OPT your children OUT of the Minnesota Student Survey!

The Minnesota Student Survey (MSS) is administered every three years to students in grades 5, 8, 9 and 11, now with the option to survey grades 6, 7, 10 and 12, as well. This year, it will be administered in schools between January 18 and June 10, 2022.

The survey is optional for school districts; they may choose not to participate. If you receive a Letter from Your School District notifying you that the MSS is being administered to your child, you can opt your child out!

In 2019, Child Protection League sent out an alert to parents concerning these surveys.

“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.” Read the entire alert.

For example, 6th graders are asked, “What is your gender identity? (Mark ALL that apply).” 9th graders are asked, ““During the last 12 months, how many different partners have you had sex with?”

In an article entitled, MN Student Survey Data Mines Kids About Sex, Drugs, And Gender, the Center of the American Experiment states, “it is not clear who analyzes the data nor how asking such private and personal information helps student learning.”

The following is a Letter to the Editor recently published in the White Bear Press.

Student Survey an invasion of privacy

A recent communication from the Mahtomedi Schools announced that students in 5th, 8th, 9th, and 11th grades are scheduled to be subjected to a government data mining survey known as the Minnesota Student Survey (MSS). The Minnesota Student Survey is highly intrusive and is an unnecessary invasion of student and family privacy. Every private and intimate detail of our children’s lives and personal relationships are subject to scrutiny by questions in this survey. It is offensive that many of these questions are even presented to our children!

As parents, we must protect our children from harm and teach them to set healthy boundaries. Just as we teach young children that no one has the right to violate their bodies or touch their “private” parts, we must teach our older children to protect their personal privacy rights in regard to when and how they share private, intimate and personal information with others. Let’s teach our children to say no to invasive data collection about their personal lives and ours!

I believe that it is very damaging to subject our children to the invasive and inappropriate personal questions contained in the Minnesota Student Survey. It is especially damaging in the school setting because it normalizes government data mining and conditions Minnesota school children to blindly accept government intrusion into very intimate and personal details of their lives. This odious survey violates our students’ fundamental rights to privacy!

Valuable classroom time should not be wasted on an unnecessary survey that invades student and family privacy! Instead, our schools should focus on pandemic learning losses and work on instituting measures to remediate and restore those learning losses.

Barbara Black

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) provides a tip sheet for dealing with kids who are traumatized from the survey. Minnesota Student Survey Tip Sheet: Trauma-Informed Survey Administration (PDF)

The MDE has links for kids to get help “if they experience anxiety, stress, hurt, anger, shame, loneliness, despair or other strong emotions” when filling out the survey.

Call your school district and ask them to provide an electronic link to the survey to parents along with the notification letter, so that all parents can make an informed decision on survey participation.

Below are links to the questions that are in each survey. Be sure to read to the end to get the full picture!

From the Minnesota Department of Education: Minnesota Student Survey

Federal law requires schools to make the Minnesota Student Survey available for parents to review. District contacts have already received electronic copies of the survey instruments, and parents and others can continue to review the survey in person at the district. Alternatively, districts may send an electronic copy of the survey to anyone requesting it.

Versions available to review
2022 Survey for Level 1, grades 5 & 6 (PDF)
2022 Survey for Level 2, grades 6, 7 & 8 (PDF)
2022 Survey for Level 3, grades 9-12, ALCs, JCFs (PDF)

Additional ways students are being subjected to massive data collection: