In November a federal appeals court rejected a challenge by parents to a school-district survey of elementary-school students that contained privacy-invading, sexually explicit questions. The Palmdale School District in Los Angeles County had conducted the survey of children 7 to 10 years old. Their parents were told they could opt out, but they were left in the dark about the content. According to the notice parents received, the survey aimed to “establish a community baseline measure of children’s exposure to early trauma (for example, violence)” and to “identify internal behaviors such as anxiety and depression and external behaviors such as aggression and verbal abuse.” It turned out that of the 79 questions asked, ten related to the children’s thoughts about sexual matters.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion is instructive for gauging the relationship between individual and state in modern America. Unfortunately, the ruling leaves little room for optimism.
The rest of my latest article on the FEE website is here.