Lynne Hermansen
Parents are confused over surveys sent out as part of the 2022-23 school year enrollment.
Eyebrows are being raised because they believe the subject matter deals with sexual orientation and gender identity.
The survey is called “Kansas Communities that Care.”
Shana Burgess, Johnson County Mental Health Center director of prevention, said any school district throughout the state of Kansas can take the survey free of charge.
“So schools actually opt in and choose to administer the survey within their district or their building,”she said.
The surveys are provided by the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services and Behavioral Health Services Commission.
The topics range from depression, home life and even sexual orientation and gender identity and the data is looked at by Johnson County Mental Health Center.
“So in our community, you know, we want to keep children, kids families, safe and healthy. And with this data, we can really guide the decision making in order to allocate resources,” Burgess said.
The school district said there has been misinformation about the surveys.
The district said “USD 231 is only giving the base survey and not the additional options, including questions on sexuality, etc.”
Questions have arisen about the survey’s timing after school board Jeff Miller proposed a policy banning pronouns and transgender bathroom usage at the July 25 school board meeting.
The district has participated of the “Kansas Communities that Care” survey for years to help the schools and community learn about programs that can help be helpful for students. Parents have a choice to whether their student participated in the survey.
“This survey can help us make decisions that most positively impact different populations,” Burgess said.