Students at Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville, Texas, were recently handed a survey that asked for details about their parents’ political views and whether they keep firearms at home. What was ‘intended to spark discussion’, has instead sparked controversy.
The survey was handed out to about 100 students as part of a journalism class and while it was not mandatory, the invasive questions have raised serious concerns with parents.
“Doesn’t matter if it’s a journalistic survey, it crosses the line,” one parent commented. “This wouldn’t be answered in my home and this is the reason that any poll similar to it is not accurate.”
Radio host and 2nd Amendment activist Michael Cargill applauded the idea of engaging students in discussing the Second Amendment, also saying “[The Second Amendment] is a great conversation for kids to have in the classroom and definitely for journalism because it applies directly to our Constitution … but the questions that concern me are the ones that ask ‘how many firearms do your parents have at home?’ and ‘what political affiliations do your parents have?’ …that’s private,” he said.
“The Hawk 2015 Gun Survey” not only asks for details on possible guns in students’ homes, but also their political affiliation and if they or any family member have every used a gun for self defense, then asks for a description of the event.
While this gun survey is hardly the first of it’s kind to spark controversy, it should serve as a reminder to parents that discussions surrounding guns and political beliefs need to start at home. I personally encourage a healthy discussion and support teaching how to poll a group to glean certain conclusions (e.g.: gun owners tend to be right leaning), however, I have to question the teacher’s motives here. While I’m fairly confident that a conservative teacher would not use their classroom or students to make a political statement or encourage changes in social justice, I’m also acutely aware of how far liberals would go to push their agenda.
In the absence of knowing what the teacher was hoping to accomplish with this assignment, I’ll leave you with a question. I know for my children, this survey would have never been answered at school and been passed along to me promptly, and I would have gone straight to the teacher for answers, but what about other families? How would other parents react?
What would you do if this survey was handed to your child?