Florida School District Cancels Survey That Asked 10-Year-Olds About Sex, Gender Identity
A Florida school district will not be administering a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey that asked 10-year-olds about their sexual activity, after push back from parents and the Commissioner of Education, according to the superintendent.
Duval County Public Schools will not be administering the Youth Behavior Risk Survey created by the CDC in the 2022-2023 school year after receiving a letter from Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz regarding his “grave concerns” over the “inflammatory and sexualized survey,” according to Superintendent Diana Greene. Moms for Liberty, a coalition of parents working for transparency in education, brought their concerns about the survey to the school board, saying it asked students as young as 10-years-old about their sexual activity and if they are transgender, the group told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“We wanted the school district to do an opt in rather than an opt out if they’re gonna do the survey and then we were asking for them to strike any question on the survey that’s asking minors about sexual orientation, sexual activity, sexual history or gender identity,” Rebecca Nathanson, chair of the Moms for Liberty Duval County Chapter, told the DCNF. “Most parents wouldn’t imagine this when they send their seventh grader to school that in second period, they’re going to be answering questions about how many sex partners they taught and if they have sex with male or females.”
In 2022, the Florida Department of Education and Florida Department of Health decided to no longer require schools to administer the CDC survey, but Duval County Public Schools decided to anyway, according to Diaz’s letter. The 2023 survey asked middle school students how old they were when they had sex for the first time, what kind of sex they had, how many people they had sex with and whether they were having sex with girls or boys, according to a Moms for Liberty press release.
The survey, modified by the school district, also asked students if they are transgender and about their sexual orientation, the press release stated.
“I strongly urge you to reconsider having your students participate in the CDC survey,” Diaz wrote. “Instead of asking students highly controversial and extremely personal questions from the CDC Survey, you should re-focus your efforts on teaching and learning as the end of the school year quickly approaches.”
In addition to the letter from Diaz, the Florida Department of Health notified the school district that it was terminating its contract with the school for providing data collection and evaluation for the survey, according to a letter.
“We know we are serving multiple students as young as middle school who are already moms and dads,” Greene said in a statement. “Even though this survey is going away, we will do our best to remain attentive to the experiences and behaviors of our students and continue to work with other community partners to address their needs.”
Before the cancellation of the survey, Moms for Liberty was pushing for the school district to allow parents to opt their child into the survey rather than opt them out, Nathanson told the DCNF. In 2021, the school district sent a letter home notifying parents that they had three days to opt their child out of the survey and could review it at the school.
“Most parents don’t go through the backpacks of their middle schoolers and their high schoolers,” Nathanson told the DCNF. “The parent notification letter did not provide the survey questions and in fact it told parents that if they wanted to see what was in the survey, what was being asked of their children, they had three days to get down to the school board building downtown to review the hard copy of the survey. Our attempt within the last 10 days was to raise awareness for parents that they could protect their children from being asked these wildly inappropriate questions and also it was to pressure our school board to pressure the school district to modify the way the survey was administered.”
Diaz’s office, Duval County Public Schools and Greene did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.