The Iowa Standard has reported previously about the Iowa Youth Survey conducted by the Iowa Department of Public Health. This survey is given in many schools across Iowa, and has been sent to The Iowa Standard in response to our open records request for surveys teachers give students regarding sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity, political leanings and preferred pronouns.
We reported about this survey back in January of this year. And due to the start of the school year, believe it is beneficial for parents to see once more.
All public and private school district serving sixth, eighth and 11th-grade students are invited to participate. IDPH says the surveys collect valuable youth health behavior data that drives funding, program and policy decisions in communities across the state.
While the letter sent to parents warns some sensitive questions will be asked about alcohol, illegal drugs and violence — it fails to mention anything about sexuality.
Here is the survey itself. And here are some of the questions:
Right away, the first page of questions for sixth, eighth and 11th-grade students includes:
*Which of the following best describes you? Straight, gay or lesbian, bisexual, another identity, not sure.
Shortly after (the next page), students are asked if their parent or guardian has ever gone to jail, prison or a detention center. They’re also asked if during the current school year they’ve attended religious services, programs or activities.
Another question asks if the student has been homeless. Another asks if they’ve bet on sporting events, fantasy sports, card games, etc.
Mental health questions include:
*In the past 12 months, have you thought about killing yourself?
*In the past 12 months, have you made a plan about how you would kill yourself?
*In the past 12 months, have you tried to kill yourself?