AFA of PA ACTION ALERT
October 8, 2019
Pennsylvania Youth Survey Coming to a School Near You!!
As of yesterday, these schools have signed up to administer the nine-page Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS) to their 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th grade students sometime between now and November 20th. Note that they are not all public schools!!
So . . . just what is PAYS? It is a survey of youth in the aforementioned-grades that is administered in the fall of odd-numbered years. It “Collects information on mental health and 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.
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??
Parents can opt their child out! You should be receiving some information from the school about PAYS which gives you the ability to opt your child out. It is highly unlikely the school will provide you with much information about the questions! However, the AFA of PA has a copy of them and you can read the 2019 PAYS questions here 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!