ARLINGTON, TN (abc24.com) - Arlington parents are up in arms over a survey about guns, religion and abortion. Students at Arlington High School were given the survey to take while they were in class, and parents say the controversial topics have no place in school.
According to one parent, the questionnaire was handed out during her daughter's freshman English class and turned back in before class was over.
April Heath used Facebook as her sounding board after she says her daughter was given the questionnaire at school. In her post, she says her daughter was asked her if her parents owned guns; it also asked for the student's opinion on the legalization of marijuana, abortion and what her religion is.
Student Phillip Beasley said, "It's not that big of a deal, it's just you don't need to get into other people's business that's not yours, you know?"
"To tell you the truth I can't think of any good reason to do that," added grandparent Sharon Starlings. "It doesn't seem right."
Parents in Arlington say the questionnaire was out of line.
"I would be not ok with that," said parent Martina Ashmore.
Starlings suggested, "I would go to the school, ask for a meeting and want to know what it was in reference to."
That's what one parent did, and met with the principal Thursday morning.
Shelby County Schools says the questionnaire was drawn up by advance placement psychology students and they conducted the surveys in several classes.
The district says students were told the surveys were anonymous and optional. Parents still say with such sensitive subjects, they should have been warned.
"If they want their opinion, for it to be sent home, and then I would want to discuss it with my child," Ashmore said.
The following is the complete statement from Shelby County Schools on the matter:
AP Psychology students at Arlington High School have been studying the Scientific Method and how it pertains to psychological research. These students recently worked together to develop a series of surveys that address their experimental designs and hypotheses. All topics of the surveys were determined by students and approved by their teacher. Topics reflect current issues that students are seeing and reading about in the news, as well as the related laws and policies that address them. To support their research, students were permitted to conduct the surveys in several classes. The surveys were permitted only under the condition that they are completely anonymous and optional, and students were informed prior to the survey being handed out that it was completely anonymous and optional. Teachers of multiple subjects seek opportunities to incorporate current issues in their curriculum, including those included in this survey. Teachers and administrators at Arlington High School supported this research project because they believe the best way to effectively educate students about the issues that concern them is allowing them to be engaged participants in conversations about them.