(May 2, 2022): Writing for The Daily Mail, Jason Fisher covers Southeastern Legal Foundation’s request for the Missouri Attorney General to investigate violations of federal and state student privacy laws resulting from student surveys and assignments that request protected information without parental consent.
The Webster Groves School District in Missouri is under fire for violating state and federal privacy laws by subjecting students to probing surveys asking about political beliefs and affiliation, gender, sexual orientation and mental health status.
Attorney General Eric Schmitt on Monday agreed to investigate the issue after being alerted to the practice by the Southeast Legal Foundation, which was retained by Webster Groves parents after they learned of the practice.
‘We appreciate the Southeast Legal Foundation for bringing their concerns to the office, and have received similar allegations in districts across the state,’ Missouri Attorney General spokesman Chris Nuelle said in an email.
The foundation sent a 23-page letter to the state’s top lawyer, outlining a ‘cat-and-mouse game’ in which Webster Groves, and other districts, purchase surveys for civics classes or general student questionnaires from education companies that then turn around and sell expensive lesson plans to address the problems the surveys have uncovered.
‘They’re very lucrative contract,’ foundation lawyer Kimberly Herman said. Although Hermann said she did not have information on how much Webster Groves is paying Panorama, the survey firm, another district Springfield Public Schools, pays $60,000 a year, she said. Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia pays the firm $2.4 million annually.
Read the full article at DailyMail.co.uk.