SENATE, No. 454

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2012 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  SHIRLEY K. TURNER

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

Senator  JOSEPH F. VITALE

District 19 (Middlesex)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator Van Drew

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Permits a student to participate in a voluntary survey if the district sends prior written notification to the student's parents.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

  


An Act concerning certain surveys conducted by school districts and amending P.L.2001, c.364.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  Section 1 of P.L.2001, c.364 (C.18A:36-34) is amended to read as follows:

     1.  a.  Unless a school district receives prior written informed consent from a student's parent or legal guardian and provides for a copy of the document to be available for viewing at convenient locations and time periods, the school district shall not [administer to] permit a student to be required to participate in any academic or nonacademic survey, assessment, analysis or evaluation which reveals information concerning:

     (1)  political affiliations;

     (2)  mental and psychological problems potentially embarrassing to the student or the student's family;

     (3)  sexual behavior and attitudes;

     (4) illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating and demeaning behavior;

     (5) critical appraisals of other individuals with whom a respondent has a close family relationship;

     (6) legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;

     (7) income, other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under a program; or

     (8) social security number.

     b.  The school district shall request prior written informed consent at least two weeks prior to the administration of the survey, assessment, analysis or evaluation.

     c.  A student [shall not] may participate in [any] a voluntary survey, assessment, analysis or evaluation that concerns the issues listed in subsection a. of this section [unless] if  the school district has [obtained] sent prior written [informed consent from] notification to that student's parent or guardian.

     The written notification shall, at a minimum, contain the following: (1) a description of the survey, assessment, analysis or evaluation; (2)  the purpose for which the survey, assessment, analysis or evaluation is needed; (3) entities and persons that will have access to the information generated by the survey, assessment, analysis or evaluation; (4) specific instructions on when and where the survey, assessment, analysis or evaluation will be available for
parental or legal guardian review prior to its administration; (5) the method by which the parent or legal guardian can deny permission to administer the survey, assessment, analysis or evaluation to the student; (6) the names of persons to whom questions can be directed; and (7) notification that failure to respond indicates approval of participation in the survey, assessment, analysis or evaluation.

     d.  A school district that violates the provisions of this act shall be subject to such monetary penalties as determined by the commissioner.

(cf:  P.L.2001, c.364, s.1)

 

     2.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     P.L.2001, c.364 (C.18A:36-34) provided that prior to a school district administering certain academic or nonacademic surveys, assessments, analyses, or evaluations to its students it was required to receive written informed consent from a student's parent or legal guardian.  This bill amends that provision of law to require that school districts obtain written consent only if students are required to complete the survey, assessment, analysis, or evaluation.  Under the bill's provisions a student will be permitted to participate in a voluntary survey, assessment, analysis, or evaluation if the district sends prior written notification to the student's parent or guardian.  The bill provides that the following information must be included in the notification: (1) a description of the survey, assessment, analysis, or evaluation; (2) the purpose for which the survey, assessment, analysis, or evaluation is needed; (3) entities and persons that will have access to the information generated by the survey, assessment, analysis, or evaluation; (4) specific instruction on when and where the survey, assessment, analysis, or evaluation will be available for review prior to its administration; (5) the method by which a parent or guardian can deny permission to administer the survey, assessment, analysis, or evaluation to the student; (6) the names of persons to whom questions can be directed; and (7) notification that failure to respond indicates approval of participation in the survey, assessment, analysis, or evaluation.