Voluntary survey bill advances

TRENTON – The Assembly Education Committee released bill A2421, which would permit students to participate in a voluntary survey if the school district sent notification to their parents.

Students and parents would have the ability to opt out.

With the exception of Assemblyman Scott Rumana, (R-40), of Wayne, all the other committee members voted to release the bill today.

Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, (D-18), of South Plainfield called it “a good bill.” The bill’s co-sponsor, Dan Benson, (D-14), of Hamilton, said the goal is to address public health needs, particularly troubling behaviors like drug use.

“We can catch these behaviors before they become endemic,” he said.

He said the lack of knowledge of such things can lead to inaction. He cited the recent uptick in the use of synthetic pot as an example of a trend that was “lost and missed.”

However, Eagle Forum New Jersey opposed the bill, saying it amounts to an assault upon parental rights.

John Tomicki, of the League of American Families, also opposed the bill, saying it takes away the right of parents to be fully informed.

He added that students may be inclined to provide inaccurate or “exaggerated” responses to questions.

But Jennifer Keyes Maloney, of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, was in favor of the bill, saying it surveys students “on a myriad of topics.”


Voluntary survey bill advances