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Governor Chris Christie yesterday vetoed S454/A2421, the bill we’ve been fighting for years that would have allowed public schools to ask students intrusive personal questions about themselves and their family members without written parental consent.
In his veto message, Christie said:
This bill allows students of any age to participate in voluntary surveys, including those inquiring about sexual behavior and attitudes, if schools send prior written notice to their parents or guardians. The bill provides that the failure of a parent or guardian to respond to such notice shall be treated as affirmative approval of their child’s participation.
I recognize that surveys may help identify serious issues affecting students. However, this bill imprudently decreases parental involvement in a child’s educational development. I believe a parent or guardian’s legitimate interest to make an informed decision before their child is exposed to sensitive content outweighs the desire to make survey administration moreconvenient.
Accordingly, I herewith return Senate Bill No. 454 (FirstReprint) without my approval.
Thank you Governor Christie
Save Jersey has the news of the other bills Christie took action on yesterday.
Posted: August 20th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Chris Christie, Education, NJ State Legislature | Tags: A2421, A2421/S454, Carolee Adams, Eagle Forum, Intursive surveys, Negative consent, S454, Sociologial strip search, Student Survery Bill | 8 Comments »
New Jersey Public Schools are on the verge of becoming part of the government’s domestic spying apparatus. If the NSA misses something while going through your phone calls and emails, they will have the questionnaires your children fill out in school to fall back on, if the Sociological Strip Search bill passes, as amended by the Assembly last week, and is signed into law by Governor Christie.
In case you’ve missed our previous coverage of this proposed law, it authorizes schools to conduct intrusive surveys into the lives of students without parental consent. The bill, A/2421 in the Assembly and S/454 in the Senate, amends a current law passed in 2001 that requires written parental consent before school can question students about:
mental and psychological problems potentially embarrassing to the student or the student’s family;
illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating and demeaning behavior;
critical appraisals of other individuals with whom a respondent has a close family relationship;
legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;
income, other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under a program;
The educational establishment uses the information mined from the surveys to apply for federal money. Not enough parents are providing written consent, like they do for field trips and extracurricular programs, so the ‘educators’ and the companies and non-profits that sell drug abuse and anti-bullying programs to the schools, want to replace written parental consent for the children to be subject to the intrusion with simple parental notification. They are counting on parents not taking the affirmative action of objecting to the surveys, thereby giving ‘negative consent.’
The bill passed the Assembly last week, largely along partisan lines. Four Republicans, Mary Pat Angelini, Betty Lou DeCroce , John Amodeo and Chris A. Brown voted with the Democrats to pass the bill. Today it goes back to the Senate for a second reading to concur with the amendments the Assembly made. The bill originally passed the Senate 25-15 in February.
Contact your Senator and ask her/him to vote NO today. Contact Governor Christie and ask him to veto the bill if/when it gets to his desk.
Posted: June 24th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Mary Pat Angenlini, New Jersey | Tags: A2421, Mary Pat Angelini, Negative consent, S454, Sociologial strip search | 5 Comments »
This bill is like herpes. It keeps coming back. We’ve been fighting it since June of 2011.
The state legislature is once again looking to authorize public schools to interrogate your children about private family matters and your political views. The IRS, NSA , TSA and Drones can’t catch everything. The government needs school children to spy on their families too. If the schools can get the information from the kids, the federal government sends money.
Assembly Bill A2421 is up for a vote before the full Assembly this afternoon. Call or email you legislators now, right now, and tell them to vote NO. Call or email Governor Christie and ask that he veto the bill if it passes and gets to him. It has already passed the Senate.
The original bill would have removed a requirement that parents provide written consent before schools can ask students questions like this:
(1) political affiliations;
(2) mental and psychological problems potentially embarrassing to the student or the student’s 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 privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;
(7) income, other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under a program; or
(8) social security number.
If this bill become law, schools will simply have to notify parents that the survey will take place. No written consent for their children to participate “voluntarily” will be required.
In an effort to thwart opposition, the sponsors have proposed amending the bill to remove questions about political affiliation, sexual behavior/attitudes and social security number from authorized questions. The amendment would also prohibit the intrusive information collected from being used for marketing or other commercial purposes “not related to education” (drive a truck through that loop hole). The amendment makes the bill no less dangerous or objectionable.
GET WRITTEN PARENTAL CONSENT. Educators get that consent for field trips, etc. The argument that it is too difficult to get for intrusive survey is bull.’ Assuming” that parents are just not paying attention is as disingenuous the telemarketer assuming you will love that ginzu knife they’re giving you for a ‘free trial.’
The proponents of the bill want to allow schools to employ a scamming tactic referred to as “negative consent.” That’s the technique that telemarketers use when they offer you a product or service for “free” for 30 days. If you don’t take affirmative action to cancel the “free trial” your credit card is charged monthly until you catch up with the scammers and cancel.
Our ongoing thanks to Carolee Adams, President of the Eagle Forum of New Jersey, for fighting this government intrusion into our personal lives, and for keeping us informed.
Posted: June 20th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: NJ State Legislature | Tags: A2421, Carolee Adams, Eagle Forum, herpes, Sociologial strip search | 3 Comments »
The Question is: Why?
By Carolee Adams, President, Eagle Forum of New Jersey
In 2001, former NJ State Assemblyman Scott Garrett (now Congressman R-5) and State Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-39) worked with Eagle Forum of New Jersey, Ridgewood parents, and others to stop nosy, intrusive student surveying of their children without “written, informed, parental consent”. That meant a parent had to, not only be “notified” of such surveys that could be administered to their children, but to be able to review that survey in advance and signify, in writing, with their signature, if they approved or not. It’s as simple as that – akin to a parent giving written consent for a school trip after being satisfactorily advised about the complete details of that trip.
However, over and over again since the 2002-3 legislative session, state legislators have sought to remove “written, informed, parental consent” from the exceptional language used in the 2001 Bill reverting back to only “notification”. “Notification” only used pre-2001 was the reason why “written, informed, parental consent“ was sought! Ridgewood parents claimed they never received “notification”; would never have signed off on such a survey had they been able to review it; and they justifiably sued – twice – and won based upon violations of a student’s rights under the Fourth, Fifth, and even Fourteenth Amendments.
In testimony, among many other factors presented in writing, I reminded Assembly Education committee members of those historic suits, and how costly to local Boards of Education and the State should a parent claim s/he did not receive notification and, consequently, did not grant express written permission. Even though one Assemblyman claimed how he wanted more “proactive” parental involvement, all but one Committee member was, obviously, foolishly satisfied or unconcerned with the sponsors’ assurance of “notification” only.
Further, and not publicly aired, in private conversation with one Republican Assembly member of the committee, an aid commented to me that Municipal Alliances favored the Bill; they needed money for their drug/alcohol abuse programs, etc. When I responded: “Do you mean you would disrespect parental rights and sacrifice a student’s privacy for money,” she and her Assembly member walked away from me prior to a vote of “yes” to approve the Bill and move it out of Committee. Only Assemblyman Scott Rumana voted “No”.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 17th, 2013 | Author: admin | Filed under: NJ State Legislature, Parents, Parents Rights | Tags: A2421, A2421/S454, Assembly Education Committee, Carolee Adams, Gerald Cardinale, Municipal Alliances, S454, Scott Garrett, Scott Rumana, Sociologial strip search, Student surveys | 1 Comment »