Letter to the Editor | Parents want answers, action and apology | By Mary Weigand

Dec. 22, 2017 – Washington Co., WI -This week an invasive and inappropriate “survey” was given to minor schoolchildren in an 8th grade English class at Badger Middle School. The so-called “Privilege Survey” asked questions such as “I have never tried to hide my sexuality.” “I have never been called a derogatory term for a homosexual.” “I never doubted my parents’ acceptance of my sexuality.” “I have never been told that I “sound white,” “I am always comfortable demonstrating PDA [personal display of affection] with people I like.” and “Nobody has tried to “save me” from my religious beliefs.”A courageous parent posted a copy of the survey on Facebook so other parents could be forewarned. As word spread, it was obvious the principal, Dave Uelmen, had to address the issue. An email was sent out to parents in an attempt to gloss the survey faux pas over in what appeared to be an attempt to lend justification to the issue, to which there can be no justification. In Uelmen’s letter he admitted the survey was not part of curriculum, nor was it approved by administration. The survey, done in class time, was a violation of school board policy.

I have a number of questions I would like to pose in light of this terribly irresponsible act:

Why does our local public school insist on indoctrinating our children with ideas of white privilege and seeds of racism?

Why did the Youth Behavioral Risk Survey have to be approved before the school board and require written parental permission for students to take it, but this, equally invasive survey did not?

Why would the media, or anyone for that matter, have to do an Open Records Request for a piece of school material taught to local schoolchildren?

Why hasn’t the school board responded, and why are they saying they don’t know anything about it when it’s all over Facebook? Numerous community members seem to know about it with the exception of our school board. As well, why are they not commenting or taking action publicly? We (taxpayers, parents, grandparents) want to hear from them.

Parents were the last to know about this survey. Shouldn’t they have been the first? Shouldn’t there have been some protocol followed before launching this offensive survey?

Can we be assured this survey will not be given again? Parents with children in earlier grades are asking the aforementioned question.

What does this have to say about transparency in our school district?

Parents want answers. Taxpayers want accountability. We all want an apology.

The next regular board meeting is on Monday, January 8, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. in the Education Service Center, 735 S. Main Street.  Please come and speak to this matter.

Mary Weigand

 

 

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