Parents angry over survey that asks middle school students about their sexual orientation

Sumner County Schools: This "should not have been shared with students."
Portland East Middle School
Posted at 6:04 PM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 21:53:31-05

PORTLAND, Tenn. (WTVF) — A survey sent to a few Sumner County Middle School students has parents demanding answers. "I kind of feel like it’s an invasion of privacy," Said Amanda Hammersley, a parent of a Sumner County student.

Hammersley took a picture of the controversial question sent to select students Monday -- what is your sexual orientation? Answer choices included heterosexual, homosexual, bi-sexual, gay/lesbian/pansexual/ other or prefer not to answer.

Hammersley says the question is inappropriate for students like her 12-year-old daughter. "She comes to me and she’s like -- Momma, which one am I? And I immediately called the school," she said.

Amanda spoke to NewsChannel 5 over the phone, saying this should be a conversation they have at home, not as a prompt from her daughter's teacher.

"For one, it’s none of the school’s business what my child is. This is -- that’s not in any way an educational purpose. Secondly, my child is 12. She’s not exposed to this," said Hammersley.

A district spokesperson for Sumner County Schools says the survey was sent to students taking related arts classes at Portland East Middle by a teacher who found the survey on Facebook, as a good resource for parents.

The district sent us this statement about the ordeal:

The survey in question was not created or approved by Sumner County Schools and should not have been shared with students. We have asked the teacher to remove the survey from students’ Google classroom and for school administration to communicate to parents that the survey has been removed.
Jeremy Johnson, Sumner County Schools

"I don’t feel comfortable with my child being asked these questions," said Hammersley.

Amanda argues that just deleting the survey isn't good enough. She wants a clearer answer about what happens next. "What I would like to see this happen is to assure this won’t happen again and to hold someone accountable for this," she said.