Oakdale parents concerned over health survey
OAKDALE, La. (KPLC) - Some Oakdale Middle School parents are outraged after their kids were asked to take a survey at the school-based health center. Some questions, parents say, cross the line.
“Have you ever had any type of sex — vaginal, anal or oral sex? Have you ever been attracted to the same sex? Girl to girl or guy to guy? Or do you feel that you are gay, lesbian or bisexual?" Christin Willis, a concerned Oakdale Middle School parent, read from the survey.
These are the questions some parents are saying are too mature for middle school students to be answering.
“Children are naive. They go to school and know they have to listen. They’re going to do what you tell them what to do. If you put them in a room and tell them to take a survey, they’re going to take the survey,” Willis said.
Willis said her son was pulled out of class and brought to the school-based health center on campus to take a survey — one she didn’t consent to.
“I don’t even allow my son to go to the school-based health center. So, the fact that he was questioned without letting me know is the most upsetting," she said.
However, her ex-husband, with whom she co-parents, agreed to let their son get a physical at the health center for football — which she believes is the loophole that allowed the center to give her son the survey.
“Yes, joint custody, both parents have to be listed. Call both parents," Willis read from the paperwork. "I was notified nothing of this. I have spoken with my ex-husband and his wife. They’re both on board with this. They thought that he was getting a sports physical. They were not told he was going to be surveyed or be pulled in for any other reason.”
When Willis went to the school-based health center to ask questions, she said they explained the survey needed to be given in order to receive grant money.
“I don’t like my child being used for you to get money for a system that I don’t support. We have a health care facility, we have a doctor. If I want to discuss sexually explicit things with my children, I’ll do so in my home or at my doctor’s office — his doctor’s office," Willis said.
7News reached out to the Allen Parish School Board about parents’ concerns, and they sent a statement, which reads:
"School-Based Health Centers provide comprehensive medical and behavioral health services on or adjacent to schools. Prior to receiving services at a School-Based Health Center, parents must sign a consent form agreeing to the available services which include risk screenings in accordance with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidance for well-child visits. ( In this case the father/ex-husband signed the form and the mother was unaware of this- she was upset that she didn’t sign also).
"The screening tool was designed by Dr. Jennifer Salerno and is utilized by school health centers nationwide. It was offered as a reliable screening method by the state Office of Public Health for use in selected Louisiana school health centers. The screening questionnaire is conducted as part of a child well visit. The mother did not agree with the wording in 2 or 3 of the 21 question screening survey. The Allen Parish School board agrees with the mother and is working to change/remove these particular questions.
“Finally, the Oakdale School-Based Health Center is one of over 60 sites in the state of Louisiana who receive grant funding in part from the Department of Health, Office of Public Health, Adolescent School Based Health Center. This funding is used for the salaries and the operation of the School-Based Health Center. In return for the funding, these school-based health centers have certain medical and behavioral health services that must be provided at each site.”
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