reply to post by SemperParatus
The following represents my impressions and my opinions based on facts about the document quoted in the OP. It is not intended to influence the
impressions or sway the opinions of others.
At face value, this sounds like part of a social engineering scheme. With the information gathered those in charge of the program would be able to
extrapolate which segments of the population, which regions, to reinforce propaganda supporting the "WAR ON DRUGS", or to de-emphasize it.
The survey information will assist us in assessing our success or failure to convince students of the health and safety value of not using
alcohol and drugs.
Based on that quote, it's obvious that an awareness program of some sort has either been underway or is being planned to instill convictions in the
minds of children about whether to avoid using alcohol or drugs.
The assumption has to be made by the reader/parent/guardian that the program is intended to benefit all students, but the document does not
specifically say so. The document only gives that impression by referencing "No Child Left Behind" legislation. That in itself is not the same
thing as referencing the No Child Left Behind Act. So the document does not seem to be encouraging the reader/parent/guardian to become familiar with
The No Child Left Behind Act because it only refers to "legislation", a term that is not specific to anything and which provides the sense of
"largeness" and "overwhelming". If attention wanted to be drawn specifically to the No Child Left Behind Act, then most likely that is what would
have been referenced, but it was not. However, there is the possibility that the language of using "No Child Left Behind" with "legislation",
rather than No Child Left Behind Act, was used to soften the tone of the document in order to get a positive emotional response from the
reader/parent/guardian. The reason for doing that, if true, could be anything. It is at least manipulative, and given the context of what follows,
it doesn't appear to be towards anything good.
To gather this information we have chosen the Pride Survey, which has been used by schools in more than 8,000 school systems across the nation
over the past two decades.
This gives no indication of the the awareness program's penetration, but it is designed to give the reader/parent/guardian the impression that the
program has been implemented in at least 8,000 school districts over the past 20 years. It also provides the sense that the program is a popular
program because the Pride Survey is a popular survey. That's one of the oldest tricks in the book, to associate an unknown quantity with a popular
known quantity to reflect a positive light on the unknown quantity.
If you prefer that your child not participate please inform our office, in writing, before 2/12/08 as the survey will be administered the
second week in February 2008. Sign below and return to your child's teacher.
That statement alone should raise red flags. If the survey is voluntary and anonymous, why is it important to log and to know specifically who did
not participate in the survey? The answer to that question could be anything. The trouble is that raising that question doesn't inspire confidence
in the intentions for the survey, or the results of the survey. Whomever is in charge doesn't seem to be primarily interested in the results that
the Pride Survey might convey. Whomever seems to actually be interested in who chooses not to participate in the survey. After all, that's where
specific identifying information is asked for, including signatures!
My impression is that the issuing of this document and the Pride Survey are really intended to find out specifically who is on board with the No Child
Left Behind Act and, possibly, the "WAR ON DRUGS". Since I'm not directly or indirectly involved with the issue of either, the true reason(s)
behind this is unknown to me. I'll just leave off by saying that the information I've gleaned so far doesn't inspire me with confidence that the
children are the true source of concern. It seems that whomever is behind this is concerned about what the parents/guardians are thinking. They
would be able to make a broad range of assumptions based on official notification of the parents who refused to take part in the survey. Then,
perhaps, the next stage of getting even more information from those individuals could be put into action.
The other obvious thing is that by knowing who didn't take the survey, those in charge would also know who did take part in the survey. And the
schools would easily be able to provide that information based on enrollment records. So some anonymity would be lost, though he answers to the Pride
Survey might remain truly anonymous. Maybe. Frankly, I don't like the sound of this document. Nor do I trust that the reason cited is the true
reason for issuing the Pride Survey.
Some final points. There are at least five or six different programs implied in the document quoted in the OP. However, not one single program is
specifically referenced by name or title. The implied programs are:
1. A program that is underway that has something to do with compliance with "the new education legislation 'No Child Left Behind'".
2. An educational awareness program that is planned or is underway, and that is designed to "convince students of the health and safety value of not
using alcohol and drugs."
3. A program that is planned or is underway that is designed to use the results of the Pride Survey. A survey that covers the topics of alcohol use,
drug use, and violence
. Apparently this survey has been around for 20 years, and that implies that it was/is a "WAR ON DRUGS" instrument.
4. A program that is underway that requires the knowledge of who took the survey and who did not.
From this list one can see the mixed messages. and that program number 5 is underway that is tackling all of these issues. And that there is the
possibility of a 6th program being planned and undertaken that would attempt to find out why certain parents didn't choose to take the survey.
All of this from such a seemingly simple document that seems to be asking for only one of two things. Maybe a slight dose of paranoia helped me to
see all of this.
But then, I didn't just make this stuff up out of thin air.