Fairfax Schools Sex Survey Isn’t Just Intrusive, It’s Potentially Damaging

by Tyler Ohta

Once again, the Fairfax County School Board has put its ideological priorities ahead of the educational needs of the children. Yes, the 12 Democrats sitting on the school board have sent out another youth sex survey, just like it does each year.

The survey delivered during academic time to children in grades 8-12 reads like a rap song instead of a questionnaire to children as young as 11 years old. With a whopping 173 questions, the most pressing question judging by the fact that it is first, is — wait for it — “Are you transgender?”

Other questions include:

  • “How old you were when you first had sex?”
  • “How many people have you had sex with in the last 3 months?” (with an answer option of 6+ people!)
  • Have you ever tried heroin, cocaine, and cabbies? (multiple questions)

There are also plenty of other questions asking about children’s smoking, vaping, huffing, and drinking habits, as well as marijuana usage. Other questions delve deeply into the private lives of these kids, asking intimate and inappropriate
questions about family – the eerie thrust of which seems to lead children to doubt their families’ love and care for them. For example, “How many times a month do your parents bully, ridicule, or tease you?”

The family unit is the core of our society and invasive questions like these can cause division within the family.

We work hard, pay our taxes, send our children to public school in good faith, and this is what we get for our money? No company would dare to ask these questions of its employees, yet the school system dares to ask them of minor children. The survey puts ideas into children’s heads and normalizes behavior that most adults would agree should not be associated with children.

There is also the potential that the information solicited from your children on this survey is data mined. Under current law there are no restrictions against selling private student data to corporations and big tech companies. In essence, the school system will profit off of your child’s private information. A recent
article revealed that “Deborah E. Scott, director of intervention and prevention services at Fairfax County Public Schools, wrote in the email: ‘FCPS is permitted under the law to share student data with outside vendors who meet the criteria of the ‘school official’ exception under the Family Educational Rights &
Privacy Act (“FERPA”). Third-parties who are considered ‘school officials’ are permitted to receive student data absent parent consent’.”

Under Virginia Law, you have the right to review any questionnaire or survey that “solicits information on sexual activity, mental health, medical history, health risk behaviors, controlled substance use, or any other data the school board deems sensitive in nature and exempt your child from participation in the
questionnaire or survey.” The opt-out provision was passed into law with the help of the Family Foundation and others, and protects parents’ rights so they can protect their children from this type of intrusive survey.

While some prior school board members worked to reduce, eliminate, or change survey instruments like this to opt-in, we see no responsiveness to concerns from the current radical board members. Our kids deserve better and we deserve a board that listens and works with, not against, parents.

We the parents, taxpayers, grandparents and guardians of the next generation need to protect them from obscenities like this and in the school libraries. Attend the next school board meeting and let your voice be heard.

Tyler Ohta is a Fairfax County parent and taxpayer.