Archive for the ‘drugs’ Tag

Morgan Olsen: Parental Rights to Review Curriculum and Surveys   2 comments

The reason I’m reposting this article is that there are many things happening in schools that parents may not feel comfortable with, but most do not speak up because they don’t know their rights over their own children.

Many schools administer something called the “SHARP” survey.  Locally, here in Heber City, it’s done in schools.  But you can opt out.

SHARP is an in-your-face survey that asks very detailed, intimate, and intrusive questions, without attaching names to the results. So what could be wrong?

Proponents of “SHARP” or “Communities That Care” or other survey-based youth data collection instruments claim that the survey is a necessary way to assess whether children are involved in drugs, sex, alcohol, violence, or mental ill health.

Others say that these types of surveys may do more harm than good, by introducing children to the ideas of many deviant behaviors they would otherwise not have known about, and/or should be learning about from their parents in a loving, trusting environment rather than on a bubble sheet in a classroom.   Others also say that embedded in the language of the surveys are values that may not match those of the parents.  (For example, some surveys I have seen do equate gun ownership with gun violence rather than realizing that many homes have guns for protection, hunting and to demonstrate 2nd Amendment rights.  See: )

Children may not have the courage to tell school staff they would like to opt out, but you can send your school a letter to let your wishes be known at the beginning of the school year. Then your child will not be allowed to take the survey.

With that intro, here is Morgan Olsen’s article on your parental rights, with links to laws you can point to when you go to your school district with concerns.

What are my parental rights?

Published at Utahns Against Common Core website January 24, 2013. | By Morgan Olsen  |  Reposted here with thanks to Morgan Olsen.

When faced with incorrect school policies and practices, parents can easily feel overwhelmed and powerless. Throughout my Common Core research, I have gathered a few tidbits of law that can help you re-establish your parental rights in the education of your child. Exercise regularly your God-given right to advocate for your child’s best interest, and remind schools and government agencies that your child’s unique needs are better served with a parental representative over a hired one. No amount of social planning, exorbitant spending or teacher training can provide a better representative than an emotionally attached lifelong parent who’s most basic instinct and sacred duty is to lovingly protect, nurture, and guide their child. Regularly claim your God-given right and duty to advocate for your child’s best interest as their primary representative. For as the old saying goes, “Use it or lose it.”


Right to review Curriculum   (United States Code, Title 20 1232h)

1232h Protection of pupil rights

(a) Inspection of instructional materials by parents or guardians

All instructional materials, including teacher’s manuals, films, tapes, or other supplementary material which will be used in connection with any survey, analysis, or evaluation as part of any applicable program shall be available for inspection by the parents or guardians of the children.

Limits on Survey, Analysis, Evaluations, or Data Collection (United States Code, Title 20 1232h)

(b) Limits on survey, analysis, or evaluations

No student shall be required, as part of any applicable program, to submit to a survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning—

(1) political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent;

(2) mental or psychological problems of the student or the student’s family;

(3) sex behavior or attitudes;

(4) illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;

(5) critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;

(6) legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;

(7) religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student’s parent; or

(8) income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program), without the prior consent of the student (if the student is an adult or emancipated minor), or in the case of an unemancipated minor, without the prior written consent of the parent.

Here is a brochure to help teach your children to say NO to these types of questions.

United States Code, Title 20 1232c

(c) Surveys or data-gathering activities; regulations

Not later than 240 days after October 20, 1994, the Secretary shall adopt appropriate regulations or procedures, or identify existing regulations or procedures, which protect the rights of privacy of students and their families in connection with any surveys or data-gathering activities conducted, assisted, or authorized by the Secretary or an administrative head of an education agency. Regulations established under this subsection shall include provisions controlling the use, dissemination, and protection of such data. No survey or data-gathering activities shall be conducted by the Secretary, or an administrative head of an education agency under an applicable program, unless such activities are authorized by law.


Activities prohibited without prior written consent (Utah Code Title 53A Section 302)

(1) Policies adopted by a school district under Section 53A-13-301 shall include prohibitions on the administration to a student of any psychological or psychiatric examination, test, or treatment, or any survey, analysis, or evaluation without the prior written consent of the student’s parent or legal guardian, in which the purpose or evident intended effect is to cause the student to reveal information, whether the information is personally identifiable or not, concerning the student’s or any family member’s:
(a) political affiliations or, except as provided under Section 53A-13-101.1 or rules of the State Board of Education, political philosophies;
(b) mental or psychological problems;
(c) sexual behavior, orientation, or attitudes;
(d) illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
(e) critical appraisals of individuals with whom the student or family member has close family relationships;
(f) religious affiliations or beliefs;
(g) legally recognized privileged and analogous relationships, such as those with lawyers, medical personnel, or ministers; and
(h) income, except as required by law.
(2) Prior written consent under Subsection (1) is required in all grades, kindergarten through grade 12.

Here is a brochure to help teach your children to say NO to these types of questions.

Right of the Parent to raise their child without undue government interference (Utah Code Title 62A Chapter 4a Section 201)

(1) (a) Under both the United States Constitution and the constitution of this state, a parent possesses a fundamental liberty interest in the care, custody, and management of the parent’s children. A fundamentally fair process must be provided to parents if the state moves to challenge or interfere with parental rights. A governmental entity must support any actions or allegations made in opposition to the rights and desires of a parent regarding the parent’s children by sufficient evidence to satisfy a parent’s constitutional entitlement to heightened protection against government interference with the parent’s fundamental rights and liberty interests.
(b) The fundamental liberty interest of a parent concerning the care, custody, and management of the parent’s children is recognized, protected, and does not cease to exist simply because a parent may fail to be a model parent or because the parent’s child is placed in the temporary custody of the state. At all times, a parent retains a vital interest in preventing the irretrievable destruction of family life. Prior to an adjudication of unfitness, government action in relation to parents and their children may not exceed the least restrictive means or alternatives available to accomplish a compelling state interest. Until the state proves parental unfitness, the child and the child’s parents share a vital interest in preventing erroneous termination of their natural relationship and the state cannot presume that a child and the child’s parents are adversaries.
(c) It is in the best interest and welfare of a child to be raised under the care and supervision of the child’s natural parents. A child’s need for a normal family life in a permanent home, and for positive, nurturing family relationships is usually best met by the child’s natural parents. Additionally, the integrity of the family unit and the right of parents to conceive and raise their children are constitutionally protected. The right of a fit, competent parent to raise the parent’s child without undue government interference is a fundamental liberty interest that has long been protected by the laws and Constitution and is a fundamental public policy of this state.
(d) The state recognizes that:
(i) a parent has the right, obligation, responsibility, and authority to raise, manage, train, educate, provide for, and reasonably discipline the parent’s children; and
(ii) the state’s role is secondary and supportive to the primary role of a parent.
(e) It is the public policy of this state that parents retain the fundamental right and duty to exercise primary control over the care, supervision, upbringing, and education of their children.

~Morgan Olsen

Euphemism Alert: on Education Reforms and Communities That Care   2 comments

   Is the federal government just unwilling to call anything what it really is?

“Career and College Readiness” and “Education for All” both mean creating a mediocre standard that narrows the high achievers and raises the low achievers to a common, narrow, mediocre standard that aims no higher than nonselective community college.

“State-led” doesn’t mean the states rather than the federal government promoted it; it means the states are supposed to believe they had a hand in starting it before the federal government took it over.

“No Child Left Behind” means no (or very few) decisions by teachers or administrators will be left to their own judgment.

Rigorous standards” doesn’t mean rigorous compared to the best; it means rigorous compared to the worst.  It means mediocre nationalized standards, which are lower for many states and higher for some, depending on the state and the school subject.

“Data sharing” means data baring. It means standing privacy-stripped before a web of citizen surveillance you didn’t vote for and can’t repeal. (Ask around: what do P-20 and State Longitudinal Database Systems mean? Why is E.P.I.C. suing the Dept. of Ed over privacy?)

Sustainable Development” means giving plants and animals equal rights with humans, and making property rights a thing of the past.


So, today I’ve been studying the latest euphemism:  Communities That Care. 

Such a nice sounding name.  Would any community be against it, or want to be one that doesn’t give a hoot?

But the more I study what Communities that Care (CTC) is all about, the less I like it.

 Like Common Core, Communities that Care is a youth-oriented, government promoted, data collecting, reform program.  (Common Core says it’s creating better schools.  Communities that Care says it’s cutting down on youth crime/substance abuse.)  In both cases, voters don’t get to vote on the programs, and state legislators don’t get to discuss adoption of the programs.  A tiny group (city council, or school board) gets to sign the rest of us up for it.

  Like Common Core, Communities that Care is presented first of all as free money.  (With Common Core, the first introduction to it was Obama’s Race to the Top grant; with Communities that Care, our city’s first introduction to it is the appealing form of a $10,000 grant from the Dept. of Health and Human Services.)

But when you look beyond the words, in both cases, these federally funded, “progressive” programs are ways for the federal government to control localities.


Well, look at this,

The document is called Using the Communities That Care (CTC) Youth Survey. 

It assumes guilt.  It assumes kids are drinking and doing other detrimental things.

It also falsely assumes that having guns in a community increases crime.  I’ve known all my life –haven’t you?– that in towns/countries where there are high numbers of gun owning citizens, there’s more often less, not more, crime.

Obviously, the authors of this CTC document are believers in having only the government own the guns, and that young people can not be trusted around guns. Well, many people would disagree.

Here’s what the document calls “risk factors”:

Risk Factors and Scales in the Communities That Care Youth Survey

Availability of Drugs

Availability of Firearms

Community Laws and Norms Favorable toward Drug Use, Firearms and Crime

Transitions and Mobility

Low Neighborhood Attachment and Community


Family History of the Problem Behavior

Family Management Problems

Favorable Parental Attitudes and Involvement in the Problem Behavior

Academic Failure Beginning in Late Elementary School

Lack of Commitment to School


Friends Who Engage in the Problem Behavior

Gang Involvement

Favorable Attitudes toward the Problem Behavior

Early Initiation of the Problem Behavior

Constitutional Factors

Perceived Availability of Drugs and Handguns

Laws and Norms Favorable to Drug Use and Handguns

etc. etc. etc.

But that’s not all!

Some things about the Youth Surveys are creepy.  See survey here:

Some of the questions seem to assume guilt.  They introduce substance abuse, depression, suicide  and other ideas to the minds of the youth who take the surveys, even those who may be so innocent that they don’t even understand the question.  (Why can’t we write our own, better questions if we really need this type of data for our local police or youth groups?)

For example:

  • What are the chances you would be seen as cool if you a) smoked cigarettes b) began drinking alcoholic beverages regularly c) smoked cigarettes d) carried a handgun    [Shouldn’t this be an essay question at the very least? There is no room in multiple choice]
  • Used derbisol in your lifetime?     [what the heck is derbisol and how do I mark a multiple choice quiz to say huh?]
  • We argue about the same things in my family over and over.       (Yes, YES, No, or NO)     [what a question.]
    Well, I’m not going to spend much time fighting Communities That Care.  Let the local city council make this choice.  As a parent, I’m not going to let them survey my children, anyway.

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