Students forced to take survey about “drug use,” “emotions”

Paul Joseph Watson
May 29, 2013

A high school teacher in Chicago was disciplined by a school board after he warned students that they should assert their 5th amendment right not to self-incriminate in response to a survey which demanded students provide details about their drug use and “emotions,” leading to a possible visit with a social worker.

Image: Bill of Rights

Despite receiving support from eighteen speakers at a Batavia school board meeting yesterday, school officials hit social studies teacher John Dryden with a “letter of remedy,” which threatens more consequences if he fails to fulfil a list of demands.

“Dryden told three of his classes that they had a Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate themselves when they took a social-emotional learning survey April 18,” reports the Daily Herald. “Some of the 34 questions asked students about their drug and alcohol use, as well as about their emotions. Their names were on the surveys, as it was intended to identify students who could use help, according to school district officials. Those whose answers raised red flags were called in to the school’s student services workers, including social workers and counselors.”

The survey, the first of its kind in the school district, was part of state-mandated “social-emotional learning standards” and asked students about “drug, alcohol and tobacco use, and emotions,” in order to target specific students who may have required “help” from social workers, counselors and psychologists.

Dryden said he only saw the survey 10 minutes before students were due to take it and that he thought, “somebody needs to remind them they have the ability not to incriminate themselves.” A teacher then reported Dryden to school officials after numerous students refused to take the survey.

The very notion that teens experimenting with drugs, alcohol and tobacco while also having “emotions” requires the interference of social workers and psychologists – removing authority from parents who are more than capable of dealing with such issues – is another example of how the state is hyping banal behavior which is part of every teen’s experience in order to institutionalize young people at an early age while infringing on privacy and parents’ rights.

After the issue first broke, Dryden received a wave of support from both online respondents to the story and local parents and residents. A petition to “Defend and Support John Dryden” has received over 1,000 signatures.

“I think he was right in what he did. I think he gave them a real-life lesson,” said Greg Chapman.

“You really did do a well-intentioned thing,” added former student Joe Bertalmio.

Despite the school claiming parents were informed that they could withdraw their children from taking the survey on privacy grounds, several insisted that no such notification was received.

“I was not made aware a survey was going to be issued to my son, and basically was not given any opportunity to protect his privacy rights,” said Meg Humphrey, a biology teacher at the high school and parent of a student.

The school claimed that Dryden’s 5th amendment stance had no foundation and had “mischaracterized” their actions because the survey was subject to student privacy laws. However, the results of the survey were not kept confidential, as the school claimed, but were also sold to the company that provided the survey.

School Superintendent Jack Barshinger also refused to tell reporters what further consequences Dryden may face, suggesting that they file a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the “letter of remedy”.

Several stories in recent years attest to the fact that children being informed about their constitutional rights is now frowned upon by many school authorities.

In 2009 we reported on how an interim pastor at a large Christian college in Mount Vernon, Texas, was threatened by Department of Homeland Security goons dressed in black who accused him of engaging in terrorism for teaching a group of Boy Scouts about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Last month we reported on the story of a father who was shocked to find a note in his 4th grader son’s bag that indicated his teachers had instructed children at the school to accept that they should be willing to give up some Constitutional rights in order to be more safe.

Given stories like these, it is unsurprising that the United States is seeing a 10-12% increase in homeschooling every year.


Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for and Prison He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a host for Infowars Nightly News.

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