The MSS—run by a partnership of four state agencies: the Minnesota Departments of Education, Health, Public Safety, and Human Services—is administered every three years to students in grades 5, 8, 9 and 11.
This year, 2016, the MSS will be administered between the months of January and May.
Thankfully, participation by school districts and parents has been decreasing over the past few years. Parents are more alert and saying no to state agencies using probing, personally invasive questions to justify more governmental interventions into families. They also realize the MSS is a tool to allow for ever greater governmental authority over our children’s lives. Community activists use the MSS results as ‘data’ to support their specific requests for government grants to expand tax-payer funded programs and ‘solutions.’
When they have taken the time to review the MSS, families have been shocked by the offensive nature of the questions and personal details being gathered in the survey. And Minnesota isn’t unique. The MSS is similar to surveys administered around the country.
Answers are anonymous, but questions are framed as if morally objectionable behaviors are acceptable and even expected. Let’s teach our kids to defend their privacy and moral standards by saying NO to nosy questions that undermine both.
For example: the MSS delves into everything: afterschool activities, opinions, behaviors, and experiences. The state departments presume it’s their business to know whether young people are drinking milk and juice, what they are eating, how they are spending their time, how much they sleep, whether they talk to their mothers and fathers (and who they talk to more), their grades, their suspensions, whether they like school, their size, their height and weight, whether they’ve been teased, whether and how often they go to church, their emotional problems, how they spend their money, whether their parents or anyone cares about them, how they deal with disappointment. how much they worry, whether they feel bad, when they saw a doctor or dentist last, and, of course, whether they do drugs, drink alcohol, or smoke.
These assumptions become even more objectionable in the 9th and 11th grade MSS. For example, the MSS normalizes gender confusion and gender fluid behaviors. All students are asked: Which describes you: heterosexual (straight), gay, lesbian, or not sure (questioning)? Do you consider yourself transgender, genderqueer, genderfluid, or unsure about your gender identity? (Yes/no.) They are also asked if they dress masculine or feminine.
Keep in mind, studies now show that gender confusion increases when it is affirmed by adults. Our schools need to hear that we are not okay with them foisting the presumptions upon our children!
The MSS normalizes suicidal thoughts, drug use, drinking alcohol, and rebellion. The questions are framed like this: In the last 12 months, how many times have you run away from home? Beat up someone? Stolen something? Purposely tried to hurt or injure yourself? Sniffed glue? Used LSD? heroin? [The list of drugs goes on and on.] Spent the day drinking alcohol? Used un-prescribed tranquilizers or pain meds? How old were you when you first tried marijuana?
The MSS also normalizes casual sex. For example, the 9th grade MSS asks the following questions: Have you had sexual intercourse? With how many sexual partners of the same sex? Different sex? Have you talked with your partner(s) about STDs? Birth control? How many times have you been pregnant or gotten someone pregnant? The LAST time you had sexual intercourse, did you use a condom? [Emphasis theirs!]
Yes, kids can skip over those questions about sex. However, one student’s response to the MSS was, “Why are they asking ME?” The questions trample on the child’s privacy and morals. Impressionable young people quickly pick up on the attitude of permissibility in all things.
The MSS will soon be administered in your child’s classroom and it’s time for you to say “no” to this invasion of their privacy and assault on their moral convictions.
We can help you protect your child. Here is a sample from one school of its MSS parental notification form that gives the option to opt students out of participating in the MSS. If you haven’t received such a form, you may contact your school directly.
Copies of the 2016 Survey Questions may be seen here.
- 2016 Minnesota Student Survey for Grades 9 and 11, ALCs, and JCFs
- 2016 Minnesota Student Survey for Grade 8
- 2016 Minnesota Student Survey for Grade 5
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