Sound bites not substantive in Fields v Palmdale School District

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Via Michelle Malkin to this post is the story of USHR condemnation of the ruling in Fields v Palmdale School District. I don't much like the public school system, and I'll admit it. First, most public schools have class sizes that are way too large, when small class sizes are much better. Then there's the bizarre stories of schools and how they react to innocent mistakes by innocent kids who do things like making small coding errors or, worse yet, bring butter knives to school! But the commentary on this, USHR condemnation or not is off.

Why? I did something naughty and actually read the ruling in the case. And I quote:

Prior to administering the survey, Seymour mailed a letter to the parents of the children to be surveyed informing them of the questionnaire's nature and purpose, and requesting their consent to its administration.

And also:

The letter did not explicitly state that some questions involved sexual topics, although it did specify that the survey questions were about "early trauma (for exam- ple, violence)" and there was a warning that "answering ques- tions may make [the] child feel uncomfortable."

This is not to say the parents should not have a right to control what their children get asked in such a survey; I think if a parent wants to exclude a 7 yr-old from a sexual questionnaire, that's reasonable. But these parents did, in fact, have a chance to do so. When I've fully digested the ruling, I'll report back on what sort of relief they were seeking, since it seems like an "opt out" would be a reasonable request, and they already had it.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt published on November 20, 2005 1:37 PM.

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