It’s Never the Right Time for This Kind of School Survey

It’s good to learn that the Litchfield, CT school district postponed its “Profiles of Student Life” survey scheduled for tomorrow.  However, this arrogant jab at basic parental authority has pulled back only temporarily and is waiting for the next opportunity.

This survey, to be given “anonymously,” contained questions regarding “gender identity, drugs, sexual activity and whether a student has ever carried a knife or gun.”1

Even though parents may request that their children not take this survey, its mere presence is a cleverly strong challenge to parents.  School administrators know human nature well enough that simply presenting such an inappropriate test is enough to get many parents to be reluctant to stand their ground.  The current tidal wave of disregard for time-tested values and Natural Law is in the administrators’ favor.  The senseless “everybody does it” philosophy has been salvaged from the trash heap of illogic and has become the rallying cry for those who use peer pressure to push others to do what is unwise.

As was mentioned before, they haven’t given up.  A proponent of the survey, Executive Director of the Housatonic Valley Coalition against Substance Abuse (HVCASA), Allison Fulton said, “It takes some time to get everything in order.  When they think they can get the message out in a way that everybody understands the survey a little bit better, that’ll be a better time.”Translation:  given enough time, we can do a better job of fooling them into thinking this invasive survey really is a good thing.

Granted, the HVCASA would seem to be on a noble mission to curb one of society’s most pressing problems – substance addiction.  However, children are first and foremost the parent’s responsibility.  Neither the state nor the schools have the authority to engineer society, regardless of the motives.  The right way to approach the substance abuse problem is to teach the parents how to spot key behavior indicators and what sort of professional help to get.

A more dismissive comment was made by education board member Gayle Carr: “Reaction from the community on the survey makes me think that people are going into this with blinders on. They don’t know anything that caused that problem.”2  Here’s a secret Ms. Carr, our national problem with these issues began way back in the 1960s and Big Brother is a cause, not a cure.

She and the rest of the busy-bodies would eliminate a lot of strife and wasted effort if they were to acknowledge that:

“Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children… The home is well suited for education in the virtues (emphasis directly from text).  This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery – the preconditions of all freedom.  Parents should teach their children to subordinate the ‘material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones’… Parents should teach children to avoid the compromising and degrading influences which threaten human societies.”3

Not only are the schools’ wishes supposed to be subordinate to parental authority, but this centuries-old directive sets a standard which is actually higher.  After all, do we see an emphasis for “self-denial, sound judgment and self-mastery” in school sex education programs or in the HHS mandate where human pregnancy is a “preventable disease”?

Except in cases of true abuse and neglect, the state must not intrude into the family.  Just as freedom of religion is not to be confined to church buildings, parental authority is not to be restricted to homes.


1USA Today, “State by State” section, 3/4/2014
2 – “Litchfield Profiles of Student Life survey canceled after community feedback,” by Shako Liu,, 3/10/2014
3 – taken from paragraphs 2223 and 2224 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Liguroi Publications, Liguori, MO, 1994


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