Among the questions the admission form at a public elementary school in Connecticut asks parents is whether the child was delivered into the world via “vaginal” or “Caesarean” birth.
The taxpayer-funded school is Aiken Elementary in the serene, perfectly suburban town of West Hartford (pop. 63,268), reports local CBS affiliate WFSB.
West Hartford mother Cara Paiuk encountered the question under the general topic “BIRTH HISTORY” on the complex Aiken Elementary enrollment form.
“Were there any problems with your pregnancy?” the purplish form demands to know. “If YES, describe,” it then commands.
The form also inquires about birth weight and whether the child was delivered prematurely in addition to the “vaginal” or “Caesarean” question.
Are there more bizarrely unnecessary and intrusive questions? Yes!
“Were there any problems at the time of birth or in the next week?” the form asks.
And then: “Did your child come home from the hospital with you?”
Paiuk, the mother who contacted local news media, has a son who is a kindergartner-to-be. He is scheduled to enroll at Aiken Elementary in the fall.
“There’s so many different questions you could ask, and it isn’t anyone’s business, and it has no relevance,” the mad mom told WFSB. “I was stunned to see this form, and I couldn’t understand the relevance of it.”
Paiuk said she asked school officials to explain why they seek the information from parents. A nurse answered that question.
“She basically explained — in not so many words — really they’re looking for any birth trauma that might have happened…but as most of us know, birth trauma can happen by C-section or vaginal birth, so it still did not click with me,” Paiuk told the CBS affiliate.
Paiuk noted that school officials assured her they’ve been asking these same questions for years. She said she asked to see forms from previous years — even citing the Freedom of Information Act — but the officials refused her request.
“Most parents I’ve spoken to are outraged,” Paiuk added. “They are almost outraged at themselves, like, did I fill that, did I not even question it?”
The Aiken Elementary website explains that the school “is a wonderful place to learn and grow!”
West Hartford school district superintendent Thomas Moore calls local schools “a tapestry of cultures and ethnicities” and promises “the best possible education to our students in a fiscally appropriate manner.”
Nancy DePalma, the school district assistant superintendent for curriculum told WFSB that school officials would reassess the questions and may seek to make them “more meaningful and efficient.”