by our overreacting government,” the father said.
District spokesman Doug Boyles declined to make a statement to KTTH but rather directed them to the creators of the survey that his district had clearly already determined was supposedly appropriate for the young minds they have been tasked with cultivating.
He also acknowledged that “a few parents have contacted their schools about some of the questions on the survey.”
The father who spoke to Rantz said he had not been told the survey would include the inappropriate questions and that it was “more of a wellness/COVID questionnaire.” His daughter, who found the questions upsetting, took screenshots of them and showed them to her father.
What the girl read in that survey is not anything she will ever be able to un-read, he explained, and this has broken his confidence in the schools.
“I do not trust the public school system any longer. Once she is exposed to it, you can’t un-ring that bell,” he said. “I got a very special email about how to opt my kids out of the HIV classes, but no specific/special email about wanting to ask my 12-year-old if she is a lesbian, a different gender than at birth, or how she identifies her sexuality.”
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