Word about a survey intended to find out whether students are trans gendered or not has alarmed a parental rights group in Aurora. The York Region District School conducted a “School Climate” survey in students of Grade five and six to know about their “gender” and if they have ever received “sexual messages” online.
A woman from Parents as First Educators, Tanya Granic-Allen said that the most disturbing thing about this survey is that it is being conducted on school premises, without the supervision of the children’s parents.
The board might have chosen to do the survey without the parents’ input because they did not want to deal with any interference.
The survey was sent to students of grade five to twelve on 20th March and the submission date is 28th April. The survey is mandatory and is given after every two years. The survey was made mandatory under Bill 13 the “Safe School Act”, which was passed in 2012 by Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Initially, the bill was introduced for discrimination and bullying in public schools. However, the Liberals added another clause, putting heavy emphasis on LGBT students, who are harassed for being different.
For grade five and six, the survey asks if they are:
- Gender diverse
- Prefer not to be identified by gender
Another prominent question asked is, “indicate the number of times you have received sexual messages, videos or photos through technology such as text messages or the internet in the past two months”.
For grade nine to twelve, the students are asked to elaborate on their sexual orientation with the following options:
- Don’t know
- Prefer not to say
- I do not see myself reflected above
The ones who ticked the last option are then asked to specify their sexual orientation. In May, parents will be also asked to complete a similar survey. Parents can get the copies of their child’s survey from the school’s office.
The survey also touches other emotional and rational points such as mental health, social justice and environment. Granic Allen believes that questions about sexuality can confuse ten year olds, who right now just want to make friends and have a good time. She further said that not involving the parents is unacceptable.