Dec. 2, 2017 – West Bend, WI – The West Bend School Board voted 5 – 2 this week in favor of a Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
Prior to the presentation and board vote, parent Mary Weigand addressed the school board and challenged them to “do the right thing.”
Some of Weigand’s comments are below:
“I’m a registered nurse and …. we don’t need a survey to know kids are involved in risky behaviors.”
“I’m concerned about very leading questions – ‘How old were you when you had sexual intercourse for the first time?’ How would you feel if you were asked that question? ‘During your life how many people have you had sexual intercourse with?'”
“Which of the following best describes you: transgender, heterosexual, bisexual, not sure?’ What does this have to do with educating our children?”
“I’m very concerned about offending students and offending parents. I know that parents have to sign off on this but just the thought that this is being brought forth in our schools.”
Later in the meeting Sharon Kailas, Pupil Services Director/ Head Start Director addressed the school board with parent Michelle Simpson who was in favor of the survey.
Parent Michelle Simpson spoke briefly about her family and how it has been affected by risky youth behavior. Some of Simpson’s comments are below.
“Abigail attended West Bend East for four years and came from a wonderful family and she’s lived greatly and we thought we did everything right…
“She had great grades and was a member of the varsity volleyball team …. and has a gentle soul and she also developed addiction.”
“The Youth Risk Behavior Survey does address a number of risky behaviors, sexual relations or behaviors is one and there are questions about that but there are a slew of other questions about a number of other risky behaviors.”
“I asked my son about it, would you answer questions about this … he said, ‘Mom, kids will just lie.’ Yes some will, many will. But some of the questions they may not. Do you feel anxious in school? There are kids that could benefit from a lot of assistance if we can identify them earlier.”
The School Board asked several questions prior to voting on the survey.
-“We will only be using this at the high school,” said Kailas.
-“You can apply for grants… and this can bring money into the county,” said Simpson. “If we don’t have data, real data, numbers that say what the problem is in our county you can not receive money, you just won’t get it because they say ‘how do you know you have a problem.'”
-The survey was presented by Well Washington County.
-Below are some of the questions on the survey. For a complete list click HERE.
-More information is available HERE.
The West Bend School Board voted 5-2 in favor of the survey. Yes votes: Joel Ongert, Nancy Justman, Tiffany Larson, Tonnie Schmidt, Tim Stellmacher. No votes: Monte Schmiege, Ken Schmidt
According to the Washington County Health Department all public schools in Washington County voted to approve administering the Youth Risk Behavior Survey to students in their respective school districts.
West Bend has an opt-in policy where parents need to sign and approve their child take the survey. Many of the school districts have an opt-out policy, meaning the students will take the survey unless the parents write in and request their child not take the survey.
In West Bend the survey will be administered in spring.