School District Being Investigated For Giving 4-Year-Olds Controversial Survey

A Missouri School District is under investigation for an alleged probing survey asking young children touchy questions.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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probing survey

More than ever before, parents are speaking out against public schools. Conservative media outlets have put a spotlight on the faults of America’s education system, displaying a continued pattern of controversial happenings inside classrooms. Oftentimes, this comes in the form of probing surveys. And a school district in Missouri is now under fire for forcing children as young as 6-years-old to participate in a contentious survey.

The Daily Mail reports that the Webster Grove School District in Missouri is being investigated by the state’s Attorney General Eric Schmitt. The district is under fire for allegedly violating state and federal privacy laws by putting students as young as six through probing surveys. The questionnaires asked a wide array of touchy questions regarding race, politics, gender, sexual orientation, and mental health status.

Some of the questions asked in the probing survey said they were given to raise awareness of LGBTQ-related issues. It said the questions were being asked to make the school a more inclusive school by tracking the data responses. This comes at a time when many school districts are under fire for implementing LGBTQ advocating articles such as safe space stickers, which many feel left out of the general population of the school. 

Some of the questions asked children as young as second grade about race. A question from the probing survey prompted the children to consider when the first time was they noticed people could be of a different race from themselves. Furthermore, it asked them to write down what they noticed about it. This is an example of divisive concepts that are often found hidden in school curriculums. Critics argue that it furthers the divide in races, asking kids to look at classmates by race, instead of individuality. 

probing survey

Another part of the probing survey dealt with politics. Students were asked to answer questions on their political affiliation, along with their families. They were quizzed on questions asking them if they leaned closer to conservative, liberal, or moderate, along with which congress members they are most closely aligned with. Again, these questions were asked to students as young as possibly 6, who might not even understand or know what these topics meant. 

The Southeast Legal Foundation brought all of this to the attention of A.G. Schmitt, who quickly agreed to investigate the probing survey. In an email, a spokesperson for the Attorney General said, “We have been working diligently to empower parents and return transparency to Missouri’s schools. We are currently closely reviewing the information contained in that letter and information in other districts, and will take action wherever possible.” Within the letter sent to Schmitt’s office, the Foundation outlined the district’s purchase of the proving surveys from education companies that sell pricey lesson plans to address the problems the questionnaires uncover. 

probing survey

Under Federal law, these types of probing surveys are prohibited without parental consent. And even on the state level, Missouri law prohibits the collection of such information altogether. The Webster Grove School District has yet to confirm why they collect the information, or what they intend to do with it.

To make matters worse, the students were allegedly told they had no choice but to take the probing surveys. They were told their parents would get a call saying they refused to do school work. Likewise, the respondents’ names were not anonymous. Regardless of the school’s intentions, it is a growing concern to Americans, as more and more parents discover that their children’s schools are putting them through such touchy questions.