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Ludlow School Survey Controversy


Some say theses survey questions are too specific, even inappropriate.  Questions like have you had oral sex, vaginal or anal sex?

It’s part of a survey that 6th, 8th,10th and 12th graders in Ludlow will be part of.

“For 6th graders? No no!” said Tara Davis.

We showed the survey questions to parents in town.

“The kids have to answer these questions? I don’t like that at all, very offensive,” said parent Michelle Danek.

“I think this is very inappropriate for 6th graders,” said Sara Sweeney.

 Joe, who wished not to identify his last name but has a 6th grader at Baird Middle School says, “Sixth and eighth graders are going to read these words and come home and ask what they mean.” said Joe.

 The main questionnaire covers all kinds of topic’s and it asks if kids have taken L-S-D-, sniffed glue or inhaled aerosols.  Parents say some kids don’t even know about that stuff yet and this could give them ideas.

“If you have sniffed glue, they’re gonna put thoughts in kids heads. As parents we work hard to monitor what they watch on TV, what they’re exposed to and this works against us,” added Joe.

The survey is called “Prevention Needs Assessment.”  The school sent home this letter telling parents about it, saying the survey could help the district get grant money.

It can also give the school information to help them develop appropriate health education curriculum.   For many parents, no reason is good enough to cross that line.

Interim Superintendent, Donna Hogan, told abc40, “We understand it could be uncomfortable for some parents, so we are giving them the option to opt out their child if they so choose to.”   Hogan emphasizes that the survey is voluntary, not mandatory.  


WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.

  • BigDaddy

    That’s right parents, bury your head in the sand. NO middle schoolers are doing drugs or having sex!! (sarcasm alert). So lets avoid the issue, instead of learning more about the issues to come up w/ a plan. Why would you not want your kid to be aware of the societal issues so that they can make the right choices? Are your kids that weak-minded that b/c of a survey that will now get “interested” in unprotected sex or drugs?? This isn’t Maybury, and this isn’t 1951.

  • Frank

    Sensationlism 101–by Tricia Taskey

  • Guest

    Big Daddy, The parents aren’t avoiding the issue. They are saying that 6th graders are too young for this survey. Give it at the high school or even 8th grade, but 6th grade is way too young. They are 11 years old.

  • guest

    everyone knows middle school is the new high school and high school is the new college as far as drugs and sexual acts. majority of sixth graders are more than likely to already know all about whats on the survey and im sure some of their 7th and 8th grade counter parts can check off yes to some of the questinos already.

  • BigDaddy

    Those parents of 6th can opt out then,as I believ it to be, this is a 100% voluntary survey…but my thought would be this: If the 6th grade is so vastly different from 7 and 8, why are they in the same school building? Why format a middle school at 6,7,8. And beleive me, when I was in 6th, I knew about this kind of stuff. A lot of what I “knew” was unfactual, though….and knowing the truth would have been enlightening.

  • Takeitfromapro

    Being a recent high school graduate I can remember what happened in middle school. Let me tell you I knew about this stuff going into 6th grade. So I had to have stumble upon it in 5th grade. Secondly I promise you your kids know a lot more that you give them credit for. It’s pointless to fight it off because they are going to learn regardless.

  • citizen

    I’m guessing that the majority of the parents have not even seen the letter that was sent home, and therefore don’t know about it and don’t know that they can opt out. BigDaddy, in light of your last post, if you were given this survey then when you where in middle school, then you would then have been enlightened as to the truth about sex and drugs?

  • Volunteer

    I read the copy of the letter that was sent home. No where did it say that a student or parent could opt out of the survey. Glad they gave the option over the news 2 days before the event. By the logic of some comments, we should just give this survey to preschool and kindergarten.

  • BigDaddy

    No, citizen—but perhaps, with the overall knowledge gleemed from such a survey, the middle and high school, with the help of the community, would have been able to craft an effective, poignant and approriate program to look to educate students and their parents on these troublesome social issues. Maybe then, for one example, Ludlow would not now have the 4th highest teen chlamydia rate in MA.

  • BigDaddy

    Yeah Volunteer, good analogy…we all know that 6,7,8 is the same a 1st. Right. Just keep burying your head in the sand, and ignore the issues…that way, its easier on you. Maybe you can pray these issues will go away go light a candle at a church.

  • Destiny Sarlan

    well parents shouldnt be that upset so i just wanted to say i have 5 little brothers and perents should be teaching them these things already cause i knew about it when i was in 6th grade. Pluse i have 3 little brothers in middle school and they told me that there are A LOT of girls having sex with high schoolers already! So either their parents dont know what they are doing or their kids are lying to them! I just graduated Ludlow High last year! so i know a lot about what goes on! Parent PLEASE OPEN YOUR EYES AND GET THEM PROTECTION AND TEACH THEM ABOUT IT! UNLESS YOU THINK THEIR FRIENDS ARE BETTER THAT THEY SHOULD TALK ABOUT IT! Last their are also 6 graders that also smoke pot so if you dont think they dont know anything then you guys are glueless just like parents were when i was a kid.

    ~Destiny Sarlan From ludlow

    my email is Destinylynnsarlan3.27.08@gmail.com

  • citizen

    BigDaddy, seems you have some anger issues with people not liking that kids are asked to disclose personal and confidential information on a survey, a survey will not fix the problems your talking about & the question is ultimately if the school district has any business discussing these same issues with the kids. The argument is not that parents are burying their heads in the ground,but if the school district is overstepping the boundaries with this survey, they’re job is to teach academics, not morals. Morals teaching is up to parents.

  • VinnyBarbarino

    over 50% of the homes are broken…many kids have no adult role models outside of the public educators. You cannotteach a child if they have drug or other problems. So I would say the a good education is more rounded then jus math and science. The survey also covers bullying to. Middle/High school Drugs, sex, bullying..these ALL get in the way of a good education and future

  • Anonymous

    The questions are inappropriate but it is a concern that parents should have. Children of all ages are surrounded by sex and the innuendoes especially with new age movies music and tv shows. There is no way for them to escape any of it. Someone needs to ask these questions it shouldn’t be up to the school it should be up to parents. Parents are so naive when it comes to children these days. Even when I was in middle school there were plenty of 6th graders already having sex. Some were evening having abortions by 8th grade. At least the school is taking some initiative and trying to see if they are having sex so they can make an attempt to prevent STDS, pregnancies, or premature sex  

  • citizen

    There is no denying that those problems are not real, a controversial and intrusive survey doesn’t need to be taken to see that. Putting all the students though a survey IS NOT the right way to handle this, it is overstepping the boundaries. If the School District wants to develop a program to address these issues they could get parents and students to volunteer with some teachers & staff to head up a program that deals with these issues, to help and teach those who attend, and create a program that reaches out to parents and students.

  • Ludlowstudent

    I saw that it said voluntary so i didnt want to take it. I told the physical ed teacher i wasnt going to fill it out and they told me i had to or i would be sent to the principles office. Novody took the survey seriously so i hope they domt take it into consideration. “where do you get your alcohol from?” ” how many times do you do lsd a week?”. Are you kidding me? First of all who in the world would EVER tell you the truth about that and second of all why would anyone confess in school. This is messed up and i hope MR GRAVES gets his ass written up.

  • ludlow resident

    I graduated from Ludlow High in 1998, when I was in 7th grade I had girls in my class that were already having sex. and 2 girls were pregnant in 9-10th grade. This survey should be given to all Ludlow kids because they are having sex. As to doing drugs, my friends & I started smoking pot in 8th grade, Ludlow kids have access to the drugs and parents that give them money with no questions asked. The parents always think it’s too early to talk about sex & drugs but the truth is, it is not.

  • 2012

    I have attended ludlow schools since September 2005. I was in the sixth grade and there was all kinds of talk of sex and drugs. Most of the stories were probably fictional but everyone knew about sex and drugs. Parents don’t be fooled, my parents knee who I hung out with and regularly spoke to their parents. With straight A’s and multiple after school activities I was a “goody two shoes” however that didn’t stop me from hearing people “brag” about what they have done. By the time I hit eight grade one of my classmates was pregnant. As someone with younger siblings going into middle school I wish we didn’t have to start talking to them at ten years old but reality is- do you want your child getting information first from other children or getting the truth from you? I’ve taken this survey two or three times and honestly there was nothing that I hadn’t at least heard about already in the sixth grade.

  • Ludlow learning from Spfld

    First of all, the article states that Ludlow said it could get more money for the survey being filled out. TRUE. They’ve obviously learned from Spfld. public schools. It’s 100% true. If you get your students to say that they need “help” for certain things, and the surveyed results prove it, then the Gov’t send more money to the school dept. to assist. HOWEVER, the money does not go to special education geared toward helping the students that have commented already on this article. One says: “Are you kidding me? First of all who in the world would EVER tell you the truth about that and second of all why would anyone confess in school. This is messed up and i hope MR GRAVES gets his ass written up.”

    LOL no survey needed here. Just send Ludlow their money, Mr. President.

  • Parentfirst

    Thank You Ludlow learning you hit the nail on the head.

  • Dave

    What I see from all this is the school system really doesn’t care about the survey, as much as the grant MONIES, like everything else

  • GrantW.Wilson

    How did you extrapolate all that, Dave? I amd willing bet it was not from any profound and/or deep thought process. And even if your 30-second cartoon summation was even close to being a realistic point, what in the world is wrong with getting state grant money for the school? Would you like it better if it went to another town?

  • Pollacko

    I think parents are overreacting……this is what’s needed in this day of age. We’re not living in the OLD days anymore. I’m in my 40′s and when I was in 6th grade I definitely knew about these things. I’m sure the kids nowadays know a lot more and some. So…you objective parents please get off your high horse and suck it up because in reality your kids probaly already know these things or are probaly already doing them. So wouldn’t you want them to be safe about it??? Might avoid pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, drug addiction, etc… Unfornately this generation has to grow up in a unsecure society..it’s up to us to lead them in the right direction. And not bringing it up to them or discussing the real topics is the wrong thing. I believe the school system should have the right discuss these matters and topics with the kids. I am in favor 100%