From Carolee Adams:
Note that A3242 may become more commonly known by its Senate Bill Number: S1696. Don’t let that confuse you. If you lose track of the numbers, refer to it simply as the Student Survey Bill. Please thank Asw. Angelini (email@example.com) for withdrawing her sponsorship and encourage her to vote NO when/if it comes before the Assembly. Keep calling Gov. Christie (609.292.6000) to ask him to veto this Student Survey Bill if it passes the Assembly. Reasons why: dishonors parental rights; it’s an invasion of student privacy; it will cost taxpayers – and possibly in added lawsuits; how will this help academics when the state educational system is already experiencing such unrest; the old bill was a good bill. Why fix what ain’t broke?!
Further, consider this Bill is being pushed by a powerful, influential lobby that wants more taxpayer funded “health” programs in schools. Think recent legislation about bullying for a clue…
These Surveys are a sneaky means for schools to get at the pot of gold in the taxpayer funded CDC to create more “health” programs. (Try and track the spending, though!) However, the federal Protection of Pupil Rights Act should still be honored. I don’t believe this new NJ bill meets that.
I’ve been told none are on the Assembly Board List yet for a vote. However, I’ve also been guided that that could change the calendar day before the Assembly votes. Further, Bill numbers have been known to change, and/or Speaker Oliver could force it during quorum on Monday – even without another Education Committee meeting. Such despicable maneuvers would add weight for Governor Christie to veto.
In case you missed it, the Student Survey Bill would give school districts the authority to administer surveys that ask students intimate personal information about themselves and their families, without parental consent. The information authorized includes sexual behavior and attitudes, mental health and psychological problems, political affiliation, the names of doctors, lawyers and ministers, income, and social security number.
Informed parental consent to these surveys was required by a law signed in 2002. The current bill would amend the law to allow the surveys to be administered if parents are notified and do not respond to the notification.
MMM first reported on this bill last Tuesday evening. Opposition to the bill spread through other blogs and social networking sites resulting in Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini withdrawing her sponsorship of the bill. The Assembly Education Committee pulled the bill from its scheduled hearing calendar last Thursday. MMM received a tip that proponents of the bill are working to circumvent the normal legislative process by persuading Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver to post the bill for a vote before the full Assembly without a committee hearing.
The full Assembly meets today for a Quorum call at 1PM. It meets again for a voting session on Thursday. The bills to be voted on have not been posted yet.
Opponents of the bill are encouraged to bombard their representatives with phone calls and emails urging them to vote no on the Student Survey bill should it come up for a vote. Urge your friends and families to do the same.
Contact information for all members of the Assembly can be found by clicking here.