A survey given to students in our region has some parent’s calling our newsroom, asking if the survey questions are a bit too personal.

“I go to church or synagogue… Most days I’m alone at home for an hour or more… A doctor said that I’m overweight.”  These are just a few question on that Jackson County, West Virginia school survey given to 5th thru 12th graders.

One Ripley dad said, “They need to stay out of my business and my kid’s business.”

It’s called a Pride Survey.  It’s an anonymous, national survey funded by a grant through the Jackson County Anti-drug Coalition.  The grant is for $125,000 per year for 5 years, officials said. 

“They told us to be honest,” Cameron Patterson said.  Cameron is in the 6th grade at Ripley Middle School.  He took the survey this year.  A lot of the questions have to do with drug use.  “Some of them I didn’t know of and I don’t do that stuff.  I really just circled no on all of them.”

Amy Haskins, with the the Jackson County AntiDrug Coalition said said the answers that are compiled are reviewed, and then are presented to the School Board.  She added that the survey is instrumental in decreasing drug use in Jackson County.

In fact, they say they’ve seen the prescription drug epidemic decrease significantly over the years because of it.  And they also added that parents are sent home a permission slip that gives them the opportunity to opt their children out of taking any surveys, something Cameron’s dad said he just didn’t see.

“I think they’re digging too far into your private life.  I think what you do outside of school should have nothing to do with what goes on in school,” Patterson said. 

A violation of privacy that he would not have otherwise consented to.  He said, “That’s separation of church and state.”

The people behind the survey said it’s to make a direct connection with students, a way to tailor their lessons to prevent drug-use. 

The Jackson County Anti-Drug Coalition works out of the county’s health department…