USBE says "there's no way to protect student privacy."
As the Standards & Assessment Committee discussed what guidance should prevail in Utah regarding Gender Identity, one very critical issue was brought up as a disclaimer: Under the current Administration's interpretation of the law, a school cannot guarantee the privacy of students in gender assigned restrooms, locker rooms, changing rooms, hotel rooms, etc.
Here is the link to the meeting:
At the one hour and 19-minute mark, USBE Board Members discuss the current interpretation of Title 9 by the current administration.
Here's what was said:
"The purpose of our guidance document is to keep our teachers and schools out of legal trouble, so we need to reflect the current legal landscape. We may not agree with that and there may be things that need to be looked at and that need to be done on another scale to try to address some of those things, but we need to look at the current legal landscape we need to look at what OCR (Office for Civil Rights) is telling us because that's what's going to be enforced right now in our schools and our guidance document can't be aspirational it has to be practical. It has to be here's what needs to happen in our schools to make sure we comply with the law as it is today." Board Member Hansen
"Title 9 is being interpreted a certain way and that there is really no guarantee of privacy, and schools and districts need to be aware of that based on the current atmosphere. I just think we put out a [statement] 'Let me just be clear that this is where the current atmosphere is so you can't be guaranteed this [privacy], so just be aware of that, parents and educators." -Board Member Earl
"This is a gray area of law, there's not a lot of guidance, this is how the law is being interpreted right now. If we don't know then we should say we don't know. We have to be accurate in what is happening in the courts what's happening with OCR [Office of Civil Rights], so we can give our schools the best chance to be compliant and that may be the case, that we have to say, there is no expectation of privacy because of the way the law is being interpreted. I think we have to lay that out." -Board Member Hansen
If this is concerning, or confusing to you, you can contact your USBE Representative and ask him/her to explain it to your further and ask them to consider accommodations that provide single user bathrooms and changing areas with locks.
You can also contact your Legislators and explain your concerns and ask for a backpack bill that will allow you to take your money and apply it to an educational setting where you have more say and control of your child's privacy and safety.
THE DARK SIDE OF SCHOOL SURVEYS...
The SEL or climate, wellness, or school experience surveys are the new thing in Utah and pretty much every school district is giving them. There will most likely be more and more of them as they gain popularity with teachers and administrators in school districts across Utah. On the surface they appear benign, but if you do a little digging it becomes apparent that these SEL surveys have a dark side. As a parent, it is important to be educated and informed so you can make the best decision when it comes to the safety and privacy of your child.
Students across the state of Utah are being given SEL Skills and Competencies surveys. Each district might call them something different. Nebo calls them wellness surveys. Davis calls them school experience surveys. Regardless of the name, they are the same survey from a company called Panorama Education. School districts in partnership with the USBE have contracted with Panorama Education to supply and analyze the survey data.
Who is Panorama and what do they do?
Panorama is a million dollar data collection and analytics company. They survey our children, analyze the data, and build SEL profiles for each student. The questions are selected by the School or the USBE and can be anything they choose from "Do you come to class prepared?" to "What is your race?" or "What gender do you identify with?
Analyzing and searching large amounts of computerized data is considered data mining, which is exactly what is being done to our children's survey data. The survey answers will be used to create social/emotional profiles on our kids and their schools. Below are samples profiles that are found on Panorama's website.
Sample survey profiles taken from https://www.panoramaed.com
Questions parents should ask themselves:
A fellow parent has some interesting thoughts when it comes to Panorama surveys. See what she has to say. Click below.
Does the Panorama Survey violate state code?
State law requires school districts to get parents' permission to take surveys of a particular nature. This code ensures that students are protected when it comes to data collection in Utah's schools. Utah code 53E-9-203 states that among other things, surveys dealing with mental or psychological problems; religious affiliations or beliefs; and illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior have to follow the following procedures:
We are of the opinion that any survey dealing with SEL automatically falls into at least one of the above categories and should have to follow state code.
Link to Panorama PDF that explains how their surveys measure the psychological attributes they are intended to measure
Click below to see how Panorama uses tax payer money to survey and build profiles of our children.
Is your child's school planning on administering a Panorama Survey?