Students Were Asked Questions About Sex without Parent Consent

An optionalbiennial Virginia School Youth Survey asked high school students questions about their sexual activity, and some parents claim they were not informed about the survey.

District policy requires parents be given 30 days advance notice of such a survey being administered. Loudoun Valley High School Assistant Principle Bill Gulgert sent an email to parents stating that some students were incorrectly administered the survey without their parents receiving an opt-out form. Gulgert said in his email that the data from students whose parent were not given the chance to decline the survey will not be used.

A district spokesperson said the survey is not new; a similar one was administered in 2019. 

The 100-question survey is given to middle and high school students on behalf of the Virginia Department of Education and includes questions about students’ health, home life, and includes nine questions about sexual activity.

“The data is used to monitor trends in health risk and health-promoting behaviors,” spokesman Wayde Byard said in an email. “This data allows community organizations, local health districts and school divisions to provide youth the support and services that target the most prevalent health risk behaviors.

Questions include, “How old were you when you had sexual intercourse for the first time?,” and “During the past 3 months, with how many people did you have sexual intercourse?”

Byard said that this is the second time that the division has used the survey to collect data specific to Loudoun County students.

“The Virginia Youth Survey (VYS) has been developed to monitor priority health risk behaviors that contribute markedly to the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems among youth and adults within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Both the LCPS Department of Instruction and the Department of Student Services has programs that focus on physical health, nutrition, wellness, mental health, substance use and violence prevention and intervention education,” Byard said.

6 thoughts on “Students Were Asked Questions About Sex without Parent Consent

  • 2021-11-18 at 4:48 pm
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    I think the survey is great. (We never had anything like it when I was a student.) Unfortunately, there was a snafu that interfered with optimal transparency with parents. Mr. Gulgert apparently has apologized. I hope he won’t be subjected to a prolonged public flogging. We’ve had enough of that in Loudoun County. Learn from the mistake & make sure it never happens again. Happy Holidays Loudoun!

    • 2021-11-21 at 11:51 am
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      Tim, I just wanted to say I find your comments refreshing. Thank you for expressing your opinions in a respectful way and constructive way!

  • 2021-11-18 at 5:12 pm
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    I was wrong… it’s not just the LoCo school board and the LCPS admin that must go… it’s also the ENTIRE Virginia Dept of Education.

    Why is the state demanding information from minors regarding unlawful activities?
    Such as carrying a gun.
    Such as drinking or smoking.
    Such as smoking pot. Taking unprescribed pharmaceuticals. Hard drugs.

    This is so completely and totally inappropriate that I am having difficulty finding words to describe how truly angry I am.

    Virginia is failing its children. They deserve better.

  • 2021-11-18 at 5:26 pm
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    This should be interesting – since the survey was supposed to be anonymous, I wonder how the Assistant Principal will be able to distinguish between those anonymous surveys that were submitted by students whose parents weren’t notified and those anonymous surveys that were submitted by students whose parents were notified.

  • 2021-11-18 at 5:53 pm
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    Would be nice if the survey gave some props to abstinence. That’s actually a great choice. Would avoid almost all of those questions.

  • 2021-11-18 at 9:09 pm
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    Once again, the county schools disregard policy and intrude into matters that have nothing to do with education while stomping on the rights and privileges of parents.

    Those responsible at Loudoun Valley High School should be fired for their failure to follow school policy and their intrusive actions into personal information of students.

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