WINDSOR, Vt. (CBS Local) — A Vermont woman is furious after her 10-year-old daughter was given a survey at school that asked her and her fifth-grade classmates about their sexual history, sexual orientation and gender identity.
One question asked: “Have you been in a romantic relationship? By relationship, we mean more than friends, like having a partner for planned events, like a school dance, going to the movies, or having a sexual partner.”
“My daughter is 10. So are all the other kids who took this,” Vanessa Beach told WPTZ. “A sexual partner at 10 years old would be called sexual abuse.”
Beach immediately shared the survey, and her disgust with it, on Facebook.
“I find this ridiculous and unnerving to say the least,” she wrote. “I am so pissed I haven’t read the rest yet!!”
The survey was administered by WISE, a nonprofit group that educates and advocates against gender-based violence. A notice was reportedly sent home to parents allowing them to opt out of the survey, but Beach said she never received it.
Jane Stapleton, co-director of the Prevention Innovations Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, which partnered with WISE and the Institutional Review Board on the survey, said the questionnaire, telling Yahoo Lifestyle was meant to help WISE evaluate school-based prevention programming.
Stapleton also denied that children were being asked whether they’ve had sex.
“It’s asking a range of behaviors,” she told Yahoo Lifestyle. “It’s a general question that asks about romantic relationships. Yes, it does say sexual relationships, but it’s not asking about specific acts.”
But Beach apparently wasn’t the only one disturbed by the survey. She says the Windsor Schools superintendent contacted her, saying that he had never approved the survey, nor had the principal, and that he was “enraged” over the matter.
While Beach said she appreciates the work WISE does to raise awareness about domestic violence, she feels the survey questions were inappropriate for her daughter’s age group.