Well, it’s almost here folks! Can you tell? Parents are smiling, kids are grumbling, teachers are… well, yeah with the kids, so teachers are grumbling too. The 2015-16 school year is almost upon us! Anyone else ready to enter… the school zone?

For some of you, it may have already begun – classes in session, structure restored, homework abound – the kickoff of a new school year is always exciting and the possibilities that await our young citizens are endless. I love this time of year, as I’m sure many parents (and a few kids) do as well.

In the our home, eager to see which homeroom they’ve been assigned to and what their class schedules look like, my young students signed onto the district’s site yesterday only to discover a notice: “This student’s online profile cannot be accessed until the Online Student Demographic Survey is completed”.
Yelling, panic, and angst followed in quick succession with a final cumulation of one loud “…MOOOOOOOOM!!!!!” sounding through the air like a foghorn.

FINE. Everybody just calm down and eat some fruit.

So I logged into my profile only to confirm that I had to complete said ‘Online Student Demographic Survey’ in order to complete an ‘Ethnicity/Race Validation’ for each of my three children. 15 pages in all, among them were basics like home address, family doctor, emergency contacts, and the validation of each child’s ethnicity.

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No big deal, online student information updates, right? So I dug right in.

On page 7 for child number one, I noticed an optional question on a required page which raised a red flag for me: “Are there any firearms in the home?”. Come on, like any school district needs to know this in order to reveal the identity of student’s homeroom teacher or release their class schedule?

Since I’m one of “those moms”, I spent the better part of yesterday morning on the phone and ultimately connected with the district superintendent. The good doctor assured me it was an optional question stating, “The fact is, you are not required to answer that particular question.” but I was quick to counter with the fact that “You aren’t required to ask the question either, as it is not something any school district would need to know in order to teach students English and Math or information necessary in case of emergency.”

While I’m not opposed to filling out forms, whether online or on paper, holding student’s school year info hostage until required Ethnicity and Health questions are answered, including household gun ownership, is simply unacceptable.

Logging in again last night, I noted the question was no longer posted so I’ll take it as a win, but why does one parent have to raise a ruckus in order to stop these intrusive questions? My kids’ teachers know are well aware of my willingness to carry in order to protect myself and my loved ones, but I don’t feel the need to report that fact to our school district for them to pass it along to our government!

I hope everyone is mindful this school year to stay sharp. With Michigan granting one father the right to carry in his daughter’s elementary school and Wisconsin allowing off duty and retired LEO’s the right to carry in schools as well, we are making headway, but big brother is always watching. I encourage all parents to talk to their children about how to answer questions regarding family gun ownership from teachers, doctors, and other government officials.

As we say here in the Jacques family, “There is nothing in our home that will hurt you… unless you’re asking for it.”