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Florida Education Commissioner scolds Duval over plan to continue youth risk survey

At the "strong urging" of the state Department of Education, the Duval school district says it will no longer participate in the federal questionnaire for teens.

The federally funded Youth Risk Behavioral Survey for 2023, which was about to get underway in Duval County Public Schools, has been canceled at the urging of the state Department of Education.

Local parents had already complained about the survey, which they said asked young students inappropriate questions about sex and other topics.

2021 survey: Teen girls and LGBTQ+ youth plagued by violence and trauma

The district received a letter Friday from Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz Jr. expressing "grave concerns" that, despite the state withdrawing from the survey program last April, the Duval district was to continue it in 2023 under the last year of a contract with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Parents could opt their children out from taking the survey.

The questionnaire, which had been distributed to thousands of teens in Florida since 1991, analyzes data several ways, such as race and grade. It also offers data based upon a teen 's sexual orientation

The state Department of Education announced last it year it will administer a Florida-specific youth survey at the end of the current school year.

The new survey would tailor data collection to "Florida’s unique needs" and allow for "enhanced alignment within Florida’s mental health instruction and professional development initiatives for teachers in support of students," the department's website says.

Read more of this story at the Florida Times-Union, a WJCT News partner.

Beth Reese Cravey - Florida Times-Union
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