15
   

We're from the government and we're here to help....

 
 
boomerang
 
  4  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 02:23 pm
@firefly,
Quote:
It's also clear, from the above statement, that the test couldn't possibly be anonymous--otherwise it wouldn't identify specific children at risk so their parents could be contacted.


This really worries me.

I know kids who would get beaten if their parents learned such things.

And what about kids whose parents are responsible for their social/emotional troubles. How is that going to play out?
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 02:25 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
But the school has a relationship with its students


I disagree. I think at many schools the students are pretty faceless -- just another kid at a desk.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  0  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 02:46 pm
@engineer,
Quote:
- The information is private: The school is an extension of the government. If the school has evidence of illegal actions and does not report it to the police, they are liable. If the police suspected drug use, could they subpoena the school questionaire information? I think that they could and the school would turn over the data.

Don't confuse "evidence of illegal actions" with what a student might say to a school staff member or indicate on a survey. The school has an obligation to protect the child's privacy and to maintain confidentiality except in certain instances--if it is felt that the child might be a threat to self or others, if abuse or neglect of the child is suspected, or if the child is found to be engaging in illegal activity at the school, for instance.
If a child confides to a counselor that they have shoplifted, the school has no right or obligation to notify the police of the illegal activity. And if the child admits on a school survey that they smoked a joint, or had a beer, in the previous month, that survey sheet is part of the student's file and must be similarly protected by the child's privacy rights. And there is nothing the police can do with the information--to prosecute for illegal possession, you have to be found in possession of the illegal substance, or clearly connected to it.

Because of that high school's strict student code of conduct, any student who wants to participate in a very wide range of extra-curricular activities must self-report any use of tobacco, or alcohol, or drugs, to the school, within 48 hours of such use, and they must do this 24/7, 365 days of the year, regardless of where the use took place. So this school already has lots of information on individual students use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, and no one is accusing them of having ever misused the information, or turning the kids into the police over it.

And the students did know they would not be disciplined by the school for any of their survey responses, even with that student code.
Quote:
Revealing the questions ahead of time would compromise the test: This is not a quiz testing knowledge. The results don't change if you give people a chance to see the questions ahead of time. I don't know that sending out the questions ahead of time is required, but I don't buy that it ruins the test

That's up to the people who've created and own the test--it's their proprietary property, their testing instrument, and their decision to make. Most providers of psychological tests do not allow their tests to be publicly displayed. They also don't want competitors stealing or copying their tests, they are commercial property. The test belongs to Multi-Health Services, so Batavia H.S. could not have made it available for public view in any event.
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 03:00 pm
@boomerang,
Quote:
Schools are mandatory reporters so it seems if they knew a kid was doing drugs or drinking or having "bad emotions" wouldn't the school be required to notify the police?

Mandated reporters aren't mandated to report on the child's behavior. They are mandated to report the abuse or neglect of the child by others.

Yes, if they suspect something, like the child might be planning to blow up, or shoot up, the school, or was planning on killing his parents, they probably would be obligated to notify the parents, and possibly the police--in order to protect others. The child's pediatrician, or therapist, would also be obligated to do the same in similar circumstances.

Whether a student uses drugs or alcohol doesn't come under "mandated reporting". And mandated reporters notify CPS, not the police.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 03:21 pm
@firefly,
Ah, yes. The double bind. No matter what you do, it's not good enough.
0 Replies
 
IRFRANK
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 03:21 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
A2K has become worse over these last years about listening too and considering alt points of view. Firefly is the last one who should be throwing stones though given her habit of misrepresenting others and using creative word definitions as she works to win arguments by deceit.


I don't agree. Firefly has changed my mind on this issue and I think her last post was spot on. The teachers actions were inappropriate. He should have read the survey before and not handed it out if he thought it was misleading or inappropriate. Obviously, that would have been more painful for him and he decided not to do that. I also agree that his 'legal advise' was inappropriate.

And we all work to win arguments using sometimes shady methods. We should consider these comments and think about whether or not we fall into that trap rather than pointing out others with the same flaw.

There are two processes or systems in effect in life and work. The formal and informal. The formal is that presented by the 'official' hierarchy. The informal is the 'off the cuff' conversations with each other. We often make fun of the formal system and work to get around it. If we spent that effort making the formal system work better, it would improve. Most of us feel helpless to do that, I will admit. Also our efforts at undermining the formal system often prevent it from working and make it ineffective. As a manager, I have dealt with this all my career. In larger organizations it is much worse. I can't imagine what it is like in the school system or government.
I'm sure the teacher felt he had little chance of changing the survey or fixing what he thought was wrong with it. So he reverted to the informal process of warning the students.

All this said, I think the chance of a student that had a problem or issue pertaining to this survey actually saying so on the survey was pretty slight. That may be the biggest mistake here, actually thinking the survey was going to yield honest results.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 03:22 pm
@firefly,
"what we are doing is sometimes considered wrong, infact if federal money was used it would be a federal crime, and it is in violation of our very own policies, but we have decided that the SAFETY! of Batavia's babies necessitates doing away with these niceties.

I dont find this line..which subsection was it in?
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 03:23 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:
The information is private: The school is an extension of the government. If the school has evidence of illegal actions and does not report it to the police, they are liable. If the police suspected drug use, could they subpoena the school questionaire information? I think that they could and the school would turn over the data.

Not to mention that the school is likely covered under the Freedom of Information Act.
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 03:27 pm
@boomerang,
Quote:
This really worries me.

I know kids who would get beaten if their parents learned such things.

And what about kids whose parents are responsible for their social/emotional troubles. How is that going to play out?


That's where mandated reporting comes in--if a child is getting beaten, or is being subjected to emotional abuse by a parent, or if a parent is refusing to get appropriate and indicated mental health treatment for a child. The school would have an obligation to notify CPS of such matters.

firefly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 03:33 pm
@DrewDad,
Quote:
Not to mention that the school is likely covered under the Freedom of Information Act.

Can your children's private school records be obtained under the Freedom of Information Act?
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 03:36 pm
@firefly,
Is there any private business that must comply with Freedom of Information Act?
0 Replies
 
IRFRANK
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 03:42 pm
This is a difficult topic to be sure. The school considers it's role and is trying to gain insight and knowledge into students behavioral positions. That seems appropriate considering the many school violence occurrences the last few years. Does the school not have some responsibility for safety? If so how do they practice that? How do they gain insight into the student population without a survey like this? On a personal level, I understand the reluctance to take such a survey. But, on an organizational level I'm not sure what actions the administrators can or should do to gain any kind of understanding into what the students, as a whole or individually, are thinking.

Most of us would want the school to do this to the other kids, but not our own.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 03:51 pm
@firefly,
firefly wrote:

Quote:
This really worries me.

I know kids who would get beaten if their parents learned such things.

And what about kids whose parents are responsible for their social/emotional troubles. How is that going to play out?


That's where mandated reporting comes in--if a child is getting beaten, or is being subjected to emotional abuse by a parent, or if a parent is refusing to get appropriate and indicated mental health treatment for a child. The school would have an obligation to notify CPS of such matters.



the requirements to notify the police or protective services are multiplying like weeds....all the more reason to take care in what we divulge and to whom.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 03:55 pm
@IRFRANK,
Quote:
Most of us would want the school to do this to the other kids, but not our own.

thus the golden rule, thus this brain sifting searching for defectives should be inflicted on no one.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 04:02 pm
@boomerang,
Or else somehow set the kids up with counseling, some of which could be helpful but now the kid is in the system in some ways forever, reputation wise, especially in smaller cities and towns, and some riotously unhelpful, as a kid who would have been thinking better of not being a stoner (etc.) on his or her own would now be part of a tracked system of marked children.
A lot of fuzzy thinking by the assumed wise who may mean well but have agendas.

I'm not really gungho on Hawkeye's police state rants, but I can see some of his pov.


Thomas, I get the in loco parentis business - not sure I agree, I think that's quite limited - while kiddo is in school, so then I get interviewing the teen if he or she is behaving in some peculiar way, but I don't thing that this survey stuff (euphemism) is the least bit smart, even on that basis.
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 04:09 pm
@ossobuco,
Quote:
I'm not really gungho on Hawkeye's police state rants, but I can see some of his pov

if you dont see how these screens are a whole new level of coercion then you are more blind than you think you are.
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 04:09 pm
@firefly,
firefly wrote:

Don't confuse "evidence of illegal actions" with what a student might say to a school staff member or indicate on a survey. The school has an obligation to protect the child's privacy and to maintain confidentiality except in certain instances--if it is felt that the child might be a threat to self or others, if abuse or neglect of the child is suspected, or if the child is found to be engaging in illegal activity at the school, for instance.
If a child confides to a counselor that they have shoplifted, the school has no right or obligation to notify the police of the illegal activity.

But that is very subjective. If a school employee decides that a student is engaged in illegal activity they can report them under the pretense of protecting them. Knowing that, I can see a teacher advising students about the risks of self incrimination.

firefly wrote:
Because of that high school's strict student code of conduct, any student who wants to participate in a very wide range of extra-curricular activities must self-report any use of tobacco, or alcohol, or drugs, to the school, within 48 hours of such use, and they must do this 24/7, 365 days of the year, regardless of where the use took place. So this school already has lots of information on individual students use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, and no one is accusing them of having ever misused the information, or turning the kids into the police over it.

Because no student ever self reports, knowing that self reporting results in a ban from extracurriculars. What is to prevent the school from using this survey as evidence of failure to self report? It's not legal action and entirely within the school so no privacy concerns so not barriers.

firefly wrote:
And the students did know they would not be disciplined by the school for any of their survey responses, even with that student code.

Students may have been told this but if some administrator changed his or her mind, then all bets are off. The students have no recourse once they answer the survey, hence the warning from the teacher.
firefly wrote:
That's up to the people who've created and own the test--it's their proprietary property, their testing instrument, and their decision to make. Most providers of psychological tests do not allow their tests to be publicly displayed. They also don't want competitors stealing or copying their tests, they are commercial property. The test belongs to Multi-Health Services, so Batavia H.S. could not have made it available for public view in any event.

I'm ok with that argument, just not with the idea that discussing the questions on the test compromise it.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 04:12 pm
Firefly says -

Because of that high school's strict student code of conduct, any student who wants to participate in a very wide range of extra-curricular activities must self-report any use of tobacco, or alcohol, or drugs, to the school, within 48 hours of such use, and they must do this 24/7, 365 days of the year, regardless of where the use took place. So this school already has lots of information on individual students use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, and no one is accusing them of having ever misused the information, or turning the kids into the police over it.


This really is like the sacrament of confession. Somehow I doubt students just jump to do that, and the ones that do are lambs.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 04:15 pm
@hawkeye10,
Have you read my posts?

I don't think we have a systematic police state. I think we have a lot of monkeys (no slur, please) grabbing vines.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  0  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 04:16 pm
@IRFRANK,
Quote:
I'm sure the teacher felt he had little chance of changing the survey or fixing what he thought was wrong with it. So he reverted to the informal process of warning the students.

What he could have done was contact an administrator to voice his concerns--he had at least 2 class periods to do that, before he had to hand out the questionnaire--and he failed to do that. His concern was about the lack of anonymity and the 3 or 4 questions that pertained to substance use. An administrator might have been able to either allay his concerns, or advise him how to handle any concerns or questions the students raised.

And he didn't just warn the students, he told them he wouldn't answer the questionnaire honestly. He was promoting dishonesty.

And I'm also under the impression that he reminded the students in his first two classes about their 5th Amendment rights, before the survey was scheduled to be handed out, so that when this survey was finally given during the third period throughout the school, other teachers, who then had those students in their classrooms, found students reluctant to complete it because they were afraid of "incriminating" themselves. And it was another teacher who brought the complaint against Dryden.
Quote:
All this said, I think the chance of a student that had a problem or issue pertaining to this survey actually saying so on the survey was pretty slight. That may be the biggest mistake here, actually thinking the survey was going to yield honest results.

That depends on how well the test is constructed, and how the questions are worded, to insure some level of validity and reliability. Why wouldn't a student be honest in areas dealing with bullying, anxiety, depression, friendship maintenance, anger, etc.? Only about 3 or 4 of the 34 questions had anything to do with substance abuse.

According to the school, they have already made several support interventions with students felt to be at risk based on their survey responses. So, some of them must have been honest about some problem area.

The school system paid $8200+ for this testing, for their sake, I hope they got their money's worth in terms of results.

 

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