Senate File 496 outlines the procedures for administering surveys in a school setting. School districts are prohibited from administering or conducting an invasive physical examination of a student, a student health screening that is not required by state or federal law, or a formal examination or survey of a student that is designed to assess the student’s mental, emotional, or physical health that is not required by state or federal law, without first acquiring the written consent of the student’s parent or guardian.
The board of directors of a school district must receive the prior written consent of a student’s parent or guardian before requiring a student to take part in any survey, analysis, activity or evaluation that reveals information concerning any of the following about the student or the student’s family, whether the information is personally identifiable or not:
- The political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent or guardian.
- Mental or psychological problems of the students or the student’s family.
- Sexual behavior, orientation, or attitudes.
- Illegal, antisocial, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior
- Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom the student has close familial relationships.
- Legally recognized privilege or analogous relationships, such as those of attorneys, physicians, or ministers.
- Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent or guardian.
- Income, except when required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such a program.
An employee of a school district, or a contractor engaged by a school district shall not answer any question pertaining to any student related to the social or emotional abilities, competencies, or characteristics of the student, unless the board of directors satisfies all of the following requirements:
- Parents and guardians are provided detailed information related to the survey.
- District received written consent from a student’s parent or guardian authorizing the employee to answer questions in the survey pertaining to the student.
- This section does not prohibit an employee or a contractor engaged by a school district from answering questions pertaining to any particular student enrolled in the school district as part of the process of developing or implementing an individualized education program for each student.
Each district will give written notice to a student’s parent or guardian of an examination or survey of the student required by state or federal law that is designed to assess the student’s mental, emotional, or physical health not less than seven days prior to the examination of the survey. The notice shall include a copy of the examination or survey or a link to an internet site where the parent or guardian may access the examination or survey. This does not apply to a hearing or vision examination.