MN Student Survey Update: What’s New? “Passive Consent” Disclosure

MN Student Survey Update:  What’s new?  “Passive Consent” Disclosure

Parents are taking note of this year’s 2016 opt-out forms for the Minnesota
Student Health Survey and finding that the disclosure is different than in previous years.   So what’s new?

The headline “Passive Consent”.   Many parents continue to express that these kinds of
surveys deserve an “opt-in” notice – NOT an “opt-out.”  Here’s a little 101
on Passive Consent.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
<http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/policy/faq/informed-consent/can-consent-be-passive-
or-implied.html
> ,  “Terms such as “passive” or “implied” consent are not
referenced in the HHS regulations.”  In other words, passive consent is a process in
which consent or parental permission requirements have been altered or
waived, or for which the requirement to document consent or parental
permission has been waived
, according to the website.  In education, results
of these kinds of surveys are often used as information to spur public
outreach thus creating programs to promote and enhance public awareness.

According to the Minnesota Department of Education
<http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/StuSuc/SafeSch/MNStudentSurvey/>  website,
the 2013 Minnesota Student Survey “…was administered statewide in the
first half of 2013 to public school students in grades 5, 8, 9 and 11.   All
public school districts in Minnesota were invited to participate.   Of the 334
public operating districts, 280 agreed to participate (84 percent of public
operating school districts).” 
Your school district had a choice NOT to participate!

“Public school student participation was voluntary…”
Know this:  YOUR CHILD WILL BE OPTED-IN TO TAKE THE SURVEY WITHOUT YOUR
PERMISSION IF YOU DO NOT SIGN THE OPT-OUT FORM.
  Period.  So is this survey
truly voluntary when the state gives a “passive consent” notice in name of
education and public awareness?  Teachers are required to tell students they
do not have to take the survey.   This further adds to peer pressure on
minors to take a survey without parental permission nor consent.   DO you
feel its right to introduce probing topics that are MEANT to take place at
home?   View the survey, use the questions as things you can answer as a
family in the PRIVACY of your own home.   NOT in a school environment.

“…and surveys were anonymous.”
Have you had a credit card breach in recent years?  Heard of Data breaches
in schools
<http://truthinamericaneducation.com/privacy-issues-state-longitudinal-data-
systems/school-data-breaches-a-new-trend-coming-to-a-minnesota-school-near-y
ou/
> ?   Did you know that an audit in 2013 revealed our own MN Department of
Education “lacked “adequate internal controls”
<http://www.startribune.com/audit-questions-minnesota-education-department-c
omputer-security/221881331/
>  and comprehensive security plans and had
failed to document where private data was held or the internal controls
needed to secure it.”

“Across the state, approximately 66 percent of fifth graders, 71 percent of
eighth graders, 69 percent of ninth graders and 62 percent of eleventh
graders participated in the 2013 Minnesota Student Health Survey.   Overall participation across the four
grades was approximately 67 percent of total enrollment.”
How about we get that number down to 50% student participation?  35%
Participation?  ZERO?  It’s only possible if parents sign the opt-out form!
Is your child 18 and in high school?  Tell them they are NOT required to
take the survey and use the opportunity to share with them the value of
protecting THEIR personal privacy.

After reading the questions for all the grades, do you think it’s right for
students to waste an entire hour of precious school time on a survey?  Maybe
you don’t have children in school, but you DO pay taxes.  Do you think your
tax dollars should be used for questions that TRULY BELONG TO PARENTS,
CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILES?  If you feel standardized testing is an issue,
this is a far worse tool by probing into the lives of families AND minors on
issues that have ZERO business in our schools while taking up precious
classroom time.  Surveys like this have long been happening in this state
and across the country.  It’s time to take a stand and STOP the surveying of
our children through passive consent!

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