CMS survey asks students about sexual orientation and gender identity

CMS survey asks students about sexual orientation

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A controversial survey is going around to students at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. It’s anonymous, but asks students as young as 6th grade about their sexual orientation and gender identity.

CMS says handing out the survey is required as part of Title IX requirement, but stresses that an individual student’s participation is not required.

Some parents are a little uneasy about the three questions asked of students. The first question asks “how do you describe your gender identity?” with choices of male, female, non-binary or gender fluid.

The next question asks “do you identify as a transgender?” and the last question asks “which best describes your sexual orientation?" with choices of straight, gay or lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, questioning my sexual orientation or other.

Reaction is mixed on these questions, but the school district says the purpose of this survey is to create a safer environment for all students in schools and to put resources in place to make that happen.

When asked about the survey, CMS responded with the following statement:

“This is the first year questions were added regarding student sexual identity. As much as the information collected is anonymous, the district is evaluating including those questions in the future. No student, teacher or classroom-level results are shared. Results are shared by grade-level for all students (no disaggregation). Only school-wide results are disaggregated by gender and race. Our team works diligently to maintain the privacy and anonymity of every respondent.”

School officials say the survey is voluntary and student identities will not be revealed. The surveys started earlier this month and will end next week, CMS says.

Nest year, based on the feedback it has received so far, CMS says the survey will include the option of “I prefer not to answer.”

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