An Indiana high school teacher required students to fill out a personal information form asking their pronouns and private contact information, according to documents obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Margaret Hite, orchestra teacher at Carmel Clay High School in Carmel, Indiana, required students to fill out a “Get To Know You” questionnaire on the first day of school, Aug. 10, according to documents obtained by the DCNF. Students listed their preferred pronouns, whether their parents know about their gender identity and a personal email address, and could not move on to the next question unless they did so. (RELATED: Michigan Department Of Education Trains Teachers To Hide Students’ Names, Pronouns From Parents)
“This was not an optional survey and this is an intrusion of student privacy,” Paige Miller, chair of the Hamilton, Indiana, chapter of Moms For Liberty told the DCNF. “The questions about personal pronouns could have made the student reveal personal information that they weren’t ready to reveal or didn’t want to reveal to the school.”
The school uses Canvas, an online platform for K-12 schools to post course materials and communicate, and students have a Carmel school email in order for administration to have oversight, making asking a student’s personal information unnecessary, Miller told the DCNF.
“Probably one of the main things that stuck out was knowing that these teachers and students can communicate on two different platforms with oversight,” Miller told the DCNF. “There is no reason that a teacher should be requesting a student’s personal email account. Because we all know that’s not going to have any oversight. Not one good thing can come from a teacher that has a personal email account of a student.”
Following the survey and parent complaints, Carmel High School superintendent Michael Beresford told the school board that future meetings would include “discussing putting out a best practice document for ‘Getting To Know You’ questionnaires,” documents obtained by the DCNF showed.
“Why are you just now discussing the best practice documentation for ‘getting to know you’? And the fact that there’s no policy in place already,” Miller told the DCNF. “I know for sure there’s a policy that you don’t ask for student private information. My other question that I have for him and as well as the school board, is the teacher has personal student data. Now what are you going to do with it? What measures are you going to take to protect these kids?”
Mom’s For Liberty wants to collaborate with the school to create transparency and accountability for parents, Miller told the DCNF.
“We want to partner with them to restore that trust because we believe it’s been broken with a survey that students were forced to take,” Miller told the DCNF.
Carmel Clay High School received a $10,000 grant for the 2021-2022 school year from the “It Gets Better Project,” a non-profit which works to “uplift, empower, and connect” the LGBTQ community, according to the group’s website. In May, the school had a “gender affirming clothing swap” for local “Gay, Straight, Alliance Club” members to swap their clothes with one another, an Instagram post showed.
Hite, Beresford and the school did not immediately respond the DCNF’s request for comment.
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