Legislature, School Boards, Readying To Adapt Scamming Tactics To Gather Your Private Information

By Art Gallagher

There is a sales technique that scammers and “legitimate” businesses, like your credit card company, use whereby a consumer is offered a free trial of a product or service for a defined period of time after which, if the consumer takes no action, he or she if obliged to pay a monthly fee charged to their credit card.

I vaguely remember falling for one of these scams years ago.  I don’t remember what the product or service was but it got me into the habit of responding to those friendly callers who are lucky enough to get through to me by saying, “You are welcome to send me your free trial, but you are not authorized to charge my account unless you specifically hear from me in writing.”   Miraculously, I don’t get those offers very much anymore.

Obviously, the marketeers are counting on the fact at a certain percentage, probably a large percentage, of their customers are not going to proactively cancel the product or service, or will miss the deadline to do so.  They reap the profits for at least a month or two purely from their customers’ inertia, not from any satisfaction the customers may have with the product or service.

The technique must have a name among the marketeers.  If anyone knows what its called, please post it in the comments.

Turns out that our State Legislature is on the verge of authorizing New Jersey’s school districts to employ a similar technique in gathering personal information about their students and their families, i.e., your kids and you.

The information the school districts want to gather includes (1)political affiliation, (2) mental or psychological problems that are potentially embarrassing to the student or their family, (3) sexual behavior and attitudes, (4) illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior, (5) critical appraisals of other individuals with whom a respondent has a close family relationship, (6) legally recognized privleged or analogous relationships such has those of lawyers, physicians or ministers, (7) income and (8) social security number.

Back in 2001 there was a bill passed and signed into law that prohibited school districts from gathering such information unless that had the informed written consent of the student’s parent or guardian.

Now the legislature is on the verge of amending that law (P.L.2001, c.364) so that the school districts can gather the information from students so long as the parents have been notified in writing, NOT consented in writing.

I kid you not.

The Senate version of this bill, S1696, passed on May 23, 2011 with a vote of 26-12.  I’m told the Assembly version, A3242 will be heard in the Assembly Education Committee Thurday, June 16th.

The rational for amending the law to require parental notification of information gathering rather than informed parental consent to the information gathering, according to the statement included in the bill, is to “mitigate the negative impact” that parental consent has made on “New Jersey’s ability to collect data important to public health and safety issues affecting the State’s student population. Numerous nonprofit agencies and federal grantees have halted their surveys or are seriously struggling to comply with the provisions of P.L. 2001, c.364 (C.18A:36-34)”

You could bet the house that a federal grantee or nonprofit would struggle to get my consent for such a survey to be taken.

Like the marketeers who assume you will be too busy or disinterested to cancel your book club or credit monitoring service, the Legislature and the school districts are assuming that parents are not giving consent to the schools asking about their political affiliation, sexual behavior or embarrassing mental illnesses because they are too busy, don’t care, or haven’t opened their mail.

Maybe parents just don’t want the government prying into their personal lives like that.

Maybe parents just don’t want their kids giving the government that kind of information.  Maybe the government, schools and nonprofits are counting on parents being too busy or not getting around to responding to the notifications so that they can scam the information and then come up with new nanny state programs funded by tax payers and the People’s Republic of China’s treasury department.

I wish I could tell you that this legislation is being pushed by the nanny state progressive socialists Democrats in the Assembly.  Sadly, it is being sponsored by district 11 Republican Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini.

If you don’t mind the schools, federal grantees and nonprofits having intimate personal information about you and your family, as reported by your children, there is nothing to do.

If you do mind, contact your Assembly members as soon as your read this.

You can find their contact information here.

Posted: June 14th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: NJ State Legislature | Tags: , | 25 Comments »

25 Comments on “Legislature, School Boards, Readying To Adapt Scamming Tactics To Gather Your Private Information”

  1. James Hogan said at 10:32 pm on June 14th, 2011:

    I think it’s fair to ask, where does Independent Dan Jacobson stand on this? Would you be voting Yes or No tomorrow, Dan? Maybe Tommy D wants to check with his new pal, VinG?

    FWIW – from the NJ Leg website, both Sean Kean, current D11 Senator, and Jen Beck, candidate for D11 Senate) appear to have voted No in the Senate.

    Any early word from Dave Rible and/or Caroline Casagrande?

  2. Shelly Kennedy said at 11:30 pm on June 14th, 2011:

    “…purpose of bill is to…”mitigate the negative impact” that parental consent has made on “New Jersey’s ability to collect data important to public health and safety issues affecting the State’s student population”

    “Peace and safety! Peace and safety!”

    The worst intrusions into personal liberty are made in the name of “Peace” and “Safety”. Just what are they trying to make kids “safe” from? Does the bill even specify? No.

    I want to be “safe” from excessive government intrusion in my life and my child’s life. I want to be “safe” from idiotic bills like this. That’s why politicians should be changed often, like diapers, and for the same reason!

    The government and the collectivist schools truly believe THEY are the parent, not the actual parent. They actively subvert parental authority through moves like this. It’s time we NJ parents stood up and demanded this kind of reprehensible seizure of personal liberty stop! We the people must say “enough is enough” – call your legislator Wednesday and voice your extreme displeasure with this unreasonable and unnecessary intrusion into our private lives.

  3. Barbara said at 11:36 pm on June 14th, 2011:

    CHARGE!!!!!! I hope they’re ready for lots of phonecalls.

  4. Carolee said at 3:02 am on June 15th, 2011:

    Background Information:


    With the help of former NJ Asm. Scott Garrett and Sen. Gerry Cardinale, the original of this Bill (that current NJ legislators are trying to weaken now) was carefully crafted in May 2000 and signed into law on January 7, 2002 to protect parental rights and student privacy from intrusive, nosy surveys. This explosive issue surfaced when a group of Ridgewood, NJ parents learned about a shocking student survey given to their children without express parental consent. The Bill added “informed” “written” consent to give parents the right to review the survey pre-admission; require a parental signature indicating consent or refusal; and affix penalties to a school for non-compliance. The news coverage back then was extensive in the NY-metro area.

    This revised legislation takes the teeth out of that solid, earlier Bill that was passed both legislatively and defended judicially (see below). At the time this Bill was originally signed into law, we were also beginning to battle the “medicalization” of schools: a bureaucratic attempt to get more federal and state funding for in-school clinics and counseling generated by the findings of these student surveys. Further, many students mocked a surveys’ integrity by answering in jest. Worse, students questioned their own behavior in comparison to the bizarre surveying.


  5. Steve Moss said at 5:04 am on June 15th, 2011:

    In the brokerage industry, it’s called ‘negative consent’.

  6. momwillto said at 9:59 am on June 15th, 2011:

    Angelini is Excutive Director of the non profit Prevention First. They get business from the county & the donors list is comprised of many elected officals.( D Gooch being one of the largest non elected) Will someboby please step forward and look into this smelly situation.

  7. Stonewalled said at 10:01 am on June 15th, 2011:

    Isn’t this the same reasoning given for enacting the Patriot Act and then continuing it for 10 years? I suspect there wasn’t much objection to that legislation by many of those that read this site. How many teapartiers were/are against the Patriot Act?

  8. brian said at 10:25 am on June 15th, 2011:

    l trust the FBI a helluva lot more than l will ever trust the Edumafia.

  9. James Hogan said at 10:45 am on June 15th, 2011:

    momwillto — hopefully we see a response to this from Mary Pat. She seems to read MMM, and be willing to chat…


  10. Notsurprising said at 11:29 am on June 15th, 2011:

    This is the natural end result of the corporatization of our public schools. Charters run by businessmen, in school advertising- why shouldn’t we expect our schools to now be run like credit card companies where our kids are used to mine personal information for the benefit of non profit corporations who market programs to the schools? We allowed it and now we have it- our kids are customers not students. Negative consent indeed.

  11. brian said at 11:43 am on June 15th, 2011:

    What exactly do charter schools have to do with PUBLIC, tax-payer funded schools collecting this information????
    Try and follow along with the thread, or is 10 comments above your comprehension level???

  12. brian said at 11:46 am on June 15th, 2011:

    l forget, some of the Edumafia likes to comment on here, so we need to keep things really simple. No big words or complex sentences since it’s unfair to have a battle of wits with the un-armed.

  13. Notsurprising said at 12:01 pm on June 15th, 2011:

    Charter schools are a manifestation of public acceptance of corporate intrusion into ALL schools, public and charter. The lifeblood of all corporations, both for profit, and nonprofit, is information- personal data about current and potential customers. This bill was sponsored by the executive director of a company that markets prevention programs to county schools- in this instance the schools are not charter schools – who said they were? Angry men often miss the point when it challenges strongly held beliefs so your reply is typical.

  14. Notsurprising said at 12:42 pm on June 15th, 2011:

    Thanks for not using big words brian since you’ve yet to master the small ones- no hyphen in unarmed.

  15. ArtGallagher said at 12:57 pm on June 15th, 2011:

    Hey guys,

    Let’s kill the bill, not each other.

  16. TeaPartyDem said at 2:22 pm on June 15th, 2011:

    Perhaps if the education community focused on those little things, like readin, writin and ‘rithmetic and not gathering background info or social/political indoctrination, we would all be better off. I am confient the students would be. Let me ask a silly question, has staff been hired to perform these invesigative quests? Are we diverting even more resources from the classroom? After typing this I am callng Sen Kean from the 11th, or is it Assemblyman Kean from the 30th? It is difficult to keep up with the musical chairs of our ruling elites.

  17. Dan Jacobson said at 3:45 pm on June 15th, 2011:


    Assuming Art’s commentary on the bill is, as they say, fair and accurate — and how could More Monmouth Musings ever be wrong? — I would vote no.


  18. MLaffey said at 5:25 pm on June 15th, 2011:

    Aside from the privacy issues and parental rights (which are important issues) this also is an indication of what is wrong with our schools. The military calls it mission creep. The schools need to teach not be social service agencies. The more the schools try to do the worse they perform.

  19. Turning School Districts into Big Brother « RightDirection said at 7:11 pm on June 15th, 2011:

    […] Art Gallagher has the details: […]

  20. Freespeaker1976 said at 9:46 am on June 16th, 2011:

    The following video from Fox News is DIRECTLY on point with regards to this “consent issue.”


  21. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Source: Angelini Withdrawing As Sponsor Of A3242 said at 11:28 am on June 16th, 2011:

    […] that 11th district Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini is withdrawing her sponsorship of Assembly bill A3242, a law that would allow school districts to survey students about their families’ political […]

  22. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » A3242 May Not Be Dead Yet said at 11:53 am on June 17th, 2011:

    […] bill A3242, the one that would allow school districts to ask, without your informed consent, your sons and […]

  23. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Student Survey Bill Watch said at 9:15 am on June 20th, 2011:

    […] first reported on this bill last Tuesday evening.   Opposition to the bill spread through other blogs and social networking sites resulting on […]

  24. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » “They’re Real and They’re Spectacular” said at 5:39 pm on July 28th, 2011:

    […] Pat’s bill A3242.  I was wrong.  Mary Pat and her staff have not called me back since I broke the story about the bill that if passed would have allowed school personnell to question students about […]

  25. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Sociological Strip Search Bill Is Back Again said at 9:29 am on June 20th, 2013:

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