‘We have a lot of questions’ - Lawmaker demands investigation into controversial Sachem school quiz
A local lawmaker says his office was flooded with calls in reaction to a News 12 report about a survey sent from Sachem High School East that asked personal and intimate questions.
State Sen. Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue) is demanding a full investigation after 10th graders in the Sachem School District took a quiz that asked if they’ve had sex, and if so, how many different partners they’d had. It also asked about sexual orientation, gender identity and body image.
“I’m 58 years old. I would be embarrassed to ask another adult some of these questions. How do you think a tenth-grade student is feeling?” says Murray.
Parents asked about the situation said they were given no warning about the survey. The district would not comment on the situation Friday, but the school superintendent wrote Thursday, “The survey is anonymous and optional and informs the district of areas in which they can assist their students with available resources for support as needed."
Colleen Merlo, with the Association for Mental Health and Wellness, says the survey was likely with good intentions, but students and parents should have been prepared. Now, she says families should use this moment as an opportunity to have important conversations with their kids about sexual health.
“It can be something as simple as saying, ‘How did you feel about that survey? Do you have questions as a result of that?'" says Merlo.
The district wouldn’t respond directly to Murray’s comments, but it is known that the survey is no longer being given out to students and is being reviewed by the district.
“Who is it that came up with these questions? So, we have a lot of questions for the school district,” says Murray.