Some parents in Loudoun County, Virginia, are outraged after school officials failed to notify them ahead of time about a survey administered to their kids that asked questions about their sex lives and gender identities.
The Virginia Department of Health (VDOH), which developed the Virginia Youth Survey, states that written notification must be given to parents by the school division at least 30 days before administration, and that parents have the right to review the survey and opt-out.
But Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville mistakenly administered the survey without first notifying parents, Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) told Fox News in a statement.
The survey, which is voluntary, was given to at least 180 students at the high school and approximately 90 students completed it, the school said in a email to parents, which LCPS provided to Fox News.
The survey for high schoolers asks questions like, "Are you transgender?" "Have you been tested for a sexually transmitted disease?" "Have you ever had sexual intercourse?" and, "[W]ith how many people have you had sexual intercourse?" Students are asked not to write their names on the survey and to skip any questions they feel uncomfortable answering.
The VDOH describes the survey as a "statewide surveillance system that monitors health risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability among youth and adults. The survey is conducted every other year during the fall in randomly elected high schools and middle schools."
One Loudoun County mother, who asked not to be identified, told 7News she was "livid and sickened" by the questions, and that her 14-year-old daughter texted her while taking the survey and said she felt "uncomfortable."
In the email to parents, the school’s assistant principal, Bill Gulgert, said the survey was administered "without families being sent an opt-out form" and that the school "regrets this error."
"We have communicated with the Virginia Population Health Surveys Coordinator and they have removed data collected from these surveys," Gulgert wrote. "Again, we apologize for this error. Loudoun Valley High School respects the right of parents to be notified in such matters. I wanted to you to know that this data will not be used."
The Loudoun County mom said Gulgert told her they had "never notified parents in the past" and that he wasn’t aware it was required, though the school district disputed that account.
"All LCPS have notified parents in the past when this optional survey was administered," an LCPS spokesperson said. "We regret the error that was made at Loudoun Valley and notified the school community about our error in a timely manner."
Education issues in Loudoun County took center stage in the Virginia governor's race earlier this month, which Republican Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin won in part by championing parental rights in education.