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Health Officer Weighs in on Harbor Springs School Survey


Emmet County Board of Commissioner Chair Rich Ginop and Dan Thorrell, Health Officer for Health Dept. of Northwest Michigan, recently had an email exchange regarding the troublesome Harbor Springs schools survey we blogged about here.


Here's what Mr. Thorrell wrote to Chair Ginop: "I want reiterate that no sexual questions are included in the survey for 5th to 8th graders. The survey you sent me was the first draft purposely sent out to parents to get their feedback. The middle school parents responded and the survey was modified to reflect their feedback. As of today students still have not received a survey. In addition, all parents have an opportunity to opt out so their kids do not receive a survey at all. These types of surveys have been done for years through the school systems throughout the state and in Emmet County. Harbor Springs Schools administration asked the health department to simplify and shorten the existing State survey called MIPHY. This is how the Health Department got involved at this time."


While we are relieved to hear that the 'sexual' questions were axed and that parents can opt out, we still wonder:


Why does the Harbor Springs school administration think it's important to circulate a survey of this nature, and are the 'sexual questions' still a part of the survey for the high school students? Also, does the Board of Education have a 'survey policy'?


We hope answers are forthcoming.




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