The mother of a first-grader at a Baton Rouge, La., school was shocked when her child brought home a “psycho-social checklist” that asked about the child’s sexual identity and the mental health history of his relatives.
The mother, who was not identified, posted the checklist from the Central Community School System online.
“The following is a checklist of psycho-social stressors that may impact a student’s academic and social functioning,” the questionnaire says. “These factors should be considered when determining if a student is eligible for special education. These stressors should not necessarily prevent a student from being identified, however, they must be considered.”
“Sexual identity issues,” appears on the checklist.
“This is for a first grader! First graders shouldn’t even know what this is!” the mother wrote next to the item.
Other stressors included: severe illness of parent or family member (cancer, HIV, heart attack, psychiatric illness, etc.); divorce or break-up of parent's primary relationship; witness to domestic violence in home; alcohol abuse in the household; suicide attempts or expressed suicidal thoughts; parent or caretaker incarcerated; and student pregnancy.
“The questions on this paper are offensive, invasive, and none of the school’s business,” the mother wrote on the page.
She says Louisiana education superintendent John White (I) is “gutting” the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
“These questions are part of the unconstitutional Common Core and have nothing to do with teaching him proper speech techniques,” she wrote. “I do not give permission for any school administrator or teacher or employee to ask my child these questions either. Please honor our family’s 4th Amendment right and our right to privacy.”
White was appointed in 2012 by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has pushed a statewide voucher program since taking office in 2008. In 2009, Louisiana adopted Common Core standards, a five-year-commitment, which White says Jindal isn’t prepared to abandon.
“Our teachers have been doing this for three and a half years now,” White said of Common Core in 2012. “You don’t tell your teachers in the middle of the year to stop doing this.”