October 31, 2017


Beware of the Pennsylvania Youth Survey — PAYS


If you have children or grandchildren attending school, whether public or private, and they are in the 6th, 8th, 10th, or 12th grades, there’s a very good chance they will be asked to participate in the Pennsylvania Youth Survey or PAYS.   This survey can be administered anytime up till November 22, 2017. Click here for the  most updated list of participating schools.

It “Collects information on youth knowledge, attitudes and behaviors towards Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug (ATOD) use and other problem behaviors. ”   There are many questions about criminal acts, suicide, guns, alcohol and illegal drug use of not only the student, but the student’s family.  There are also several questions about the student’s relationship with their mother and father, insults and arguments within the family, siblings’ alcohol and drug use, etc. Click to read the 2017 Tabulation of PAYS Questions.   How many students will not be truthful on the survey or how many highly impressionable children will have ideas planted in their head after taking the survey?

This is an anonymous survey  . . .  so if a student indicates he or she has been involved in self-harm such as cutting or burning or considered attempting suicide  – just how is the school supposed to get help for that student!

Action Steps

Parents can opt their child out!  If after reviewing the questions, you don’t want to allow your child to take part in the survey, let both your district superintendent and school principal know in writing that you want to opt your child out of the Pennsylvania Youth Survey.   Make sure you keep a copy of the request!

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