Canadian school board survey asks 10-year-olds if they’re transgendered
AURORA, Ontario, April 4, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A parental rights group is alarmed by a York Region District School Board’s “school climate” survey that asks Grade 5 and 6 students about their “gender identity” and if they’ve received online “sexual messages.”
Tanya Granic-Allen of Parents As First Educators is particularly disturbed that the YRDSB is asking elementary students — whose parents can choose that they not participate — to complete the questionnaire at school.
“What's quite alarming is that this survey is being completed during class time, online, without parent involvement,” she told LifeSiteNews in an email.
“It's unacceptable for children to be presented with ideologically spun questions like this, especially without parents being consulted or present.”
The YRDSB online survey was sent out to students in Grades 5 to 12 the week of March 20, to be completed by April 28.
A “school climate” survey is mandated at least every two years under the Safe School Act or Bill 13, which Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals passed in 2012.
The bill was intended to address bullying and discrimination in public schools, but the Liberals put a “seemingly heavy emphasis on harassment of LGBT students,” points out Toronto Sun columnist Sue-Ann Levy.
Bill 13 also compels schools to allow the pro-LGBTQ “gay-straight alliance” clubs if a student requests one.
The survey asks Grade 5 and 6 students if they are “male, female, gender diverse, prefer not to be identified by gender, or other gender,” noted Levy.
The survey also asks the 10- and 11-year-olds to “indicate the number of times you have received sexual messages, videos or photos through technology such as text messages or the internet in the past two months.”
Grade 5 and 6 students are also asked to “indicate where you’ve seen yourself most often this school year with respect to drug and alcohol use,” with options ranging from “not using, trying it out, using sometimes, problem use and dependent.”
As for Grade 9 to 12 students, they are given the following options to identify their sexual orientation: “Asexual, bisexual, gay, heterosexual/straight, intersex, lesbian, queer, questioning, two-spirit, don’t know, I prefer not to say; I do not see myself reflected above.”
Students who respond with the last option are asked to “specify your sexual orientation in the box below.”
YRDSB spokesperson Christina Choo-Hum told LifeSiteNews in an email that “parents/guardians are invited to see the full copies of the surveys, which are available in the school offices.”
This “may assist parents if they wish to have conversations with their children about the survey.”
The York school board sent letters and newsletter inserts to schools to “share with parents/guardians” about the survey, and to tell them they could see the question and could opt their child out of taking part, Choo-Hum said. Parents and guardians are also being asked to fill out a survey in May, she added.
The student survey is “voluntary, confidential and anonymous,” she wrote. “Students can also skip any questions they do not want to answer.”
But one thing students can’t do is answer the survey at home with their parents’ supervision.
“Students complete the students’ surveys independently, just as they complete all of their school work or activities during course the school day,” wrote Choo-Hum.
The ministry of education provides templates for the mandated school climate surveys, but individual boards can develop their own, Levy noted.
In her view, the YRDSB “appears to go off the charts in terms of intrusiveness and questions one might consider inappropriate for 10-year-olds.”
As well as the sexual orientation and sexting questions, the survey includes “touchy-feely topics” such as protecting the environment, social justice and mental health.
Elementary students are “asked whether they’re happy with their lives, whether they are able to cheer themselves up when they’re sad and whether they hide feelings of anxiety and sadness.”
Granic Allen sees the situation in starker terms.
“It's clear by the questions the Board is trying to normalize gender theory to children who are still trying to navigate basic arithmetic,” the mother of four noted in an email to PAFE supporters.
“When the 10-year-old children are asked if they're ‘gender diverse,’ certainly they'll be confused,” she told LifeSiteNews. “And when they have questions while during the survey in class, their parents aren't present to guide their child.”
The school climate survey is “underhanded ideological propagandization, which is being foisted upon our young children,” Granic Allen said.