A few days ago the Sioux Falls School District sent out a message regarding a Middle School Survey to be given to students on Friday Nov. 7, 2014. You can read more about that here.
Thursday, the Sioux Falls School District sent out a message saying that survey has been postponed. Why?
During the 2014 Legislative Session, the South Dakota Legislature passed, with a vote of 105-0, and the governor signed SB 63, the Student Privacy Act. Part of this bill requires that schools get parental consent before administering surveys inquiring about behaviors, beliefs, attitudes and dispositions. You can read more about that here and here.
On Thursday, Rep. Jim Stalzer, contacted the Sioux Falls School District. The district did confirm that the survey contained questions about sexual activities, and alcohol and drug use. He informed them of SB 63 requiring the district to obtain consent from each and every parent before a survey be given. The district was unaware of the South Dakota law, and had originally used the Federal FERPA law, which says that parents can opt-out. Within a few hours the Sioux Falls School District had sent out a message saying that the survey had been postponed. I’m not sure what they mean by postponed.
A big thank-you to Rep. Jim Stalzer for being on top of this.
These surveys are given in many school districts across the state. Please educate yourself on your rights as a parent. Also, take a copy or email a copy of SB 63 to your school administrators. Many districts are probably unaware of the new South Dakota law.
If you would like to see a few examples of the types of questions these surveys ask middle school children, please click here.