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S.B. 37

             1     

PUBLIC SCHOOLS SURVEYS AMENDMENTS

             2     
2000 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Sponsor: Robert F. Montgomery

             5      AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC EDUCATION; PROVIDING FOR THE CREATION OF A
             6      STATE STUDENT SURVEY REVIEW COMMITTEE; PROVIDING FOR COMMITTEE
             7      MEMBERSHIP; PROVIDING COMMITTEE DUTIES; PROVIDING FOR THE REVIEW OF
             8      SURVEYS CONDUCTED TO OBTAIN DATA FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OR
             9      IMPLEMENTATION OF GOVERNMENTAL POLICIES OR LEGISLATION, SUBJECT TO
             10      MEETING SPECIFIED CRITERIA; PROVIDING CONDITIONS FOR APPROVAL AND USE
             11      OF SURVEYS; AND MAKING CERTAIN TECHNICAL CHANGES.
             12      This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
             13      AMENDS:
             14          53A-13-302, as last amended by Chapter 284, Laws of Utah 1999
             15      ENACTS:
             16          53A-13-303, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             17      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             18          Section 1. Section 53A-13-302 is amended to read:
             19           53A-13-302. Activities prohibited without prior written consent -- Validity of consent
             20      -- Qualifications -- Training on implementation.
             21          (1) [Policies] Except as otherwise provided in Section 53A-13-303 , policies adopted by
             22      a local school [district] board under Section 53A-13-301 shall include prohibitions on the
             23      administration to a student of any psychological or psychiatric examination, test, or treatment, or
             24      any survey, analysis, or evaluation without the prior written consent of the student's parent or legal
             25      guardian, in which the purpose or evident intended effect is to cause the student to reveal
             26      information, whether the information is personally identifiable or not, concerning the student's or
             27      any family member's:


             28          (a) political affiliations or, except as provided under Section 53A-13-101.1 or rules of the
             29      State Board of Education, political philosophies;
             30          (b) mental or psychological problems;
             31          (c) sexual behavior, orientation, or attitudes;
             32          (d) illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
             33          (e) critical appraisals of individuals with whom the student or family member has close
             34      family relationships;
             35          (f) religious affiliations or beliefs;
             36          (g) legally recognized privileged and analogous relationships, such as those with lawyers,
             37      medical personnel, or ministers; and
             38          (h) income, except as required by law.
             39          (2) Prior written consent under Subsection (1) is required in all grades, kindergarten
             40      through grade 12.
             41          (3) The prohibitions under Subsection (1) shall also apply within the curriculum and other
             42      school activities unless prior written consent of the student's parent or legal guardian has been
             43      obtained.
             44          (4) Written parental consent is valid only if a parent or legal guardian has been first given
             45      written notice, including notice that a copy of the educational or student survey questions to be
             46      asked of the student in obtaining the desired information is made available at the school, and a
             47      reasonable opportunity to obtain written information concerning:
             48          (a) records or information, including information about relationships, that may be
             49      examined or requested;
             50          (b) the means by which the records or information shall be examined or reviewed;
             51          (c) the means by which the information is to be obtained;
             52          (d) the purposes for which the records or information are needed;
             53          (e) the entities or persons, regardless of affiliation, who will have access to the personally
             54      identifiable information; and
             55          (f) a method by which a parent of a student can grant permission to access or examine the
             56      personally identifiable information.
             57          (5) (a) Except in response to a situation which a school employee reasonably believes to
             58      be an emergency, or as authorized under Title 62A, Chapter 4a, Part 4, Child Abuse or Neglect


             59      Reporting Requirements, or by order of a court, disclosure to a parent or legal guardian must be
             60      given at least two weeks before information protected under this section is sought.
             61          (b) Following disclosure, a parent or guardian may waive the two week minimum
             62      notification period.
             63          (c) Unless otherwise agreed to by a student's parent or legal guardian and the person
             64      requesting written consent, the authorization is valid only for the activity for which it was granted.
             65          (d) A written withdrawal of authorization submitted to the school principal by the
             66      authorizing parent or guardian terminates the authorization.
             67          (e) A general consent used to approve admission to school or involvement in special
             68      education, remedial education, or a school activity does not constitute written consent under this
             69      section.
             70          (6) (a) This section does not limit the ability of a student under Section 53A-13-101.3 to
             71      spontaneously express sentiments or opinions otherwise protected against disclosure under this
             72      section.
             73          (b) (i) If a school employee or agent believes that a situation exists which presents a
             74      serious threat to the well-being of a student, that employee or agent shall notify the student's parent
             75      or guardian without delay.
             76          (ii) If, however, the matter has been reported to the Division of Child and Family Services
             77      within the Department of Human Services, it is the responsibility of the division to notify the
             78      student's parent or guardian of any possible investigation, prior to the student's return home from
             79      school.
             80          (iii) The division may be exempted from the notification requirements described in this
             81      Subsection (6)(b)(ii) only if it determines that the student would be endangered by notification of
             82      his parent or guardian, or if that notification is otherwise prohibited by state or federal law.
             83          (7) [Local] Each local school [boards] board shall provide inservice for teachers and
             84      administrators within [their respective school districts] its district on the implementation of this
             85      section.
             86          (8) [The] Each local school board shall provide procedures for disciplinary action for
             87      violations of this section under guidelines established by the State Board of Education.
             88          Section 2. Section 53A-13-303 is enacted to read:
             89          53A-13-303. Survey Review Committee -- Duties of the committee -- Review of


             90      surveys conducted to obtain data for development or implementation of governmental
             91      policies or legislation -- Conditions for approval and use.
             92          (1) (a) There is created the State Student Survey Committee, hereafter referred to in this
             93      section as the "committee."
             94          (b) The committee shall be comprised of 13 members appointed by the state
             95      superintendent of public instruction.
             96          (c) The committee shall consist of parents of students, teachers, and school administrators
             96a      h WHO REFLECT OR REPRESENT BROAD AND DIVERSE VIEWPOINTS ON PUBLIC EDUCATION h .
             97          (d) (i) At least seven members of the committee shall be parents of children enrolled in
             98      the state's public education system.
             99          (ii) Neither any of these members nor any person residing in their households may be
             100      h [ employed by ] PAST OR CURRENT EMPLOYEES OF h the public education system while they
             100a      serve on the committee as a parent member.
             101          (2) (a) At the request of the state superintendent, the committee shall review a survey:
             102          (i) dealing with any of the matters listed in Subsection 53A-13-302 (1); and
             103          (ii) which is proposed to be conducted in a public school.
             104          (b) The committee shall review the survey to determine whether the:
             105          (i) subject of the survey and the nature of the questions to be asked are appropriate for the
             106      proposed survey participants;
             107          (ii) survey questions have been narrowly drawn to address only those matters which are
             108      pertinent to the stated purpose of the survey; and
             109          (iii) form of the survey and the manner of its administration will ensure the anonymity and
             110      privacy of survey participants and their families.
             111          (3) (a) At the request of an authorized representative of the federal government, the
             112      governor, the Legislature, the State Board of Education, or a local board of education, the state
             113      superintendent may ask and the committee shall review a survey subject to the following
             114      conditions:
             115          (i) the requesting authority advises the superintendent that the survey is necessary to
             116      provide essential data required for the development and implementation of public policy, and that
             117      other reasonable means for obtaining the data are not readily available; and
             118          (ii) the superintendent determines that administering the survey would not be inappropriate
             119      in a school setting or unduly burdensome to the schools.
             120          (b) A survey proposed for administration under Subsection (3)(a) that addresses matters


             121      related to youth violence or to the use of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco by students may be
             122      administered without h PRIOR WRITTE N h parental consent as required under Section 53A-13-302
             122a      if:
             123          (i) the survey has been h REVIEWED AN D h recommended for administration by the
             123a      committee and approved
             124      by the state superintendent;
             125          (ii) the parent or guardian of each student participant was sent notification S BY MAIL s at
             125a      least two
             126      weeks prior to the planned date of administration:
             127          (A) of the survey and its purpose;
             128          (B) that a copy of the survey is available in the school office for review prior to its
             129      administration; and
             130          (C) that the parent or guardian may deny the student's participation in the survey;
             131          (iii) no student is permitted to participate in the survey whose parent has denied
             132      participation by notifying the school prior to its administration;
             133          (iv) the survey is administered by h [ a ] AN UNBIASED, OBJECTIVE h person who has been
             133a      trained in the proper
             134      administration of the survey instrument h AND WHO WAS AWARDED THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE
             134a      SURVEY THROUGH A REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP) PROCESS h ;
             135          (v) teachers, students, and other persons who may be familiar with the handwriting of
             136      individual participants are not permitted to read the completed survey forms;
             137          (vi) the survey form does not ask for the name of the participant or contain questions,
             138      codes, or other means by which the identity of an individual would be disclosed; and
             139          (vii) the responses are used for statistical purposes only, information on the completed
             140      survey is aggregated, and the individual forms destroyed within ten working days of
             141      administration.
             142          (4) The committee shall submit its recommendations concerning a survey reviewed under
             143      Subsections (2) and (3) to the state superintendent in a timely manner.




Legislative Review Note
    as of 12-28-99 2:28 PM


A limited legal review of this legislation raises no obvious constitutional or statutory concerns.

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel


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