A controversial survey was given to students in Charlotte, North Carolina asking them to identify their gender and sexual orientation.
WCNC-TV reports that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) gave the survey to students starting in the fifth grade.
All students were asked to identify their gender but students starting in the sixth grade were questioned about being transgender and their gender orientation.
The survey questions aim to get students "feedback on school climate, safety, behavior, harassment, and bullying."
But many parents felt that the new questions were inappropriate to ask children.
Maureen Henry wrote, "There is absolutely no reason for the school to be asking about children's sexuality. It grossly oversteps the bounds of schools and is an utter invasion of privacy."
Terri Major Flannagan commented she has "no trust in my child's schooling anymore. I am advising my children that ANYTHING other than a scheduled test from their teacher that they may decline. And somehow I have to trust a 8 and 10 year old understand this. Unbelievable."
Neysha Gonzalez also wrote, "Just asked my 6th grader and she said it was mandatory, and I agree some of the questions were inappropriate."
— CMS (@CharMeckSchools) February 22, 2020
The three questions that were added to the student survey included:
1. How do you describe your gender identity?
2. Do you identify as transgender?
3. Which of the following best describes your sexual orientation?
WCNC reports the following were some of the options to those questions: Non-binary, Gender fluid, Gay or Lesbian, Bisexual, Pansexual, Asexual, Not sure
Superintendent Earnest Winston released a statement on Feb. 22 explaining that "several people have shared concerns about the wording of the new questions," prompting their removal from the student survey.
Also the district said they ask "a range of questions on student efficacy, persistence, safety, belonging and bullying."
"This year three questions were added, asking students about their gender identity or sexual orientation. The intent of their addition was to inform central office resource deployment to continue efforts to make our schools safer and more welcoming for all students."
WSOC-TV reports that an investigation is underway into who was responsible for adding the questions to the survey.
HR investigation is into who is responsible and how these questions got put on the survey. Winston is also not happy with how he found out about the questions. @wsoctv has the only TV interview tonight. 10&11. https://t.co/b0u8p2ocuS
— Joe Bruno (@JoeBrunoWSOC9) February 26, 2020
Winston said the school has an obligation to communicate better with families, students, and staff.
"We have an obligation to our families, to our students. We have an obligation to our staff and to our schools to communicate effectively to our families when dealing with sensitive matters such as these," he said.
"We want to be fully transparent about this process," Winston added. "We are going to work as hard as we can to avoid a similar occurrence from happening in the future."