A Connecticut mom wanted to snap her No. 2 pencil in half when she sat down to fill out her son's kindergarten application and came across personal questions about his birth that left her demanding answers instead of filling them out.
The application, which West Hartford School District officials say have been standard for decades, sought information such as whether Cara Paiuk's delivery was by C-section or not, whether there were other complications and even if her newborn son had gone home with his parents without delay. Paiuk said she talked to other Aiken Elementary moms, and they also were taken aback by the intrusive questioning.
"If you are implying that a vaginal birth child is going to be smarter or more proactive in class than a C-section child, that is not the case.”
- Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing editor for health at Fox News Channel
“Most parents I have spoken to are outraged, and then they are almost outraged at themselves, like, 'Did I fill that out? Did I not even question it?'” Paiuk said.
The school was apparently seeking any information that might indicate children could have developmental problems. Tom Moore, superintendent of West Hartford public schools, said this is the first time the birth-related questions have raised objections. He said he spoke to doctors in attempt to figure out why the question were on the form and whether they had any merit.
“I think that question may have [been included] because C-section births had a higher rate of trauma, years ago, partially due to the nature of the birth," he said. "I do not think that is necessarily true today.”
Dr. Manny Alvarez, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Hackensack University Medical Center, in New Jersey, said the questions about the mother's birth experience should definitely be crossed out.
“What you are implying in those questions is that you’re going to be able to make some sort of diagnosis and maybe alter or amend the curriculum of the child,” said Alvarez, who also is senior managing editor for health at Fox News Channel. “What is the implication of that question? If you are implying that a vaginal birth child is going to be smarter or more proactive in class than a C-section child, that is not the case.”
If anything, the information gathering could result in a bias against certain children, according to Alvarez.
Paiuk hopes that the school will recognize her concerns and make changes to the application.
“I think they [the forms] need to be reviewed and updated because everything changes, the world changes, children change, and education changes,” she said.
Moore told FoxNews.com Paiuk "makes a very good point."
“I would bet heavily that when kindergarten parents in West Hartford register their kids [next year], that question will not be on there,” Moore said.