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Loudoun County high school surveys students asking for details about sex lives

At Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville, Virginia at least 180 students were given the Virginia Youth Survey that asks students details about their sex life and more. Approximately 90 students completed the survey, according to the school. Parents say that they were never notified of the survey.

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH), which developed the questionnaire, states that the school division must give written notification to parents at least 30 days before the survey is administered. According to the VDH, parents have the right to review the survey and opt out, but Loudoun Valley High School did not notify parents before administering the survey.

The questionnaire for students in high school asks several personal questions like, “Are you transgender?” “Have you been tested for a sexually transmitted disease?” “Have you ever had sexual intercourse?” and, “[W]ith how many people have you had sexual intercourse?” among other things.

Students were instructed to keep the surveys anonymous by not writing their names on it and to leave anything blank that they felt uncomfortable answering.

The VDH said that the questionnaire is intended to serve as a “statewide surveillance system that monitors health risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability among youth and adults. The survey is conducted every other year during the fall in randomly elected high schools and middle schools.”

One mother in the county said she was “livid and sickened” by the questions, saying that her 14-year-old daughter texted her that she felt “uncomfortable” while answering the survey.

Bill Gulgert, the school’s assistant principal, said that the survey was administered “without families being sent an opt-out form.” He wrote in an email to parents, “We have communicated with the Virginia Population Health Surveys Coordinator and they have removed data collected from these surveys. Again, we apologize for this error. Loudon Valley High School respects the right of parents to be notified in such matters. I wanted you to know that this data will not be used.”

Gulgert allegedly told the Loudoun mother that parents had never notified parents previously, and he did not know it was required, but the school district disputed that account.

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: WJLA.COM

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