EDUCATION FOR A FREE NATION
105 Peavey Rd, Suite 116, Chaska, MN 55318
July 28, 2006
Say No to Minnesota
urges parents of public and private school students to say "no"
to the 2007 Minnesota Student Survey (MSS).
Districts must inform parents at the
beginning of the school year
Student Survey will be administered between February and April of
2007. Parents must be offered an opportunity to opt their
student(s) out of taking the MSS. Parents also have the right to review
A July 20, 2006 Minnesota Department of Education memo notified school
districts of requirements under federal law (Pupil Privacy Protection Act
- PPRA) that apply to the MSS, which questions students in 6th, 9th and
12th grades on their attitudes toward and use of drugs, alcohol and
tobacco. It inquires about their personal sexual behavior and attitudes.
are required to inform parents in writing at the beginning of the
school year, of the specific or approximate dates during the
school year when it will administer the survey(s) and they must provide
an opportunity for the parent to opt his or her child out of
participating. Thereafter, parents should be provided reasonable
notification of the planned activities and surveys and be provided an
opportunity to opt their child out, as well as an opportunity to review
any pertinent surveys.
are required by federal law to give notice to parents when surveys of
their children involve any of these issues:
1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the
student or studentís parent;
2. Mental or psychological problems of the
student or studentís family;
3. Sex behavior or attitudes;
4. Illegal, anti-social,
self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
5. Critical appraisals of others with whom
respondents have close family relationships;
6. Legally recognized privileged
relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers;
7. Religious practices, affiliations, or
beliefs of the student or parents; or
8. Income, other than as required by law to
determine program eligibility.
district is not sending written notification at the beginning of the
school year to parents whose child will receive the MSS, or if the
parents are not notified of their right to review the survey, the
district is in violation of federal law.
response to the Minnesota Student Survey in 2001:
recent study at Duke University's School of Business back's up this
parent's fears. It found that asking questions can influence behavior
Study: Surveys Influence Behavior"). "We ask people
questions, and that does change behavior," said the study's
co-author. He called the provocative effect "much greater than most
of us would like to believe."
- I am very opposed to this kind of questioning of our children.
This survey really sounds like this: "We all know it is wrong, we
all know your parents tell you not to, we all know our teachers say
don't, but since you won't get in trouble, since you won't get caught,
just tell us: is it 3 days? 5 days? Really, how often do you REALLY do
it? WE KNOW YOU DO?! This is what it sounds like if you try real hard to
imagine someone asking you very personal questions about your thoughts
and behaviors. ...I think asking these questions to kids normalizes all
of these behaviors, and what becomes familiar and normalized is not
feared. Why do we want to make this normal for them? Why do we put
carrying a gun to school, wanting to hit or beat someone up, smoking,
taking drugs, running away, skipping school, suicide, all these issues,
on a scale? Once -- one time -- for most of these issues is WRONG and
notification letter to parents signed by the principal and recommending
the importance of participating in the survey has not necessarily been
written by the principal at all, nor has he or she necessarily personally
reviewed the survey. Principals sign form letters without having full
knowledge of the details. School districts are not required to
administer the Minnesota Student Survey. Students may at any time
refuse to answer any and all questions.
Excerpts from the 2007 Minnesota Student Survey:
Secondary Survey only:
- Have you ever thought about killing yourself?
- During the last 12 months, how often have you damaged or destroyed
property at school or somewhere else (for example: broken windows or
furniture, put paint on walls or signs, put scratches or dents in a car)?
- During the last 12 months, how often have you hit or beat up another
- During the last 12 months, how often have you taken something from a
store without paying for it?
- During the last 30 days, on how many days did you carry a gun on
- How old were you the first time you smoked part or all of a
- During the last 30 days, on how many days did you smoke a cigarette?
- During the last 12 months, how often have you run away from home?
- During the last 30 days, on how many days did you drink one or
more drinks of an alcoholic beverage?
- How old were you when you tried marijuana for the first time?
- [Regarding] cocaine and crack, heroin, prescription drugs,
stimulants, methamphetamine, MDMA (ecstasy), or LSD (acid)/PCP...
sniffing glue or breathing gases or contents of spray cans. How old were
you when you tried any of these ìother drugsî for the first time? [There
are 19 questions on drug use in the Secondary Survey]
- Where have you received most of your information about sex?
- Have you ever had sexual intercourse ("had sex")?
- During the last 12 months, with how many different [male or female]
partners have you had sexual intercourse?
- How many times have you been pregnant or gotten someone pregnant?
- The last time you had sexual intercourse, did you or your
partner use a condom? [Emphasis theirs.]
105 Peavey Rd, Suite 116, Chaska, MN 55318 - 952-361-4931
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